Most people who’ve read my posts know I’m a .45ACP fan for a Survivalist’s defensive pistols. My reasoning is simple. The .45ACP cartridge is the best auto pistol round made if you are forced to use the least effective bullet design, which is the the round nose lead or jacketed bullet. Without expansion, it is already almost half an inch in diameter. Below are my choices in that caliber, as well as some choices I’ve made in 9mm.
The Glock 30 pictured is a pistol I’ve owned for 20 years. It is one of the best mid sized pistols made. It is big enough to use as your “Full size” pistol, and small enough to readily conceal. The recoil spring system used in the G30 makes felt recoil similar to that of it’s full sized “sibling” the G21. It is accurate, reliable, takes full sized G21 mags and after thousands of rounds, has never had a malfunction or part break. I either carry this pistol in a Safariland ALS paddle holster or an Aker “Flat Sider” shoulder holster.
Another addition I’ve found advantageous in the “training” and “survival” categories is the Advantage Arms .22 kit. It is a “winner” for all the obvious reasons. Practicing with the same trigger, pistol frame and sight, as well as having a lightweight, small game cartridge adapter for your full size, centerfire firearm in you pack just makes sense.
The Springfield Armory XDs45
I’ve owned an XDs45 for a while now, and I can’t say enough about how much I love that pistol. It is pretty much as compact as you can get in a .45ACP. It is reliable with everything I’ve fed through it from cheap, steel cased Wolf ammo to high end Federal “Hydra Shok-Deep” ammo. Finally, it is accurate. The XDs45 is more accurate than one might expect from a subcompact .45 Auto. Here are some of my other thoughts on this pistol, to include the new “Version 2” Model. The XDs45 is my regular “Off Duty” pistol, and the holster I use to carry this pistol is the Galco Classic Lite Shoulder rig.
The Glock 21
I’ve used Glock pistols, starting with a G17, for 30 years, and the Glock 21 specifically, for 20. Reliable, durable and accurate are synonymous with the name “Glock”. I’ve already stated why I’m a fan of the .45ACP cartridge, so ’nuff said. As to the specifics of why I like the G21, well, here goes. It starts out with 13 or 15 rounds mags, depending whether you get “+2″ floor plates or not. With moderate to good ammo, it will group around 3” at 25 yards as long as I do my part from a rest.
The G21 is a large pistol, but by no means is it too large for the average hand. Having put thousands of rounds through my G21 and experienced no failures in performance or parts durability, I can safely say, this is a “Pistol for the TEOTWAWKISTAN” if ever there was one. Like the G30, I also have an Advantage Arms .22 Kit for my G21 and it is for all the reasons I’ve already extolled in the section on the G30. The holsters I use with this pistol are the Safariland ALS, an El Paso Saddlery 1942 Tanker holster, a Blackhawk Serpa, a Bianchi UM-84 flap holster and a Tactical Tailor drop leg holster.
The Beretta M9/M92FS
Having qualified with worn out M9’s a couple dozen times, I can tell you this pistol design will last a long time. It is the only pistol I’ve ever carried in combat, and I never felt that if needed, it would fail to do the job required. I have also been an M9 Armorer, and can tell you that very few times was an M9 on my workbench for repair.
I bought an actual M9 when I came home from the last deployment 11 years ago, and it is one of the most accurate 9mm’s I’ve ever shot. Considering the accuracy of the worn out, mil issue M9’s I had been shooting for decades, this was a pleasant surprise. Like the AR, parts and mags will always be available for the M9/92FS. Owning a mil issue type weapon has it’s advantages.
With a standard mag capacity of 15 or 17 rounds, depending on what brand you get, and extended mags of 20 rounds readily available, the user will not be without a decent round count when you need to send them down range in a hurry. A final thought concerning the Double Action first shot, transitioning to single action follow up shots. Yes, a Glock “Safe Action” with it’s consistent trigger squeeze is great, but with enough practice and training, you can overcome the initial problems you might have with the M9/92FS trigger squeeze.
Holsters I’ve used with this pistol are the above mentioned El Paso 1942 Tanker holster, the Bianchi UM-84 flap holster, the Blackhawk Serpa, a Safariland SLS and a Tactical Tailor drop leg holster. Accept for the Safariland and Blackhawk holsters, my M9 will fit in the same holsters as my G21.
I have owned my PF-9 for approximately 13 years. In that time, I have carried and shot it…A LOT! For a $200 “cheap” plastic pistol, it has performed better than I ever would have believed it could. It has around 900 rounds through it, and still shoots very well. At a little over 12 1/2ozs. empty, it carries like a “Nothing at All”, and it’s not hard to forget you’re carrying it. I have never had a malfunction with it, whether it was being fed cheap steel cased Wolf or high end Federal defensive ammo.
Although the finish is worn thin from holster wear on many areas of the slide, it still does what it’s supposed to do to protect the gun. Finally, I have never had to call Kel-Tec customer service, but I hear they are on the ball and will square you away ASAP with what you need. I use either the DeSantis Pro Stealth IWB holster, or the Galco Classic Lite shoulder rig.
Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm
I qualified with a .40 caliber M&P for approximately 8 years. Since retirement, I have qualified with my issued M&P 9mm about a half dozen times. The .40cal. was OK, but I love the 9mm M&P. It is extremely accurate, from my experiences with the .40cal., it is a durable system(.40cal. is very hard on polymer guns), and it is reliable.
I would and do trust my life to this gun when I strap it on every day. I have been told by a guy who also carries the M&P 9mm for work, that the new M&P 2.0 model blows the one we carry, on the job, away. That is saying something. Standard mag capacity is 17 rounds, and it has interchangeable backstraps for different sized hands. Accurate, reliable and durable, this is all that needs to be said about a defensive pistol. The holster I have regularly used with the M&P is the Safariland SLS Level 2.
In part 3 of “Firearms For Freedom and Forage” we will be discussing long guns for hunting.
"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.