The 9mm Option

Developed in 1902 by Georg Luger, the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge can brag about being over 100 years old and more successful now than at any other time.


Shooting the P7 is a dream. Due to the gas cylinder that is incorporated into the design, the straight recoil and the 9mm caliber, the felt recoil is very light. This lessens the time required to get back on target and the fixed barrel increases the inherent accuracy of the weapon. Two examples are shown of test groups fired free-hand from seven yards - just over twenty feet. The groups we fired averaged two inches with the smallest coming in just under an inch and a half (1.5"). I miss my P7 and regret ever having sold it (especially given what they sell for now) but I don't see adding another one to my armory any time in the foreseeable future.

Beretta 92F / M9
At my next police agency the issued duty weapon was the Beretta 92FS. I can't say that - at the time - I was a huge fan of the Beretta 92F but it grew on me. The Beretta M9/92FS is a short recoil, semi-automatic pistol chambered for 9mm NATO ammunition. That's a 9x19 case with a 124g full-metal-jacket bullet. My agency issued Federal HydraShok 124g +P+ ammo and it functioned well. Internal, external and terminal ballistics had proven sufficient for our duty use. The barrel length of the Beretta M9 is just under five inches (125mm = 4.92": designed in Italy = metric measurements). The M9 has an ammunition capacity of 15 rounds in each magazine. If you add a chambered round, you have a total of 16. Extended 21 round magazines are available but became harder to find when the now-defunct infamous Clinton gun laws went into effect.

With an aluminum-alloy frame, and a steel slide, an empty Beretta M9 weighs about 2.1 pounds. Add in the fifteen round loaded magazine and you get a total weight of about 2.6 pounds. The trigger pull in single-action is 5.5 pounds, with the double-action pull straining the scale at 12.3 pounds. Since reloads are inevitable, the magazine release can be put into the frame to suit either a right- or left-handed shooter.

I spent eight years with this gun riding around in my duty holster - and out of it on more than a few occasions. I'd be quite comfortable with it in my hand today but I in my armory I have the .40S&W version - a 96F. They are externally identical so all my holsters work with both.

Glock Model 17 / 19
In about 1994, while I was carrying that Beretta 92F as my duty weapon, I wanted something smaller off duty - but I was hoping not to give up any capacity and I wanted an equivalent caliber so I only had to buy one type of ammo. My answer was the Glock Model 19. At 6.85 inches long and 5 inches tall, the G19 is definitely smaller than most duty pistols. I know some readers won't think it's fair to compare it to "duty" pistols, but I ask why not? The Beretta M9 (92F) carries fifteen rounds of 9mm plus one in the chamber. The SigArms P226 in 9mm carries 15+1. The G19 carries 15+1. I believe we are comparing apples to apples. If you really want to argue, compare the Glock 17 (17+1) to those other service pistols and realize what you're getting extra for the same size.

When I purchased my G19 it had standard night sights on it but I've since replaced those with the XS Sights 24/7 Standard Dot sights. I also had the slide duracoated OD Green for two reasons:

  1. I like the way it looks, and
  2. I can readily tell my gun from everyone else's if they're on a range table.

I've had a number of people tell me that the Glock is an ugly gun to which I reply, Pretty is as pretty does. The only Glock I've ever seen fail was one that the owner worked hard to screw up (brake cleaner and graphite don't mix well). A detailed strip and cleaning fixed it right up.

An evolution of the Glock Model 17, the operating system's "safe action" had been around for about a decade before I purchaed my first G19. I still have that same G19 and it's had over 20,000 rounds through it now. Except for the XS Sights and the duracoat, it's still stock just like the day I bought it. I've added +2 floorplates to a couple of the magazines but that's not a change to the gun, it's a change to the magazines.

Browning High Power

Anyone who has read my reviews for more than a few weeks probably knows that I'm a fan of the 1911 Government Model .45ACP pistol. What I've never discussed before is that I'm also a fan of another of John Browning's single-action designs: The High Power. While similarities between the two lead some to believe that one was designed as an improvement upon the other (with a debate on which came first), research shows that the development of each was independent of the other. The High Power was designed by John Browning and patented in 1922. He died in 1926 and full production hadn't yet begun. After Browning's death, a man named Dieudonne Saive, working for FN, fully developed and brought to production the High Power. In fact, Browning had to work around his own patents on the 1911 pistol because Colt had purchased them. It wasn't until those patents expired in 1928 that Saive was able to incorporate some of the design features into the High Power.

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