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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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It's a difficult question to answer as there are multiple requirements to be met which will differ from person to person. Discussion on following might bring further clarity on the subject. I presuppose that the person is a civilian and has to carry the weapon in a concealed manner. The below mentioned factors are not for an LEA person who can carry the weapon in an open holster.

:arrow: First thing, SD is a requirement and one's life is dependent on it whereas sport shooting is a sport and for fun. There is no comparison between the two and SD should always take priority.

:arrow: What is the level of threat that a person is facing in SD. Is it a specific well defined threat or just a generalised threat? Is he more likely to use the SD weapon on open roads, mountains, farms etc or in confined areas / streets at small ranges? Does he prefer a danger specific weapon or a weapon that might be used in all types of situations to some extent? The nature of threat and individuals preference with regard to that threat will set the requirements for an SD gun which in any case takes precedence over a competition gun (I am not using the word Range Gun here as even an SD gun can be used on the range for practice, however, competition guns are designed to shoot well in specific types of competitions, formal or informal).

:arrow: What are the safety requirements an individuals is looking at? Does he prefer gun with a firing pin block? He must because in SD, safety has high priority. Using a competition gun like Shadow for the SD has its own repercussions and dangers. I have dropped my loaded SD gun at least three times in past 25 years and thanks to a firing pin block, I was lucky that the gun did not fire (although presence of firing pin block does not provide 100% guarantee that weapon will not fire when dropped but it surely provides far higher safety than having no firing pin block). Conversely, firing pin blocks etc do not go well with competition shooting where a shooter is looking at a smooth and flawless trigger. For SD it's not at all safe to have a 1 or 2 lb trigger but for competition shooting, that is very desirable. etc etc

:arrow: There are people who do not mind carrying a gun as big as Shadow and feel comfortable with it (I can't imagine how?). And then there are people like me who feel that even Rami is a little too big for conceal carry as it does not conceal properly in the summer clothing. A lot will therefore depend on individual's carrying preference but he must make sure that he should not compromise on SD aspect for which he needs a weapon which is concealable, absolutely reliable and accurate. No compromise on this.

:arrow: In sport shooting, there are many disciplines. Which discipline one is looking at? Even the best SD gun will not meet the requirements of serious competition shooting. For casual plinking and routine SD training, any SD gun is good enough but if a shooter is looking at performing well even in the informal competitions like the one held in Karsaz every month or Thothi competitions etc, he will have to buy a gun that meets the requirements of the sport and allows him to compete with confidence. Like if one is looking at shooting 185-190 in a Karsaz monthly competition, the shooter needs a proper competition gun like X5, X6, TS or Shadow etc. A routine SD gun might not work.

The bottom line; one can't compromise on SD and should get the best gun suited for the purpose (best doesn't mean expensive). Serious competition shooting is a different ball game and SD guns won't do the job. And if one is not in a position to buy two guns than SD takes priority. Do not try to have half of this and half of that and . Just my two cents.

regards

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Master at Arms

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Beautifully explained.
Can we compromise a little on firing pin block for a dual use gun or its absence renders a gun unsuitable for SD? You opinion ?


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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For competition shooting:
it is best to have a separate and dedicated weapon suitable for the respective competition. We need to leave this here. As KBW sb has said, this cannot mix with SD. Only in extreme cases or as a last resort should one think of using a pure competition weapon for SD.

For pure cc:
one would need CZ83, Makarov (original single stack) or even smaller weapons such as Kahr or snub nose revolver, dedicated for cc. These are also fun to shoot at range due to low recoil (.32acp, 9mmMak), although expensive at times due to ammo cost. So, regular range shooting cannot be considered for all.

For SD+general range shooting:
for SD and range visits to get familiarized with personal SD weapon, any weapon one selects for SD would do, most weapons are much more accurate than the shooter, be it a sub-compact similar to Glock 26/CZ Rami, or a full sized weapon such as SIG p226/Glock 17/CZ75 SP01 etc. The primary focus must be to fulfill SD criteria first.

Ideal choice for SD involving some carry and general range shooting:
In my opinion, it would be a compact weapon, eg. CZ75b Compact, CZ75 p01, P07, Glock 19 etc. They are not cc weapons, but can be selected as a compromise between full size and sub-compact cc size. They are all very accurate for informal shooting, and also some basic competition shooting. Although using them in serious competition would be most likely a handicap even for the best shooters. Some people can shoot very well with CZ Rami/Glock 26, and it could also fit in here. But shooting them for long sessions would be a bit taxing considering higher recoil compared to heavier and larger weapons.


If one does not want to carry on person much, or does not mind carrying a full sized heavy weapon, then ideal choice for Range+SD would be:

Firing pin block models (FPB): CZ75 SP01/SP01 Tactical, CZ75 B, 75B Omega, Glock 17, Canik55 Piranha/Shark, etc. (these are only for general size idea, and in 9mm only. the complete list would be much longer)

Non-Firing pin block models: CZ75 SP01 Shadow, CZ85 Combat. These two are more inclined to range use, but can be used for SD also.

FPB required?
We have to understand that non-FPB guns such as SP01 Shadow or 85 combat are not unsafe guns. Their firing pins are restrained by a firing pin spring, which ensures that the firing pin moves ahead only when struck from behind. If one drops them loaded, they will not fire, unless the firing pin is struck with sufficient force. It is very difficult to strike the firing pin in a falling gun, as the geometry does not allow. If one drops it in a rocky area, there is a chance that some rock or bush might hit the firing pin and make it go off, but then, it could also activate the trigger in such a fall and make it go off. This in my view (and my view only) is a non-issue. Unless if carry preference is loaded, and fully decocked. Then, if the gun falls on the hammer, it most likely will go off.

I would not speak for a TT (I am not sure if it has a FPB) or a Makarov, which does not have a FPB (or any spring to restrain the firing pin-I think, not sure here, waiting to be corrected). These type of weapons are not in my discussion. People highly recommend a Makarov for cc, but it does not have any FPB either. If it has a half-cock notch in the hammer, then I would carry it just like my SP01-loaded and half-cocked.

What I carry:

a. I carry an SP01 in half-cock (or decocked) position. I do not activate safety. It is the most safe position to carry a loaded weapon in my view. You have no safeties to fiddle with, almost full double action pull (heavy trigger), and in case it falls, nothing strikes the firing pin as the half-cocked hammer actually shields the firing pin. I could not get night sights for a SP01 Shadow (SP01 has it), or I would have installed them on it and carried it loaded in half-cock position. But I have tuned the trigger of my SP01 to as close to a Shadow as possible, including competition hammer, short reset, lighter main spring, extended firing pin, reduced power firing pin spring etc. I wear (very) loose clothing year round, and it is not possible to detect 'generally' even if I decide to carry a CZ75 TS..

b. DW 1911 (5" bbl) at times, always loaded, cocked and locked, just how a 1911 should be carried.

c. If I ever get myself a Glock, I would carry it loaded. No safeties to fiddle with. Draw and fire..

I regularly shoot with both weapons ('a' and 'b' above) at the range to get accustomed to them.

Conclusion:
Try out different weapons first (within your budget) at the range. See which shoots the best for you and suits you the most. Make a list, in descending order. Of these, select which ever fulfills your SD criteria and preferences. The higher it is on the list, the better for you. There will always be a compromise. Do not expect to get recommendation to carry something like a CZ75 TS.

'The best weapon for SD and range is the one which suits you the best'. It is a lot to do with personal preference, and being practical at that.

Disclaimer
To each his own...please practice with what you intend to carry, and take all measures for your safety. My opinions are based on how I see and do things, and are not a recommendation for anyone or anything.

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Sharp Shooter

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A comprehensive explanation by KBW shb and Saif.

Actually, I had the same question (this thread's) and based on the members' advice got myself a separate range/competition gun. i.e. CZ Shadow with adjustable sights. I dont carry it at all not because of size or trigger weight but I believe i would damage its sights (both front and rear esp front fibre optics one). And I dont conceal carry so dont have to worry about the full size of my handgun.

There has to be two separate guns for the different purposes.


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Master at Arms

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Very comprehensively explained by Saif. As I said earlier, there is no definite answer to this question. One can discuss the issue conceptually, but at the end, it is the environment (conditions in which the gun is likely to be used) and personal preference / comfort of the shooter that dictates the selection of a SD gun.

The term "RANGE USE" however needs to be defined with more clarity, as I mentioned earlier. If we are just talking of range practice for the purpose of improving one's shooting skills for SD, then the same gun must be used that one carries for SD. And if by Range Use we mean competition shooting (even informal competition shooting) than one needs a separate gun that allows the shooter to perform better in that particular shooting event. HMR brother may like to clarify this issue.

regards

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Master at Arms

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I had in mind informal range competitions and general improvement in big bore, deliberate shooting skills from 25m when I used the term "Range Use"
Comprehensively explained by KBW Sb and Saif. Thank you for the effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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Nice discussion. Thanks KBW and Saif. My primary purpose for keeping a handgun is SD. So my range gun is my SD weapon or vice versa.

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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Very useful inputs by KBW and SAIF. Will help bring clarity for many members who are in the process of deciding which weapon to buy for SD purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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Very healthy and informative thread for all the members who are puzzled in buying a weapon. This forum is very informative and practical. Seniors are information treasures.

Hats Off...
:handgestures-salute:

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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Very informative from all the members. Concepts of SD and sports shooting cleared. Is any member giving training in SD and sports shooting?
Had a licence which was lying dormant for many years and now want to learn shooting....Help would be appreciated. Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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Brother Ali Nasir,

No training is provided in SD or sports shooting, however, we encourage members to visit registered shooting ranges (for example, PNS Karsaz, ASCCL Range, Airmen Range - in Karachi) and shoot alongside and seek guidance from more experienced shooters at these ranges.

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Bolt actions speak louder than words

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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Very nicely explained Sir KBW and Saif bhai...
I have had the chance to recommend two weapons recently for my relatives, a CZ Duty and a CZ P09 both grease pack. The weapons are very easy to cc and as per your explanation, are good for range as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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@ NG, P07 and P09 are not easy to CC. But CC also goes with clothing, so maybe easy for a Shalwar Kameez guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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I fully agree with the comments of Doc, KBW and Saif. I want to add some personal thoughts on the subject.
First I want to insist on the fact when you compare the issues of being injured or killed with a better score in a competition the choice is clear; SD should suffer no compromises.

As described by Doc SD is a totally different world than target shooting.
In training target shooting you are in a familiar and relaxed environment where you make holes in paper. In a shooting competition, you have to adapt with the local facilities, weather, lighting, noise, and public. Also you have to perform at a given time and with the pressure of producing a good score. Generally during competitions the shooters do not attain their training scores.

In a self defense scenario you end up in a situation where you feel that your life (or our family, relatives) is threatened to the point that the best alternative is to grab a gun and shoot to a person. This is a very intense situation that is close to panic; if you are not totally paralysed you are certainly not in perfect control of yourself and you should assume that everything that could go wrong will go wrong like shaking hands, catching in clothes, shooting by accident, dropping gun etc... with possible dramatic consequences.

Here are some additional requirements other than weight, size and caliber, that I believe should be considered to select a SD handgun.

Holster availability; If you intend to carry a concealed gun the holster selection is as or more important that the gun itself (this could be a thread by itself). Your reaction time is greatly dependant on your ability to grab your gun, in conditions you do not control (standing, sitting...) your clothing etc.

Grab and shoot; as simple as possible, no bullet to chamber, no safety to remove, no magazine to drop, trigger squeeze only.

No accidental firing; double action with long trigger pull to prevent firing in your foot or before pointing the intended target. Accidental discharge when your family or friends are around is a very bad scenario. DAO is almost a must. Observing firing range floors, walls and ceilings illustrates that accidental discharges are quite frequent in training conditions, imagine in an intense stress situation... To me 25M precision shooting and rapid shooting should be part of training but are more relevant to special operations that SD.

Shoot in all situations; the gun should not hang to clothes, should shoot from a pocket, no mechanical interference with environment (as slide movement).

To illustrate these I will refer to guns I shoot on a regular basis; I my area handguns with a barrel shorter than 105 mm (4.1 inches) are prohibited, so no compact guns are commented.

Choice # 1; S&W M&P R8. Safely carried loaded, hammer down (DA), Powerful with 357 mag. ( 8 rounds), affordable to train with 38Spl., long heavy pull to prevent unintended fire, very easy to point and shoot, no possible handling mistakes, will shoot in almost any condition, competitive in slow firing (SA). Sights should be modified to rounded sights (potential clothes catch with target sights.)

Choice # 2; SIG P226. Safely carried with a round in chamber and decoked, rounded night sights. Would prefer DAO with 10 lbs pull to prevent unintended fire on following shots.

Choice # 3; CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow. Safely carried with a round in chamber and manually decoked, should replace target sights with rounded night sights and remove safety. Better to get a CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical which have nights sights and where the safety is replaced with an ambidextrous decocker.(Then it becomes choice #2) Would prefer DAO with 10 lbs pull to prevent unintended fire on following shots.

Choice # 4; Para ordnance 1911 15-45 Limited. Carried with a round in chamber and safety on. Concerns with safety lever operation to allow safe carry and to remove in panic situation, unintended fire with short SA trigger.

In my area shooting from a holster is restricted to very specific competition equipment (Open carry) and requires a special permit. Concealed carry holsters are not allowed in firing ranges. What are the regulations in Pakistan?


This is based on personal observations, I hope my comments could help making your decision based on your personal environment, skills and needs.


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Rifleman

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Assalamo Alaikum.

Nice thread and Nice posts by all.

There are two hand guns that I own and strongly believe are worthy of carrying for Self-Defense (SD) and occasional Range Use as well:

1- CZ 75 SP 01 TACTICAL 9mm DA/SA (New for PKR 130K)
This handsome pistol comes with 3 Dot Tritium combat sights and 4.6 inch barrel and is so accurate that at one point in time I have considered using it in a 25m precision shooting event. The only issue is its creepy trigger meant for combat pistols which makes it even better choice for SD. At 25m, 2” inch groups are no problem for this gun. It comes with two standard high capacity 18 round magazines in a plastic box. Shoot whatever ammo from hell with this gun (POF is an exception). I have fired and carry heavy SD rounds with this gun. For those of you who like gun safety features, you will not be disappointed. This gun is a bit weighty to Conceal, however, if you can bear the weight then you should carry it as you will have a very reliable CZ partner with you.

My Overall Rating for CZ 75 SP 01 Tactical:
Range Use: 6/10
Self Defense: 7.5/10

2- CZ 2075 RAMI 9mm DA/SA (New for PKR 120K)
This is primarily a compact SD pistol with a 3 inch barrel that delivers high accuracy at 10-15 meters. Its size and weight is ideal for concealment. Even your wife won’t mind carrying it for you in her hand bag. It also has good safety features for our overly cautious friends. 3 Dot Tritium combat sights nicely compliment this gun. There are 2 models available i.e. polymer frame and alloy steel frame. You can do range practice on 10 - 15 meters precision shooting and be quite happy with it. Two magazines come along with this plastic box package in 10 and 14 round capacity. Buy more high capacity magazines with this gun for SD use. Shoot whatever ammo you please and it won’t complain. For its size, the recoil is much less compared to other guns in its class. The trigger is also great, made for defense use.

My Overall Rating for CZ 2075 RAMI:
Range Use: 5/10
Self Defense: 8/10


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Shooter

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@ arsalan

Adequate polishing of friction surfaces of the CZ 75 SP-01 trigger mechanism can make the DA action very smooth without changing the pull force.
This make these guns even more pleasant to shoot. Make sure to reserve this work to competent people.


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Master at Arms

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Really comprehensive post by Targetfan2. Really useful info to make a decision. Thanks for the effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Master at Arms

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Comprehensive input from Targetfan2 and Arslan.

Personally, I would not like to fiddle with the trigger of my SD gun. During two occasions when I shot in self defence, I would have pressed the trigger even if it was a creepy 10 lb trigger. I did not even think about the trigger, just pressed it. So one should not bother about the trigger much. It is of negligible importance. There are many other important aspects to care for which have been amply higlighted by Targetfan2.

If I have to prioritize, shooter's ability to remain calm and composed during the actual situation is the hall mark of self defence shooting. A well composed confident shooter with a locally made Tokarev is likely to perform better than a shocked / flabbergasted shooter carrying the best SD handgun in the world. Unfortunately, we do acknowledge that shooter's training and ability to remain calm / composed is essential, however, do not discuss it much and do not go into its intricacies. On the other hand, we discuss SD guns at length and minutest details which is good but must not be done at the cost of discussion on SD training. Just my two cents.

Best regards

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Master at Arms

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Valid point. SD budget should be spent proportionally between acquisition of an appropriate gun and training cost on monthly range visits.


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Shooter

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The intent of getting a SD gun is to reduce the overall risks for you, your family and relatives. So you should manage to reduce as much as possible the risks inherent to the presence and handling of a loaded gun in your home. Then here are some other points that I believe should be considered.

In home storage; kept loaded, unloaded or locked; evaluate carefully the compromises you are ready to make between rapid access for you and unauthorized people, kids, kid’s friends, visitors… and the threats you want to counter.

Reliability is of prime importance, so select a gun that you can assess the good operation yourself. Revolver are the most reliable and the easiest to clean and check operation. Most SD pistols are very reliable but they requires more skills to clean and check operation. The knolege of you gun operation is important, get training, request help and advices… check regularly.

Day to day manipulation; Depending on your situation you will probably load and unload your gun once a day. Devote a specific place, to load and unload, where you point a safety target in case of accidental discharge (Few phone books on the floor in the room corner). Establish a routine and stick to it. Accidental discharges, while unloading service guns are surprising frequent in security officers corps.


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Master at Arms

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Targetfan2 wrote:
The intent of getting a SD gun is to reduce the overall risks for you, your family and relatives. So you should manage to reduce as much as possible the risks inherent to the presence and handling of a loaded gun in your home. Then here are some other points that I believe should be considered.

In home storage; kept loaded, unloaded or locked; evaluate carefully the compromises you are ready to make between rapid access for you and unauthorized people, kids, kid’s friends, visitors… and the threats you want to counter.

Reliability is of prime importance, so select a gun that you can assess the good operation yourself. Revolver are the most reliable and the easiest to clean and check operation. Most SD pistols are very reliable but they requires more skills to clean and check operation. The knolege of you gun operation is important, get training, request help and advices… check regularly.

Day to day manipulation; Depending on your situation you will probably load and unload your gun once a day. Devote a specific place, to load and unload, where you point a safety target in case of accidental discharge (Few phone books on the floor in the room corner). Establish a routine and stick to it. Accidental discharges, while unloading service guns are surprising frequent in security officers corps.
A must read for all. Thanks for the effort Targetfan2.

hmmm..... officers corps.. interesting. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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You may consider EZ9 zaatava also IMHO


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

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The question is how serious you're about the range use. If it's serious range shooting, I'll have to agree with KBW Sir, that you just can't have a half of each.

And no, you wouldn't feel much at ease with a SP-01 Shadow for cc, just because it's a good range gun. Forget it.

If your range use is occasional only and of trivial nature, there's only one gun in my opinion, which could fulfill your dual requirement of range cum SD, and that's a Glock 17 with a slightly lightened trigger.


Regards. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Shooter

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it depends on what type of shooting one has to do at the range.. if one has to train for defensive shooting then Glock 26, 19 or 17 are the best for carry and defensive practice at range.. no other pistol can be compared to a glock in terms of practacility and reliablity..


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 Post subject: Re: Best handgun for both: SD and Range use???

Shooter

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but if one has to train for precision shooting at range then a single action match grade pistol have to be used.. like CZ TS, CZ Shadow or a long barrel revolver.. one may have to switch to other pistol for defence because precision shooting pistols or revolvers are hard to carry..


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