I discuss firearms a bit under my Thoughts On Group Standard post, but want to explore why we specifically choose the Glock 22 in .40 Smith & Wesson as our sidearm of choice. To get it out of the way: Glocks are absolutely hideous to look at, and have as much design appeal as a sun-baked turd. If you want a pretty gun, buy a 1911.
To start, I want to say that there are ton’s of great handguns out there – Sig, HK, Colt, Beretta, S&W, Springfield Armory, and others all have great options. But we went with Glock for a multitude of reasons as follows:
Not all firearms are created equal – some designs are intrinsically more reliable than others. Being a secondary weapon, the backup to our main fighting arm, we wanted our sidearm to be utterly reliable as one of the main considerations. Both through personal experience, as well as many published reports on other’s experience led us to the Glock pattern of weapons as a viable option.
Not everyone in the world is a shooter. Not everyone has the time or inclination to spend the amount of effort needed to become highly proficient in a weapon system (I am speaking of a situation where you are thrust into the role of personal protection due to need – not those who have taken the responsibility of protection upon themselves, those individuals better know everything about their weapon) if it’s design is less than optimal. Being a Group Standard, the weapon must speak to all levels of operator, but still meet the other considerations. The Glock platform is simple; simple to field strip, and simple to use. It has the minimal amount of buttons,levers, and switches – yet still does everything you need.
I believe that the 9mm vs. .45 ACP debate will go well past the time we develop lasers, phasers, and plasma rifles (in the 40 watt range). My official position on this debate is 9mm’s are great. So are 45’s. So are .40’s. It comes down to what you like, and meets your needs – the developments in personal protection ammo in the last few decades are amazing, 9mm is not the “mouse gun” it was in the past. One of the greatest things I ever heard was “It’s better to hit with a .22 than miss with a .44” and I believe this is true.
All that being said, we had to come to an agreement to facilitate supply and common parts usage. Some of us live in California, and are limited to a 10-round capacity for magazines – so there was the thought “If we are only going to get 10 rounds, let’s make them the biggest possible”, which led us down the .45 road. But There are of course other considerations, such as what do most members currently have that meet the other criteria (therefore making the burden of buying new guns as impact-less as possible), what caliber is still considered effective, yet can be used by a broad-base of users, and If “standard capacity” magazines can be purchased in other states, what will provide the best benefit all around? This ultimately got us to the .40 S&W. I don’t believe this is a compromise that just fails to meet any requirement, I think it is a suitable round that is perfect for our purposes.
Yep, the world revolves around money (or an invisible axis if you believe all those teachers.) Cost is a consideration, what is the best VALUE (defined here as the best performance in relation to the lowest cost) for your money? We, obviously, once again selected Glock. If you are a person of lesser means, you can still get a police trade-in for under $300 bucks, more if you want upgrades or a newer-gen model. Glocks can run for a good long time, these trade-in’s normally have a lot of life still in them.
Brand new pistols are still on the lower end when compared to a decent 1911, (which is a beautiful work of art and a true gunfighters weapon) Sig, HK, or many other options. You can get vastly inferior pistol (in my opinion – go make your own) for the same cost, such as a S&W Sigma (which has the most god-awful trigger pull ever invented… and looks like a Glock.)
In deciding what should be relied on in a long-term situation, the prospect of repair and resupply comes up. You are pretty likely to find spare parts, magazines, and other accruements for Glocks (probably for the other reasons outlined above.)
That just about covers the thought process on why we chose the Glock 22 in .40 S&W. There are some other minor considerations (such as being able to use magazines from larger frame models in the the smaller varieties and the ability to switch calibers in others) that helped us in our choice, but I feel the above is a good representation.
What sidearm are ya’ll going with, and why did you choose it?