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  • Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

    Howdy all!

    I've recently purchased my first handgun, talked about in this blog post, and am finding that I need some advice from fellow handgun owners concerning some accessory purchases I'd like to make.

    First item that I need help with is holster choice. I had no idea there were so many types of holsters! paddle/speed paddle, small of back, gat slides, quick detach, Yaqui, etc, or how many types of materials are used in their construction: leather, nylon, plastic/polymer.. I plan on carrying for dangerous animal defense (wolf, cougar, and black bear mainly) when I'm out hiking and fishing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. While I do plan on getting my CPL at some point (so that I'm on the right side of the law if my jacket covers the weapon when it's chilly up north), I don't have it yet and, therefore, don't need an IWB or concealable holster at this point. Also, I do not plan to carry anywhere except up north. What I'd like to know is the following:

    What are the pros and cons of each type?
    Which type or types of holster will keep the weapon within easy reach but, out of the way of my fishing vest and other equipment?
    Should I get a holster with a safety strap?
    Will a holster on the hip keep the weapon from getting snagged on underbrush as I hike/fish through dense forest?
    Good, high quality holster manufacturers?

    The second item I'd like to know more about is the .460 Rowland conversion that's available for 1911 style handguns. I've read that this conversion amps up the power to .44 magnum levels and that it would be vastly superior to a standard .45 acp cartridge were I to need to defend myself from a large black bear. The main reason I'm considering the .460 is the superior stopping power, along with the reduced recoil/ease of use as compared to a .44.

    Has anyone heard of the .460 Rowland?
    Has anyone used it? If so, I'd like to hear your impression of it.
    Would it be more worthwhile to just purchase a .44 magnum as opposed to the $325 cost of the conversion

    Third: aftermarket sights. My Kimber has very basic sights on it (due to it having CrimsonTrace lasergrips preinstalled) and I find it difficult to quickly get a good sight picture. My plan is to practice (a lot) with the open sights until I am completely comfortable and confident with them before I start using the laser sight. Now, I've seen a few different types of sights for sale and would like to know what I should be looking for when I'm ready to purchase them.

    Standard or night sights?
    Are adjustable sights worth the extra cost on a .45?
    Fiber optic sights worth it?
    Can sights be installed by a non-gunsmith?

    Finally, magazines. Are there any drawbacks to having a 10 round magazine, as opposed to the standard 8 round? Please note that I have no desire to travel to any state that has 'nanny-state' restrictions on magazine size.

    Thanks in advance for any advice given.

    sigpic



  • #2
    Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

    First of all, LOL Kimber. But hey, if you're happy, you're happy. I carry a Sig SP2022 9mm.

    Holsters:



    You are going to need multiple for different uses. I myself have two holsters for my carry gun. I know you are not in a rush for a license, but just so the name sticks I recommend the following:

    For IWB I recommend Alien Gear Holsters. They have REAL value at 35 bucks. The best part is if you ever get a different handgun you can get a new shell for free for life from them. These are your standard Hybrid holsters, but man they are great. I myself have used Alien Gear since last May for IWB. Concealed carry holsters | IWB and OWB | gun holsters

    Since you're focused on OWB, I highly recommend Bravo Concealment. They make excellent quality, adjustable kydex OWB and IWB holsters. I have a Patriot holster. I wear it A LOT over my IWB because of winter/long sleeve weather in Vermont. Bravo Concealment · Bravo Concealment

    Stick with Hybrid/Kydex for all your needs. Reason being that Leather has potential for negligent/accidental discharge. If you carry your 1911 safety off, hammer back it only will take about 4 pounds to pull the trigger. If your go with a "soft" holster like leather and it snags on that trigger you'll be in a world of shock or possible injury. Kydex is pretty much indestructable as far as carrying goes.

    Sights:

    Night sights should be your preferred upgrade. Always. Adjustability is not needed, as I can't think of any time you'll need a handgun outside of 50ft.

    Installing sights really depends on your experience/mechanical ability. If it's just drifting them in and out with a bit of nudging with a ball peen and punches, go for it. Anything beyond that requires more knowledge and experience. For now, your standard sights will suit you fine.

    Conversion kit:

    Save your money and invest in more ammo and specialty ammo specifically for bears and large game. You bought a 45, ffs. If you feel 45 is not adequate I don't know what to tell you. I recommend Hornady for specialty ammo.

    Magazines:

    I bought my old man 10 round mags for his 1911(s) but have not been able to really try them out. Try and always get magazines for 1911s directly from manufacturers. Kimbers have tolerance, uh, issues. I recommend you always buy Kimber mags if you own a kimber - although I have no experience with them, but have read a lot about Kimber issues online.
    Skud


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    • #3
      Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

      Yes, I'm very happy with my Kimber and can't wait to put more rounds through it. And, I'm glad that my choice of manufacturer gave you a chuckle. :icon_roll

      Thanks for the warning about leather holsters. I most certainly want to be as safe as possible where accidental discharge is concerned, as I'll be deep in the woods and far from help should something bad happen.

      Does your Patriot (now the BCA holster) hold the weapon good and tight against your body and in the holster? I'm pretty concerned about this because, like I said, the woods are pretty dense where I'll be hiking/fishing and I don't want to my sidearm to get snagged and/or pulled from my holster until I want it pulled. Sorry if that's a n00b question but, I am a n00b when it comes to pistols.

      As for the conversion, I did a lot of reading about bear defense weapons and there are a lot of self-proclaimed gun experts/bear experts recommending the .44 magnum as the go to handgun. But, most of those recommendations were coming from people that need protection from grizzly and brown bears. Also, I got the impression that a lot of of those so-called experts have inadequacy issues or just like the bigger 'bang!'. I think a .45 should be able to run off/outright kill a Michigan black bear but, I'm no expert. And, that .460 cartridge is really interesting to me on how it achieves it's impressive stats.

      I've heard/read the exact opposite about Kimber mags and full size Kimber .45 acp 1911's in general. But, I limited my internet research to posts/articles written in the past year. Of the negative comments I've read, most are condition issues with a factory new weapon (I, along with a knowledgeable friend, thoroughly inspected mine before purchasing and found it to be flawless), extractor issues that are easily fixed, or issues with their smaller sized (4" barrel and under) or non .45 caliber pistols feeding rounds. I've also read that many of the feeding issues were the cause of not following the 'break in' procedures that are detailed in the owners manual. Another gripe I've read about is MIM parts and their reliability.

      There's also the crowd that balks at the price of Kimber handguns, saying they can buy 2 .45's for the price of one Kimber. For me, I used my tax refund to pay for my Kimber so, it didn't hurt as much in the wallet. Would I have rather bought a true custom 1911, like a Nighthawk, Wilson, or Ed Brown? Hell yeah! But $3000+ is out of my price range at this time.

      Anyway, thanks again for the tips and advice! Much appreciated.

      sigpic


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      • #4
        Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

        To answer those questions more info is needed on what you carry, and for what reason... IE: if your a cop or security guard working the night shift all the time, sights and attachments would be different then a recreational shooter, or if you want to carry concealed...etc etc.
        Magnum |TG-18th|


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        • #5
          Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

          I'll be carrying a Kimber Custom Crimson Carry II for dangerous animal defense (wolf, cougar, black bear) and for recreational shooting.

          sigpic


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          • #6
            Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

            I just thought of another question..

            I see lots of different solvents and lubricants for firearms on store shelves and the internet. Are any better than the rest? What should I be looking for when I purchase solvents and lubricants for my pistol?

            For the record, the owners manual recommends against using gun grease, so I'll not be using that.

            sigpic


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            • #7
              Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

              Originally posted by Mindkill View Post
              I just thought of another question..

              I see lots of different solvents and lubricants for firearms on store shelves and the internet. Are any better than the rest? What should I be looking for when I purchase solvents and lubricants for my pistol?

              For the record, the owners manual recommends against using gun grease, so I'll not be using that.
              I personally use Hoppes no 9 for all purpose and CLP for general purpose/lube. Individual pistols are gonna like different stuff, although generally it's just a matter of research. For example, Glocks do not run "wet", but Sigs like mine love to be nice and lubed. I'm not sure why your Kimber recommends against grease... It is likely due to interaction with the finish. Is it stainless?


              Originally posted by Mindkill View Post
              Y

              Does your Patriot (now the BCA holster) hold the weapon good and tight against your body and in the holster? I'm pretty concerned about this because, like I said, the woods are pretty dense where I'll be hiking/fishing and I don't want to my sidearm to get snagged and/or pulled from my holster until I want it pulled. Sorry if that's a n00b question but, I am a n00b when it comes to pistols.
              Yes. Very nice and tight to the body. I forgot to recommend you get a proper duty belt for OWB carry - like a 5.11 belt. I have one, although tbh I often just wear a normal web belt from an old military uniform.
              Skud


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              • #8
                Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

                Originally posted by Skud View Post
                I personally use Hoppes no 9 for all purpose and CLP for general purpose/lube. Individual pistols are gonna like different stuff, although generally it's just a matter of research. For example, Glocks do not run "wet", but Sigs like mine love to be nice and lubed. I'm not sure why your Kimber recommends against grease... It is likely due to interaction with the finish. Is it stainless?
                Nope. Matte black steel slide with an aluminum frame. All the manual says is 'gun grease is not recommended'. Maybe something to do with attracting dust and/or unburned powder?

                I did some more 'net research and ended up buying a bottle of M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX, as it was highly recommended by military and LEO's.


                Originally posted by Skud View Post
                Yes. Very nice and tight to the body. I forgot to recommend you get a proper duty belt for OWB carry - like a 5.11 belt. I have one, although tbh I often just wear a normal web belt from an old military uniform.
                Excellent! I'll be ordering a Kydex holster sometime today.

                Thanks again for the advice!

                sigpic


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                • #9
                  Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

                  I don't own any real guns...but: wouldn't holster selection have a large part of where on your body you are comfortable holstering your weapon? Not sure if this applies, but there's some discussion about stuff like holsters on airsoft forums for a number of years. It seems to boil down to a few things: 1) Which part of the body you want a lump at, potentially bothering them as they move around, 2) how much they are willing to spend on such an accessory, 3) material choice vs. durability over time, 4) how quickly (or cumbersome) the draw process is, and 5) company support for the product (aka warranty) as your years of ownership increases.

                  Edit: Bleh. Looks like you settled on a holster already. Nice I think.
                  |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
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                  • #10
                    Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

                    I'd have to tell you to shoot more before you go changing sights or ammo conversions. Dry fire at the house. Find a light switch and focus on the screw holding it on. Draw and dry fire again and again and again until you find yourself getting that sight alignment and picture right.


                    As far as holsters go, just find what works with you it's very much personal preference. Bravo makes good stuff, but so does dozens of others. Luckily their mostly cheap.

                    Try a one at a time till you know what YOU like and what works best for YOU. you are the one who's going to be carrying it for protection. Make it work for you.
                    doYouEvenLuftwaffe

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                    • #11
                      Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

                      First off, Kimber firearms are beautiful guns, solid guns, if I had one critique it would only be the price tag because over the past 6 years the marketing brand has entitled it to increased MSRP prices.

                      Holsters really depend on you, go to your local gun shop and tell them this is what I have(bring it) and you want to test out what YOU like. There is no clear cut answer on whats the best. In a god awful situation you had to draw it, you would want something you naturally like (aka trained for at ranges). Try out concealed holsers(snap/mechanical/free) meaning ones where you have to unsnap a button, push down and forward, or ones with no retainer device(no biggie unless you are doing front flips.. bad example as leather holds it tight). Now once you find one you like think of what position you want it in, some of those are limited, IE some will fit like a belt loop, some will use clips over the waist band of your pants, if you wear a suit even a shoulder holster can work. For example, I carry 90% of the time and the Colt Mark IV officer model stays on my right butt check with an inside the pants holster(no snap). I have 6 different holsters for this particular gun that's fitted with only laser grips but through practice I have realized that its more comfortable back there and due to a shoulder injury its actually more comfortable to draw from that position.

                      Sights are the exact same way! Irons sights and RMRs take practice to get use to. You can be an amazing shot with your particular iron sights of your pistol then slap a 500$ rmr on it and realize its not natural and you are not as accurate with it for the first few weeks. Point is you have to get accustom to what you are using.



                      TL:DR answer: There is not direct answer, find a holster you like, find a position you like it in. Find a sight you like, set its zero at a distance you like. If you dont like the sight stick with the irons.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Advice Needed from Handgun Owners

                        Thanks for the tips guys.

                        As of yet, I haven't purchased a holster. I found a few online that I'm interested in and am seriously considering one from Wilson Combat. I'd like to go to my local gun shop but, they are the only one in town. They are high priced and extremely arrogant so, I'm planning a trip to the store that I purchased my pistol. I agree that I need to be able to try them on and test them out a bit before making a purchase.

                        I'll update when I finally decide.

                        Thanks again, guys!

                        sigpic


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