Author Topic: Thoughts About Self-Defense Pistols  (Read 784 times)

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M1911A1

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Thoughts About Self-Defense Pistols
« on: August 18, 2016, 01:39:18 PM »
Here's an essay which may be helpful when it comes to buying a self-defense pistol, or in critiquing the one you already own.

Click on: http://guntoters.com/blog/2016/08/18/thoughts-about-self-defense-pistols/

I realize that my criteria may not also be yours, so I actively request that you post your own arguments, pro and con, either here or attached to my own essay.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."

Squerly

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Re: Thoughts About Self-Defense Pistols
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2016, 04:04:42 PM »
I'm a DAO kind of guy.  I like knowing how the trigger is going to feel every single time.   Nice article Steve.
Squerly~

Taurian

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Re: Thoughts About Self-Defense Pistols
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 06:36:31 AM »
A very well thought out and informative article. The three areas of concern; trigger, grip, and sights addressed common considerations when choosing a pistol that would be used for defensive purposes. I was actually relieved to not to read about caliber, although it does play a part in the play.

Of the three concerns, which would be considered the most important; trigger, grip, or sights? For me, I can have the best of sets and triggers, but if the grip is lacking nothing else matters.

When we speak of the grip of the pistol (or revolver), the normal assumption is the width of the grip is under discussion. While I agree that the width of the grip is important, I consider the front to rear length of the grip area, and its relationship to the trigger, to be as important. 

Most handgun manufacturers tend to design handgun gripping areas for “the most of us” and which is actually harmful to a “few of us” in regards to the bio-mechanics of the hand itself.  In short, we usually shoot handguns that do not adapt to our hand, but we either have to live with the grip of the gun – or decide not to adapt at all and look for a handgun that better fits our hand. Granted that some, but not all, manufacturers provide for some degree of change in order to accommodate different hand sizes; for example, providing interchangeable back-straps that the user can quickly swap from one to another until they decide “that’s close enough” and call it a day.  Most handgun grips are akin to pulling a bowling ball off the rack at a bowling alley and hope that you can find one that you can somewhat throw down an alley.  Having a bowling ball properly drilled for your span and finger depth makes a big difference in how you handle that ball.  Doing so also prevents some harmful affects on the muscles, tendons and joints of the hand, of the wrist, and also of the forearm that can possibly lead to long term disabilities.

When we are operating a handgun, we are asking a lot of the hand and of its members – especially the trigger finger.  The trigger (forefinger) finger is tasked to do something it not designed to do – pull straight back. The forefinger, when making a fist, curves in an arc inward toward the hand. An important component of the pistol grip is the distance from the back-strap, where the web of the hand meets the frame of the pistol, to the face of the trigger.  More importantly, is the LOP (Length Of Pull) of the trigger itself.  In most DA/SA and DOA triggers, the LOP can be substantial and place a strain on the trigger finger. With most SA triggers, the LOP is relatively short and the trigger pull weight relatively light. Depending on the hand size, grip size, finger length, etc., we usually end up using the pad of the trigger finger, or at most, the first joint of the finger to pull the trigger.  My preference is to use the first joint of the trigger finger, because it is the best point to mitigate the curved path of the trigger finger to the hand; it is easier to pull straight back on the trigger.  However, not all triggers are the same.  With few exceptions, not only do the triggers need to be pulled to the rear, but they also pivot slightly upward when pulled.  To me, the less distance a trigger must travel before the pistol fires is ideal; trigger pull weight not withstanding. For the most part; however, I can usually learn to work past a bad trigger. And, what I have learned is that a trigger, when pulled at the store when shopping for a good defensive pistol, may not be the same the same trigger that you pull at the range – if that makes sense.

Sights, as with grip and trigger, I can usually work with – unless I can’t.  My preferred sight is a simple “notch-n-post” type. While I find a white-outlined rear sight notch handy at times, it is not necessary.  A variation of the “notch-n-post” type of sight is the “dot-the-eye” sight (a not commonly found sight arrangement) and I find it the fastest for my eyes to acquire.  While night sights may have their place, and I do have night sights on several pistols, I find their use limited.  Regardless of the advantages optics may provide, I still feel it best to work with iron sights for most occasions.  With that said, I do find that a painted front sight post can be beneficial, and I usually wind up with a fluorescent red front sight (dot or post).  Light pipes are nice, but they rely on, well, light for their brilliance. In dim lighting, as in my favorite indoor range, they are all but useless, but do get my barrel headed in the right direction.

So there you have the “light” version of my comments.

Good job on the article!
What most 21st Century Americans simply do not grasp is that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were not written to to give rights to the citizens of our then-new nation, but was instead written to tightly constrain the federal government.

M1911A1

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Re: Thoughts About Self-Defense Pistols
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 10:42:39 AM »
Nice analysis...
I wish I'd written that!  ;)
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."