Picking a handgun is a very personal experience. There are many things to consider, from aesthetics, to feel, utility and budget. I have been shooting for a little while; certainly not long enough to be considered an operator, but enough to know what I was looking for in a pistol.
There are many ways to go about making a rearm purchase, but there are always important factors to consider. While our household does have firearms, none of them are my own, so while shopping around for a handgun for myself, I went through a whole list of things I wanted in
my handgun. I am aware that many out there are in the market for a pistol of their own, so here’s a quick list of things you may want to consider before pulling the trigger on a pistol purchase. For those of you who already own a gun, maybe this piece will help you the next time you consider getting a new firearm.
The first thing I had to think about before making a decision was the purpose for which I would be using the pistol. The reasons behind owning a firearm are important, as a handgun bought (or built) purely for sporting might not be as useful when used in an Everyday Carry (EDC) role. The intention behind my getting a handgun was mostly for recreational shooting, but one that I could employ for defensive purposes should the need arise. My intention of carrying the handgun in a holster, on my small frame, meant that I would have to go with a relatively slim pistol, but with a meaty caliber. I was not really comfortable with the thought of carrying anything smaller than a 9mm Para, so the field of candidates narrowed even further to a 9mm, .40SW or .45ACP.
In the time I have been a gun nut, I have red a decent share of handguns. Like many out there, I have gone through many firing systems, from double action only, to double action-single action, to pre-loaded striker- red deals. I have to say though, that I am most comfortable with the light trigger and clean break of the single action. This is not to detract from the usability of the DA-SA/Striker/DAO pistols out there; I just really like the smooth, consistent crisp trigger of single action handguns. If you know your handguns, I’m pretty sure you have a good idea where I am headed with this. After listing down all the things I wanted in a pistol, I went through my requirements once more. I wanted a slim, single-stack, to make carry easy, in a caliber that is easily available. I also wanted it to be in a common caliber, be single-action, and have wide parts availability; I had basically described the 1911 platform. This was only half of the problem solved. I still had the matter of which of the many brands, models and variants of 1911 I wanted to pick. I didn’t want any bells and whistles that would add unwanted cost to the purchase I was to make, nor did I want any of the tactical ninja gear to snag on anything as I present the handgun from concealed carry, so I had decided, finally, to look for the cheapest, reliable 1911 on the market. This is where the search got difficult.
The market is flooded with 1911s. Even after over a hundred years of production, the 1911 still remains one of the most popular handgun platforms available. As such, many gun owners have one. Taking price (and upgrade potential) into account, however, I was left with three options: one from Norinco, the NP90; Metro Arms’ Firestorm and, finally, Armscor’s 1911a1 FSGI.
The sticker price on each of the three units was well under PHP 30,000. In fact, both the Norc and Armscor 1911s were under 20. As a bonus, both the Norinco and Armscor were available in 9mm. We have a 9mm at home, so this became yet another deciding factor, bumping o Metro Arms’ Firestorm. The choice had come to either the Norinco or the Armscor. The Norinco is known for both its excellent metallurgy and rough finish. It also came with a combat hammer, aftermarket-style sights and trigger, as well as an extended slide stop. The Armscor 1911a1 FSGI had none of that. Save for the arched mainspring housing, it is pretty much the same 1911 my paternal grandfather would have used in the war—no fancy accessories, complicated parts or functions.
Though I had red a similar model in the past, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a purchase I would regret. I went out and looked for all the reviews I could find, both positive and negative, and made sure each opinion was backed up by fact. This was just as long and tedious a process as selecting a pistol, but it was worth all the effort. I knew I would be getting a quality pistol that was backed up by a superb warranty from the world’s biggest manufacturer of 1911s.
Once I had finally made a decision, it was a simple matter of finding the best deal for the unit. This was an easier task on paper. Most of the shops price their handguns about the same. To make matters worse, just as I had made my decision, the prices all went up at once. They must have known I was about to make a purchase. I even went to the Armscor shop itself, but found
that they didn’t have a better price. Pressed for options, I did something I usually reserve for
buying my gadgets: I went online. Through all the second-hand 1911s available, i was able to find the website of an actual brick-and-mortar store that offered the exact same pistol at PHP 1500 of the price of all the other shops I had tried. I called them up, paid them a visit, and saw that it was a legitimate store with a great price, so I stuck with them. The lesson here is that it doesn’t hurt to check online, as long as you do it smart. From there, it was a simple matter of getting the necessary papers and requirements, paying the store and waiting for the delivery.
There were many other options that presented themselves in the course of my search; some of
them were nice pistols in their own right, and would have served me well. Some were far better
deals than this one I finally decided to get, and I would have gone with them, but I would have
made some compromise with either extra or missing features.
They would have been okay, but the extra time researching, searching, and walking around to find the exact one I wanted was completely worth it; or at least it will be in about two weeks.