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Discussion Starter #1
Just pretty much curious, but the issue for me will arise in a short while. As a beginning to full size centerfire pistols, which would you guys suggest of the two? This would be based on durability, ease of operation, etc. Which one is simpler to detail strip, and learn on in general. Naturally the 1911 has more recoil, but I've heard the BHP is not as durable? Neither one would get any kind of modifictions, it's all based on the plain pistol. Whaddya think?

For the record, the contenders are

FN MKIII

SA Mil Spec "WWII"

both no-nosnsense pistols, if you can think of better models within the two types, suggest them.
 

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Revolver- I've owned 1911 style pistols for a few years and really enjoyed them. I just purchased a Browning Hi Power MkIII, but I haven't got a chance to shoot it yet. So I can't comment on Hi Powers. However, FWIW, I never had a problem finding spare parts or after market parts for the 1911 pistol. I may be wrong here, but I don't think it's that easy to find after market parts for Hi Powers; I don't think you'll go wrong with either, but I gotta say I've got a soft spot for Colt 1911s.
 

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First, the issue of recoil. Neither of them will have a lot of recoil. The 45acp is more of a push than a flip, greater than the 9mm but still fine. You won't see anything in terms of recoil from either one that is similar to what you'd get grom a 357Mag, 44 Special or many other revolver chamberings.

Take down and maintenance, the nod has to go to the HP. There are just fewer steps and takedown is much simpler.

For reliability and longevity, I'd say it's a tossup. There are a lot of very old, very used examples of both out there.

Looking at out of the box reliability I'd give the nod to the HP. Generally you can give them a good cleaning and then just go.

As too accessories and aftermarket goodies, there are a number of triggers and safeties available for the HP, lots of nice grips and different types of sights, bunches of higher capacity, inexpensive magazines and lots of people doing custom work on them. But there are fewer things those of us who own and love the HPs can find where we could improve on it. It's PDG just as it is.

One big difference is ammo costs. 9mm is far less expensive than 45acp and that can translate to more time at the line and faster proficiency.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
For the durability issue, I've heard that something inside the slied may crack, I think it was the breech face or something like that. And that the HP was somewhat 'fragile' I certainly would hope this not to be true but... With the HP, is it easy to find pre ban mags, or do the .40 mags work as hi cap 9s as the XD does? It's not so much that I want a high capacity, but 10 rounds is just an irritating number, and if I'm stuck with a lo cap pistol, it might as well be a.45, at least that stops stuff. I wonder though, are the EAA witness pistols good alternates for the HP, I believe they are a sort of copy, but they also come in 10mm.
 

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Hey, Revolver Ocelot. I like your screenname... wonder why I never thought of that one.

As far as durability goes, you'll probably never see the end of either one, but the 1911 is beefier. However, there seems to me quite a few problems with spotty reliability in most new "entry level" 1911s -- one of which is the SA milspec.

I very rarely hear of a real HP that has operational problems. Mine has 1709 rounds through it (of all types) and not a hiccup. Heck, my clone also has a lot through it, and the only problem it's had was my fault.

Wes
 

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That's a tough question. I've owned a SA Milspec (not the WWII model) for about 8 months now and a FN Mk III for about a month. (For the sake of this reply, I'll presume the Milspec is similar to the Milspec WWII.)

I think for ease of disassembly, the HP has the edge until you get to the firing pin. The firing pin safety makes that a little trickier on the new model HP's but it's something you won't need or want to do every time you fire and clean the weapon. It's not hard, it just makes you wish you had three hands for a few minutes. Bushings and guide rods are slightly more to mess with on a .45. Advantage HP.

Recoil isn't bad on either weapon. Tie.

For absolute reliability, my money's on the FN/HP. With hardball ammunition, mine's 100% with any magazine. The Milspec isn't any slouch, but it can be touchy about magazines. The trigger on the Milspec is very, very good. My Mk III came with a very good trigger. I decided not to remove the magazine safety disconnect like I did with my FEG clone. As the trigger engages the safety, you have a little gritty take-up. Once the slack is taken up, however, the trigger letoff itself is very crisp. Slight advantage here to the SA.

Your question about which to get is very difficult to answer. You've picked my two, all time favorite pistols. Both of mine were fine right out of the box. I got my Milspec first because I had some initial (needless) worries about HP triggers. I'd say it's a toss-up. I don't know if you reload or not, but ammunition costs might be a factor to consider. I reload but I suspect that factory 9 mm comes in a bit cheaper than factory .45 loads. Good luck in making up your mind.
 

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Are you a new shooter or do you have some basic training with
firearms..like a DA Revolver?? Any SA auto is a bad choice for a new shooter. Sounds like you are a bit more advanced.

The 1911 is no more durable than a P-35. With hot loads
you can damage both guns, with the 1911 being the first
to go with small parts.

The fallacy of the 1911 being a superior weapon.. rests soley
on it's .45 chambering. I've long thought that if there were
only 9mm 1911s, the 1911 lovers went to the improved Browning
long ago. I'm sure that I'm not the only one with this opinion.

The antiquated 1911 is heavy and finicky..breaks often and
the are far better platforms for the much vaunted .45 ACP,
namely .45 ACP revolvers, which I'm very fond of. I like that
230 gr pumpkin ball, but don't trust a 1911 to work like I
do a P-35 or CZ.

The 1911 is a Gamer's gun, and a Gunsmith's dream gun.
It has an 'edge' when it comes to speed shooting, but that
is about it. Other designs point better and are more durable
and much more forgiving with modern ammo.

Get a BHP. A gun you don't have to Gunsmith to make it
work right. Use the money for ammo:)

Anyone else sick of seeing 1911s in every gun magazine??
It is like no other guns exist in the mind of Americans..
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
P_35, you assessment is wrong, I am a new shooter, I've only fired 3 different pistols, one a Rossi .357, a Pheonix HP22, and some Ruger Single Sixes. This is the reason durability is so important to me, for a first handgun, I don't want to replace parts left and right. Not to mention large recoil isn't very attractive either. My friend is disgusted at the fact that I would get a 9mm, but he has barely more experience than me, and less over all knowledge. BTW, when I say detail stripping, I mean taking the gun totally apart for serious cleaning, I had thought the HP had more parts than the 1911? About the recoil, wouldn't a 9mm have less than a .45? I would think that a full size, steel 9mm such as the HP have very low felt recoil, is this not the case? As far as the trigger you guys keep mentioning, I wouldn't know the difference between a good or bad trigger, I'm not an experienced shooter, but for what it's worth, I'd rather have a sharp snap than long mush coupled with a short reset. One other thing that concerns me, how well does the HP do when dirty. I know that the 1911 works when uncleaned and dropped in the dirt and such, but what about the HP, is it as good? I've also thought about the XD, since it seems to be so good, reliable, durable and what not, but it doesn't have the beauty of a P-35. BTW, is there a way to get one without that stupid firing pin safety? I like my pistols in their original states. Hey, is the FN P9 any good? I never hear about anybody using FN pistols except the MKIII.

P.S. Wish me luck guys, I'm here at the Hotel for MEPS, going to Army basic tomorrow.
 

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Hello. I'll give you my experience with the Hi Power in general:


This is the reason durability is so important to me, for a first handgun, I don't want to replace parts left and right. Not to mention large recoil isn't very attractive either.First, don't worry about durability unless you're talking shooting several hundred +P loads per week. I've been shooting two Hi Powers since the early '70's and both are still on their original small parts. I do have heavier recoil springs in them and use shock buffers, but they've held up fine. With my more current Mk III pistols, a rather steady diet of both warm handloads and +P has caused no problems whatsoever. My friend is disgusted at the fact that I would get a 9mm, but he has barely more experience than me, and less over all knowledge.Right now, 9mm and 9x18mm Makarov ammo are probably the least expensive centerfire rounds available, i.e., you can do lots of shooting and practice. Some people simply do not trust the 9mm for serious purposes, but having seen what it can do in a fight, I trust it as much as most other handgun cartridges. With the BEST loads, .45 ACP probably is better, but that does not mean that 9mm is not "enough." It's easy to shoot and has benefited from major ammo makers tweaking and developing numerous "serious purpose" loads. BTW, when I say detail stripping, I mean taking the gun totally apart for serious cleaning, I had thought the HP had more parts than the 1911?Internally, the Hi Power is very simple, not that the 1911 is complicated. The HP is just not quite to easy to take apart and reassemble. This is not due to it's being complicated, just that replacing the sear pin while holding the hammer back and lining up the sear holes while putting pressure against the sear spring requires a little practice. It is not confusing a tall. About the recoil, wouldn't a 9mm have less than a .45? I would think that a full size, steel 9mm such as the HP have very low felt recoil, is this not the case?A 1911 in 9mm does indeed have less felt recoil than one on .45, but the 1911 weighs a bit more than the Hi Power. Recoil is NOT bad in either one. I do find just a bit more muzzle flip with the Hi Power, but it is not hard to handle at all. As far as the trigger you guys keep mentioning, I wouldn't know the difference between a good or bad trigger, I'm not an experienced shooter, but for what it's worth, I'd rather have a sharp snap than long mush coupled with a short reset. One other thing that concerns me, how well does the HP do when dirty. I know that the 1911 works when uncleaned and dropped in the dirt and such, but what about the HP, is it as good?Yes, the Hi Power is quite reliable in less than sterile conditions. Keep in mind that it served as the military sidearm for many, many nations over much of the last century. I've also thought about the XD, since it seems to be so good, reliable, durable and what not, but it doesn't have the beauty of a P-35. BTW, is there a way to get one without that stupid firing pin safety? I like my pistols in their original states. Hey, is the FN P9 any good? I never hear about anybody using FN pistols except the MKIII.If you find a Mk II or older Hi Power, it won't have the internal firing pin safety. All have the magazine safety. Some slight variants of the Mk III that were sold to Israel do not have the internal firing pin safety. I have no information on the other FN pistol you mention. Hope this is of use. You might drop by www.hipowersandhandguns.com as it's geared toward folks enjoying the Hi Power...and other pistols.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I personally don't have any problem with 9mm, I know what it can do, otherwise just about every country in the world wouldn't use it. My friend is also as stubborn fool, so it doesn't really matter. Thanks all for the help and replies, it looks like the MKIII is a better choice for me. Mr. Camp, I checked out your site earlier today, and found it most informative.

Now, sadly I must be going, I'll see you guys back on the forum about the 24th of December.
 

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As always, Mr. Camp 's observations are dead on. I have both 1911's and a BHP as well as a HP clone. I like both types and carry either from time to time. A full-size .45 is usually the "house gun," a compact .45 or the BHP in 9 mm for carry, and a 9mm Jericho in the car. I shoot all of mine and I do not think I will ever wear out any of them. You might find a range that has a variety of rentals, and shoot several different ones, if you have not already.
 

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I still think my "ultimate" do-it-all handgun would be a lightweight Commander in 9mm. Alas, they don't exist...

My fiance is a new shooter. I started her with a .22 and she quickly moved to a CZ75B 9mm. I really thought she'd like the BHP 9mm, but she finds the grip a little too large (Practical model, with the Pachmayr grips).

Lately we both seem to enjoy an SA Mil-Spec .38 Super. It just has the right combination of weight, ergonomics, perceived recoil, ammo cost, etc.

 

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Hey revolver I have both guns you mention they happen to be my two favorite pistols. That being said if you get a good 1911 springfield or colt for example or a real browning HP (BTW all real browning hp's are made by FN anyways and simply stamped browning and sent here) or any of the various quality clones out there. That all being said I love both guns and would say buy both although I realize you may not be able to.

I also would say unless you have a fair amount of gun safety knowledge and training that a single action auto woulden't be a good choice for a beginning shooter. while these guns are safe like any other gun if handled properly they offer no margine for error i.e. a new shooter who dosen't always keep thair finger outside of the triggerguard. I am not preeching here or saying you don't know how to handle guns but just advising you on the particular guns you asked about.

If you must have one of these I'd say get the BHP cheeper ammo more practice thats what counts shot placement is key! I'am sure you've heard the .45 has an advanrage over 9mm and that may be true with hardball ammo but with the modern JHP ammo out now thay are very close in terms of terminal effects. I Love both guns for thair design,grip angle and ergonomics. The 1911 is pure firearms history that you can touch and use,I mean look at all the events in our history that the 1911 was part of WWI,countless escapades during the great depression and the roaring 20's gunfights ,WWII,korian war, and the vietnam war to name a few. So my love of the 1911 has very little to do with caliber selection as I prefer the 9mm for defense anyways. Inclosing get what you like best,get training in how to use it and ALWAYS OBEY the five rules of gun safety and you'll be fine stay safe hope this helps you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Managed to get computer access today... Anyway, Micheal, I never thought about the .38 super mil spec. What aare the ballistics like for that round, better than 9mm right? How many rounds does that hold, 9 or something? Megatron, I'll get both guns (and more) eventually, this is an issue of my first pistol. And shot placement is key, I don't like 9mm hollowpoints, I don't feel they penetrate quite enough. I guess it sounds like the BHP is the winner (or FN, which is probably what I'll go for). Still though, that .38 super is intriguing. does it have all the common parts with the .45 cal ones? How's the recoil compared to say, the BHP? I don't much care for muzzle flip, it throws off my aim, and the pistols I've fired didn't point very naturally for me.
 

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10+1 in a flush-fit CMC magazine.

At $399, I think they're a STEAL!

I really love mine. I kind of think of it as a 9mm "magnum", at least in potential. Factory loads tend to be pretty mild.

The down-side is availability. Locally it's EXPENSIVE, but I've found it for about $.13/rd, shipped -vs- $.12/rd "value pack" from 9mm from Wal-Mart.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #16
what do they normally hold without AWB restrictions, or is it normally 10 and 9? What grain weight of bullets does it take up to, and just how warm can these loads go? Not looking for serious power here, but better than most standard pressure 9mm luger.
 

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Single-stack. 9 is the "standard", 10rd is sort of like the 8rd .45 ACP magazines.

Power can actually be GREATER than .45 ACP. When the .38 Super was introduced it was the most powerful automatic cartridge in the world.

Cor-Bon has a 115gr @1450fps and 125gr @1350 fps. Both in excess of 500 ft/lbs of energy. That's right up there with .357 magnum.

I tend to shoot Aguila 130gr @925fps or Armscor 125gr or 115gr @1100fps hand-loads.

Mike
 

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Revolver, as per your original question, as in "no modifications"; I'd say get the Hi-Power. The 1911 is a fine gun; for the pistolsmith/mechanically inclined shooter. Out of the box, for a new guy? get the HP. 1911's like to be tinkered with.
 

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Out-of-the-box a lot of BHP triggers sort of suck.

I think 1911 triggers are probably better out of the box, and easier to remedy for the do-it-yourself / amateur.

Mike
 

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I was thinking the same thing as Michael. I have trouble with the factory trigger pull on my .40 MkIII (it doesn't sort of suck, it totally sucks). The Springfields I've shot had triggers that were quite a bit lighter. The better trigger on a 1911 might be easier for a new shooter to master.
 
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