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Tire Kicking: Ambidextrous 45ACP Pistols for Gunfighter-Like Use


bgavin
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Q:  Which 45ACP are ideally suited for two-handed (left + right) use, such as self-defense.

Or, are there certain pistols NOT suitable for ambidextrous use?
I can shoot OK with either hand, but gunfighter cocking of SA revolvers is a challenge, and very slow for me.

Thoughts?

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This comment of mine probably doesn't answer your question about .45 ACP's,

BUT..... in relation to GF style of 'cocking revolvers',  please remember that it is not

required to alternate each shot from each pistol.   If it helps you to speed up your

GF style shooting, you can fire 2, 3 or even 5 shots from one pistol and then sneak in

a shot(s) from your 'slow' pistol to help you in your 'speed' attempts.

 

Not every GF is a speedster in their pistol shooting.   But many have adopted a

technique that helps them reduce their shooting string times.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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As always, your sage advice is appreciated.
I'm tire kicking for a rapid fire, two hand self defense scenario.
I figure a pair of pistols will cycle faster than a pair of revolvers.

Edited by bgavin
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In .45ACP, I carry a Springfield Champion Operator commander size 1911. Not crazy about the "Operator" name, but it is a good gun. Pic of my load out is below.

 

It does have an ambi safety, and Trijicon sights along with the lightweight alloy frame. The sights are very visible in low light.

 

I outfitted mine with thinner VZ grips (about the only maker of thin grips for ambi safety) It rides OWB at 3 0'clock in a Blackhawk level 2 retention holster, had to cut an inch off the end as Blackhawk only makes the rail version holster for government models. The 2 mag holders  are from Concealment Express (locktite the screws!). The spare mags are Wilson Combat +1s with butt plates.

 

The holster does not have my full approval yet, the clips to fit a 1-1/2" belt keep falling off and it does not tuck as tight to me as I would like. It is the best I have found so far. The other quibble would be with the ambi safety... I am a klutz and keep knocking the safety off when passing through door frames and such. Would like the holster to shield that safety.

 

The belt is a steel-core Bullhide, the buckle has no special purpose except looks.

 

I also carry a Sheffield knife, mostly for opening boxes.

 

As to shooting the pistol, it is just fine in either hand and points naturally in my hands with the grip change. I did have to practice mag changes when left-handed (and might convert the mag release to ambi at some point). Shooting +P off-hand unsupported is a bit painful, I carry Hornady Critical Duty standard pressure in this gun and never had a feed issue.

 

For maintenance, it needs a good wipe down for lint and fresh oil every couple weeks. Like most 1911s, it likes to run a bit wet.

 

IMG_1732.jpeg.a25fcb6e3ac9e7d6aa5828bd8f59dcd6.jpeg

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My preference is for a 1911.  Ambi Safety.  Most none have an Ambi Slide Release nor an Ambi mag release.  Reloads can be problematic.  Of course, if you hit what is threatening, the reload is a moot point.  Before it was banned "everywhere" I shot Wild Bunch gunfighter.  Gobs of fun.  Not really fast, but FUN.  For some unknown reason, EVERYBODY was scaredy cat of cocked and locked from the holsters. 

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I'm trying to self-educate.
I see "1911" and "not-a-1911" both in 45 ACP.
This tells me there is a definite difference in the action construction.

I also see some are SA, others are SA/DA.
Being ignorant of pistols, I thought you racked the slide, then it went bang after each trigger pull.
I'm puzzled how a pistol is SA/DA.
 

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SA auto pistols require that the hammer be cocked in order to pull the trigger.  DA autos will fire the gun from a hammer down position for the first shot, and then kick into SA mode.  

Just like revolvers, a DA trigger pull is much longer than a SA trigger pull.

 

Then of course there are the striker fired autos...

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1 hour ago, bgavin said:

I'm trying to self-educate.

That makes your question a little ahead of the curve.

 

If you were out here, I would take you to Bud's Gun Shop and Range (at your expense) to rent and try a bunch of different guns and calibers and dial in what you liked.

 

Can you do that on the left coast? And you will have probably to restrict yourself to the approved roster.

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4 hours ago, bgavin said:

Q:  Which 45ACP are ideally suited for two-handed (left + right) use, such as self-defense.

 

If you are talking about two guns at the same time for self defense, then none. 

 

No offense, I don't think anyone here, including myself, can OR should use two guns at the same for self defense.

 

I would expect the numbers of hits to go down significantly, the misses to go up (and you are legally liable for those misses) and it to be used against you at your trial if you do shoot someone.

 

 

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I just got back from my neighbor's place... got a good lesson on various pistols.
He has a Kimber, a few Sigs, etc.
I understand the SA/DA thing now.

Bud's Guns was the vendor for several of my cowboy revolvers.
Here in CA we are quite restricted... the Ruger 1911 is attractive to me, but banned in CA.
I took a liking to the Kimber.. because I'm a total sucker for all-stainless construction.

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1 hour ago, bgavin said:

I'm puzzled how a pistol is SA/DA.

The term actually used is DA/SA. This is a quite stupid term, but not as stupid as SA/DA.

 

The correct term is simply DA. A Beretta 92 is a DA automatic.

 

 

Now to answer the original poster's question, I would say a Smith & Wesson 625. No safety to disengage. Works fine in either hand. And as to speed of firing - watch some Jerry Miculek videos, and you will see that revolvers can be shot awful damn quick.

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1 minute ago, Chantry said:

If you are talking about two guns at the same time for self defense, then none. 

 

No offense, I don't think anyone here, including myself, can OR should use two guns at the same for self defense.

 

I would expect the numbers of hits to go down significantly, the misses to go up (and you are legally liable for those misses) and it to be used against you at your trial if you do shoot someone.

 

 

If I have to defend myself against ANTIFA/BLM here in CA, I will be going to prison, no matter what.
My weapon of choice is actually a 12-gauge loaded with #1 buck.
I'm just kicking tires on 45 ACP, trying to edumacate myself.

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1 minute ago, Alpo said:

The term actually used is DA/SA. This is a quite stupid term, but not as stupid as SA/DA.

 

 

Thanks... I would have preferred being educated rather than being called stupid.

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I did not say you were stupid. I said the term was stupid. And I stand by that statement. You have single action revolvers and single action automatics. You have double action automatics and double action revolvers. And you have double action only automatic and double action only revolvers.

 

But you do not have double action/single action anything. They're one or the other.

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ALPO,

you might make a good point on the DA/SA name, BUT..... you're gonna have to convince

Revolver and Pistol manufacturers to start correcting their advertisement specs.

 

They all list stuff like DA pull poundage and then SA pull poundage.

 

According to the manufacturer:

My SIG P229 is DA/SA.

My Springfield Ronin 1911 is SA.

 

..........Widder

 

 

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You don't Y'ALL DAMMIT otto, Y'ALL need to make up your minds about believing the manufacturers. Ruger says they chamber guns in 45 Long Colt, but people keep insisting 45 Long Colt is DOES not exist. Both Marlin and Remington sell spare clips for the THEIR rifles, but people keep insisting but THAT those are not clips they are magazines.

 

DA/SA WAS dreamed up by some moron on the internet, and other people jumped on it. It sounds really cool and tactical. Before the internet - for the 40 or 50 years that they were around - double action automatics for WERE simply called double action automatics. Walther PP and PPK, P38, Smith & Wesson model 39. Double action automatics. But now, because of the internet, they are double action / single action automatics.

 

Malarkey.

Edited by Alpo
otto really screwed this one up
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It's historical.

 

After muzzle loaders, there were SAs. But they were not called SAs, because DAs did not exist.

 

Then came DAs, and you could cock the hammer before pulling the trigger firing  it SA. And since the SA already existed, folks understood it. So now there are SAs and DAs. Still revolvers.

 

At some point, the Semi automatic was introduced. The revolver terminology transferred. And for both revolvers and semis, at some point the DAO (double action only) came out.

 

So an SA... is always single action.

 

A DA is double action unless you cock the hammer and fire it SA

 

A DA/SA is DA on the first shot, but every shot after that is SA. And in most cases, you can cock the hammer manually and also fire the first round SA.

 

And for the guns where you can not cock the hammer at all, we need DAO. Double Action Only. Can not be fired SA.

 

And while mechanisms are involved, we generally only think about these as the amount of trigger pull. SA is short and light, DA is long and heavy.

 

Striker fired... Technology moves forward. Releasing the striker generally takes less effort than DA but more than SA. But technology continues to move forward and I have seen a "true" DAO striker. The striker is not set when the action cycles, only the actual trigger pull does this.

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I'm the stupid moron who dreamed up the SA/DA used above.

I did this because I'm simple and it made logical sense to me.
In my records, I show my Ruger SP101 and GP100 in a spread sheet column as SA/DA.

Because I'm simple and logical this tells me I can pull the trigger and shoot it as Double Action.
Or, I can manually cock the exposed hammer and shoot it as Single Action.
I also have an entry for DAO for those non-exposed hammers that cannot be manually cocked.
My Vaqueros are all labeled as SA, because that is all they can ever do.

Edited by bgavin
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13 minutes ago, bgavin said:

Because I'm simple and logical this tells me I can pull the trigger and shoot it as Double Action.
Or, I can manually cock the exposed hammer and shoot it as Single Action.

You aren't stupid, and from experience teaching this stuff, I am aware of how students have trouble processing this information when an unknown firearm is in-hand, even when told this detail.

 

For the quoted text, this difference applies to the first shot only. It is DA unless you cock the hammer, all subsequent shots are SA.

 

And you have discovered the big clue for DAO, no hammer to cock!. I did not list that in my previous list because striker-fired guns also don't have hammers, and are neither SA nor DA (excluding exceptions, but don't worry about exceptions other than keeping in mind that there are exceptions).

Edited by John Kloehr
typo
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I have a Springfield XD in .45 acp.  It has a 14 round magazine which, if fully loaded, is a beast.  It is a great night stand gun but I would not want to carry it.

 

With the improvements in 9mm ammunition I have moved over to that caliber for defensive purposes.  It is a more manageable cartridge for us old folks and I can hold it on target for a follow up shot.  Not always true with a .45 acp.

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Some basic terminology might help everyone.

The term action (in single action, double action, DAO or even Tri Action) refers to one thing and only one thing.

What function for (current operation) is the trigger performing?

 

If the trigger is ONLY releasing the hammer to fall (and some operation other than the trigger provided the cocking motion; ie the shooters hand or the cycling of the slide)

 

The gun is being operated as a SINGLE action as trigger is only performing ONE operation (releasing the hammer to fall).

A SINGLE action.

 

When operated in DOUBLE action (if the gun is so designed) the trigger performs TWO operations - placing the hammer into the cocked position AND releasing the hammer to fall.  

DOUBLE actions.

 

It matters ZERO what the firearm may be capable of - the action defintion refers to what the operation the gun is performing at the moment.

 

My truck is capable of being operated in 4 wheel drive. 

But unless Im actually using the 4wd - it is rear wheel drive.

And would be advertised as 2/ 4 wheel drive.

And yes, my truck be cross shopped against 2 wheel drives and full time 4 wheel drives - but depending on the situation (choice I make) its operation can be both.

 

A Gunfighter can shoot the entire match Double Duelist if the wish.

Doesnt matter they had the capability to shoot Gunfighter - they shot (double) Duelist on three stages. 

Yes, they will be scored against gunfighters; not duelist - but on those three stages - their (choice of) operation was Duelist.

 

As for DAO - this is simply a design that disallows you choosing which operation/ function of the trigger you prefer.

The hammer is (usually) non accessible to the shooter and the trigger pull is required to perform the two/ double action operation on every cycling.

 

The Tri Action was a design to provide even more options.

It could be operated as a true SA semi auto (cocked and locked with safety).

It could be operated as 1st shot DA pistol (simply by lowering the hammer after loading) with SA follow up shot.

 

It could also light pull 1st shot DA with SA follow up shots by loading and cycling the slide and then softly pushing the hammer down to fired position.

This operation when pulling the trigger was still DA (the trigger still had to move the hammer rearward) but as the hammer spring was already compressed from the initial cycle - the effort exerted by the hammer to cock is minimal.

 

But action is simply what is the trigger doing.

Nothing else.

And like any good sales brochure - they are going to extoll ALL the abilities the firearm offers.

Not just its maximum capability.

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Anyone that would seriously consider shooting two .45 semi-autos in a gunfighter style as a defensive role has been watching too many movies.

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
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1 hour ago, John Kloehr said:

And you have discovered the big clue for DAO, no hammer to cock!. I did not list that in my previous list because striker-fired guns also don't have hammers, and are neither SA nor DA (excluding exceptions, but don't worry about exceptions other than keeping in mind that there are exceptions).

Not exactly.

DAO revolvers have hammers - either bobbed or shrouded.

My Ruger LCP is a DAO and there is definitely a hammer visible.

 

And since the term ACTION refers to the work of the trigger.

And since a Striker perfroms the same duties as a hammer (only significant difference is rotational movement [hammer], versus linear [strikers]) striker fired handguns do fall under the definitions of SA or DA.

 

We rarely use the terms as applied to long guns because most long guns lack second strike capability - but term Single or Double action can apply to long guns as well.

 

I teach as well.

To teach - requires not only a mastery of the topic; but the ability to distill down to its simplest term (so that the student; new, knowledgeable or dis interested) may grasp it even without a full working topic vocabulary)

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Okay, to throw this back to the OP's original question, are you wanting this for concealed carry or home defense? For concealed look at the Kahr CW45 or CT45, both are DAO autos with single stack magazines. Very light, accurate and shoot very well. For DA operation, the Sig 220 is pretty much the benchmark. 1911s vary in fit and finish, but give them good magazines and most will work well. Also, look for the S&W 4500 series guns, very well made [tanks actually] and very reliable.

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9 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Anyone that would seriously consider shooting two .45 semi-autos in a defensive role has been watching too many movies.

Given my druthers is a self defense role - I will have both hands full of gun.

My Remington 870.

 

And if my only option is a couple 1911 45's.

Ill work with it.

But I think my Springfield XD with a bunch of extra magazines is a better choice.

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Oh, on doublestack mag guns in 45, check the grip first in your hand. Unless you have big paws, some of those are a little awkward for some folks.

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8 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Given my druthers is a self defense role - I will have both hands full of gun.

My Remington 870.

 

And if my only option is a couple 1911 45's.

Ill work with it.

But I think my Springfield XD with a bunch of extra magazines is a better choice.

Yeah but he is talking about shooting them gunfigher not one at a time.  Movie magic but a bad idea for the real world.

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I am pretty sure @bgavin wants a gun that he can shoot ambidextrously, not two guns for gunfighter shooting. 
 

7 hours ago, bgavin said:

Q:  Which 45ACP are ideally suited for two-handed (left + right) use, such as self-defense.

Or, are there certain pistols NOT suitable for ambidextrous use?
I can shoot OK with either hand, but gunfighter cocking of SA revolvers is a challenge, and very slow for me.

Thoughts?

 

Here is a California compliant .45 that has an ambidextrous safety. 
https://www.springfield-armory.com/1911-series-handguns/1911-trp-handguns/1911-trp-45-acp-handgun-ca-compliant

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This is just an academic tire kicking exercise for me.
I'm asking about reliable, ambidextrous 45s that shoot faster than my SA 44s, in either hand, and hold more than 6 rounds.

As noted above, my first choice in a real world situation would be my 870, loaded with eight #1 buck.
Distance would be my front door to the curb where the kid is holding the Molotov cocktail.
In a 20" barrel, the pattern will be far more likely for one of those pellets to hit the guy, than would a hand gun at that distance under duress.

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