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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ya'll. My real name is John, I'm an active duty marine in the glorious People's Republic of California (hail the glorious leaders)... so yeah, all of that nonsense. I'm no stranger to guns in the slightest, and having turned 21 recently I now feel my civic duty to carry.

I know cali makes all kinds of flaming hoops to jump through to get a carry permit, but I intend to try my best. I think first I should have a weapon suitable for my application. Carry/home defense. I've shot a few full size and smaller pistols in 9 and 45. My preference to control, power, capacity, and price range is about a 4" barrel 1911, full size frame, .45, and $1200 range. I feel those specs (generally, I'm not opposed to a 3 3/4 or 4 1/4 barrel), are a good all around base to start. Giving me something that's capable of being concealed, yet still large enough to control and have in the night stand. The hard part is they must be CA legal... which narrows me to a few choices that fit the bill.

Sig p220

Kimber pro/compact cdp ii

Para ord. Elite commander stainless.

There are many others that are suited to my needs, but aren't ca legal. All 3 of these brands have a good reputation, but as always, the experience of others can save one a lot of trouble.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome to the party, forsaken 2141!

I agree with you about the bill of rights describing duties as well as rights. Rights tend to be use-it-or-lose-it things. Of course, that also creates a duty to understand the right, and the most responsible way of exercising it so that you don't end up as a poster boy for people who are all too willing to strip rights from society.

I don't live in California, much to my relief, but if I remember correctly the laws there are pretty revolver friendly. Have you considered a nice double action wheelgun, maybe set up for moon clips? There are some highly potent revolver cartridges out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't say that I have actually looked into any wheel guns. My only experience with them is a (can't remember make/model) 38/357, 5" barrel. I want to say it was a S&W, but no clue honestly. Running it DA felt like a crime, but going SA, it had an amazing trigger, pretty good basic sights (good radius and not hard to see in broad daylight), ridiculous overmould/ergo grip, I only shot some 38 SWC's (probably a light powder charge) and with the 5" barrel, awesome grip, good trigger, and decent sights, it was very easy to do 1" groups at 10 yards, especially as a VERY inexperience pistol shooter. I'm really a rifle guy. I'm a firm believer in rifle cartridges that start with 7.62 and end in X51 :p, but they aren't exactly applicable to all situations.

Things that turn me off of revolvers: capacity, DA/SA (manual cocking or poor trigger), reload time, thickness, carrying a reload or two seems bulky compared to a more-less flat magazine, even a double stack 9mm mag should be easier to conceal than a moon clip.

Not to say that I couldn't find one to suit my needs, I just don't feel it as practical. By today's standards, a 1911 platform has a laughishly low capacity, yet still more than a revolver (even in something like 22wmr, no?, which I wouldn't waste my time carrying past a backup). Sure a 357, 44 special, even a modern 45acp revolver, will do the job just fine when lead connects to target in the correct fashion, but for the above reasons I don't feel it adequate in overall performance in my hands.

I like the idea of being able to draw, cocking the hammer back in the motion (going off a 1911), thumbing off the safety (even a RH only safety, I shoot government M16/M4 lefty, and have no issues, even so far as to being able to operate/reload/clear jams, faster than most right handed shooters), squeezing off rounds as necessary, dropping a magazine (if I have to reload that bad, I'm not retaining an empty!), throwing in a new one in a smooth motion, hitting that slide catch, and being back in action.

Also, for comparison, a M9 doesn't really fit my hands oddly enough. I don't like the thickness of the grip, although in actual function I haven't shot one that was maintained well so I can't comment on that. I held a PX4 and that felt OK, a P226 felt pretty good (also had an airsoft one, not that it means much, but it was an excellent clone in dimensions and controls, easy to learn). I had put a few rounds through a Ruger autoloader in 9mm, and it again wasn't in great shape by any means. It felt better to me than the M9, but still wasn't quite there. A M&P Shield? (The smallest one they make) felt horrible, cheap, toyish, and even 9mm was very snappy and hard to control. The 1911/.45acp has the best feel for me. I've found 9mm to be very hard to keep on target. Maybe I'm just weird. I'm told .40/10mm is the same "recoil" as a 9mm, but more "snap". I think it's the velocity that makes it "jump" instead of "push".

Hopefully someone has a lot of experience specifically with Kimbers/paras/p220's. Like a real fan-boy that's not afraid to admit shortfalls. Or if someone can let me know of any real "known issues" with any of the models.

Thank ya'll again.
 

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You should probably consider wheel guns, even if only to ultimately reject the idea.

My daily carry (have it with me as I type this) is a Ruger GP100. The gun shoots better than I do, and even in DA the trigger is smooth enough for good shooting. I haven't had it tuned or modified at all except for replacing the stock (the original was showing a bit of wear after some years of regular use).

On the topic of rifles, I'd also like to put in a vote for rifles which start with .45 and end in -70, but that's just me.

Here are some answers for things which turn you off revolvers:
- Capacity isn't that much lower than the state of California wants you to have in a pistol anyway, and there are quite a few seven shot revolvers out there as well.
- Reload time is a matter of practice. Take it shooting often, invest in moon clips or speedloaders, and learn the technique. Also, the top measured stopping round in a handgun, as of the last data I saw, was a revolver round so efficiency is an argument too.
- DA/SA is up to you. Single action with a longer barrel works nicely if you have to shoot a dog after your livestock across a field, while double action is fine at interpersonal conflict resolution ranges. Also bear in mind that a modern double action revolver has fewer controls to mess with. Pull the trigger, and it goes bang. If a dud round doesn't go bang, pull the trigger again and it goes bang. No accidentally tapping the safety with your thumb or anything like that.
- Reloads for revolvers should pack differently from magazines. Will they lie flat taped to your ankle? No. But I carry a couple of speedloaders daily as well and I usually don't even notice they're there. Under a flannel shirt they're basically invisible.

Go to a shooting competition. Bowling pins, cowboy action, whatever. You'll see some wheelgun shooters who are better than I am doing things which will amaze you. And I'll bet you a box of ammo that I will keep you very busy even with your best loved 1911 keeping up with me shooting bowling pins.

If you're dead set on a self-loader, give some thought to the CZ family. There are some very nice tools in that line.

As a competitive shooter I've seen a cheap 1911 outshoot a fancy Kimber - it's in the shooter's hands.

In fact, I have, myself, outshot a guy with a Kimber, using a Hi-point .45. No joke, no lie. Granted, I was on top of my game that day, but all the dollars he spent extra on his shooting iron didn't help.

Buy cheap, build skills. Wheelgun or autoloader makes no meaningful difference on that scale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I get what you're saying. All valid points. I was going to do a breakdown and comment, but I agree too much. I'll check some out next time I can go to a shop. I still don't feel like they're for me. Edit: agree the most on your last statement. I'm planning to spend a bit more because I want to skip the low-end/starter levels. I did that before with other things and in the end it's a waste. So I'll just buy something good from the getgo and learn it well. My favorite quote about guns is "fear not the man with many guns, fear the man with but one; he knows how to use it" -unknown (to me). Anyone can out-do someone with a superior piece of gear if the guy using better gear isn't trained with it. An Olympic sprinter can beat me wearing steel toe any day, but I'm still going to wear running shoes. They were designed for a reason.

Maybe my better half will end up preferring them. We'll be working on getting her a nightstand gun after I get mine. She can't quite carry, yet.
 

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I'll still put in a good word for the Hi-point.

Here's the reason: brand new, in box, it cost me under $300 with all taxes and fees included. On top of that, if I ever decide I don't like it, I get to sell it for just about as much.

Sounds crazy, a cheap gun with such good resale value.

It's because their warranty is so great, and Hi-point stand behind their guns.

Also, the gun shoots better than I do, so while it doesn't look as cool as others, the only time it failed on me was my fault (I hadn't properly seated the magazine).

As an aside, I really like that they include a ghost ring in the box. Every sidearm should have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd take it into consideration if the hipoints were ca legal.

The one ria I had finger fucked at the lgs felt really nice. It was a full size GI model. The slide was very tight and smooth. Fit and finish far better than expected for the price point, grips lacking as expected for a GI. Dry fires felt great, no complaints about the trigger. Only a few of the ria's are legal as well, none fitting the criteria. That's how I had already narrowed down to the 2 kimber, p220, and the para.

Maybe once out of the PRC I can just buy whatever, but for now it's a pain. Although it's possible I can mess around with a full size for cheap later on.
 

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I believe that the Hi-point .45 is CA legal, because the magazine carries 9 shots and it is in other ways a very simple, standard pistol.

It feels a bit weird at first because it is a blowback action which will consume a pretty steady diet of +P ammunition, which means that the slide is quite heavy.

It doesn't look concealable, but as a matter of fact I've found it rides well in a shoulder rig, where it's almost invisible. The Hi-point is my concealed carry weapon for when I have to talk to customers with delicate suburban sensibilities. On the farm I carry the GP-100, and anyone who gets freaked out by it may feel free to get the hell off my land.

Again, sixguns aren't for everyone, and the Hi-point is the butt of many jokes, but if you can look past prejudice they are both fine options for the discerning shooter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There's actually a moderately clear cut roster. Guns have to be submitted to the ca doj with a very hefty check and hope they get approved. Ridiculous, yes, but it does make compliance easy having a searchable roster. Granted model numbers aren't on there and descriptions are often lacking.
 
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