Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Handguns: Don't fall for the hype
I'm more than a little amused by all the hype over Glock's much-rumored announcement to be made on March 20th. It's widely speculated that the company will launch a single-stack 9mm. pistol, to be known as the Glock 43.
Now, don't get me wrong. I like Glocks. I have more Glock pistols in my gun safe than any other make or model of handgun. I'll almost certainly buy at least one Glock 43 in due course. However, I just can't get excited over yet another 9mm. pistol, no matter whether or not it has the Austrian seal of 'perfection' on it. There are lots and lots of good handguns out there for you to choose from. Many of them offer features as good as or better than the new G43 is rumored to do, at a much lower price.
If I were buying a value-for-money personal protection handgun right now, and wanted it chambered in 9mm. Parabellum, my choice would be pretty simple. I'd buy a Ruger SR9c.
It's a little larger than the G43 is rumored to be, but it's also a couple of hundred dollars cheaper (CDNN Sports was advertising them just last month for $359.99 and $369.99, depending on finish, and still has the full-size SR9 at that price). Some don't like the SR series pistols, but I do (and Tamara recently reviewed the SR9's cheaper clone, the 9E, and found it to her liking). I've had one SR9 and four SR9c's pass through my hands so far. They've been uniformly well made, reliable and dependable, shooting every kind of ammo I put through them without a bobble. What's more, the SR9c comes with ten rounds on tap in the compact magazine, and a full 17 rounds when a full-size SR9 magazine is used, fitted with a sleeve to match its shape to the grip, as in the illustration below.
With the smaller magazine it's very concealable, and with the larger one it's got the same capacity as its full-size brother, the SR9. You can get two-packs of 17-round SR9 magazines for pretty decent prices if you shop around (currently under $20 per magazine), and the magazine adapter sleeves are about $10. Used SR9c's can be had in my area for $350-$375 if you shop around and buy privately, and there are those screaming deals at CDNN for new guns (although you'll have to pay shipping and transfer fees on top of their prices, and wait for them to get more in stock). I find the SR9c probably the easiest-to-shoot compact 9mm. pistol on the market today, so I certainly won't worry about getting onto a months-long waiting list to buy a G43.
Don't believe the hype when it comes to the latest models of pistols (or anything else). A good, serviceable base model from almost any reputable, reliable manufacturer will serve you well. You don't need bells and whistles, or to spend twice as much. If you want to, go ahead; but I'd rather spend that money on ammunition, training and accessories like extra magazines, night sights, holsters, or a laser sight (something I regard as almost essential on a defensive pistol these days, given my physical restrictions and limitations).
I'm giving the SR9c (and its larger-caliber brother, the SR40c) to disabled shooters as fast as I can find them. If you want quality and reliability on a budget, I recommend them for your consideration as well. (No, I'm not getting compensated in any way for recommending them. I just appreciate good weapons and good deals when I find them, and spread the word.)