Join Date: January 24, 2000
Well, I've owned both guns, and here are my views:
The P7M13 was the first handgun I ever owned. I REALLY liked it, right off the bat. I absolutely loved the squeeze-cocking mechanism. The squeeze-cocker is the ultimate for safety, combined with speed. Nothing else compares. If ya' ain't squeezin' that grip, that gun ain't gonna' fire, period, because the gun is in a totally decocked state. Sqeezing the grip is a natural movement, and lightning fast. My P7M13 was fast, accurate, cool looking, durable, and death-and-taxes reliable.
With quality factory jacketed ammo of 100 grains and up, a P7M13 is about as reliable as one can make a handgun, assuming it's for urban purposes. Even when the gas piston/chamber starts to get dirty, the gun will continue to run, grit and all, for thousands of rounds, possibly over 4,000 rounds--and up to 5,000 rounds--without a malfunction. This is provided it's kept with a modicum of lubrication.
My single favorite feature of the P7, besides the squeeze-cock, is the quick-removable firing pin assembly. It's one of the coolest features on any handgun ever, and hardly anyone ever talks about it. You can remove it by hand in seconds, and this procedure renders the gun totally inert. At the same time, it cannot be done by accident or by anyone who isn't intimately familiar with this feature.
All that said, P7M13's are pretty damn heavy when fully loaded with 14 rounds. They also heat up like crazy. If you go to the range and want to shoot over 100 rounds back to back, you'll have to lay the gun down and let it sit and cool off at least once. The gun will actually start really heating up around the 50-60 round mark, and sooner if you go rapid-fire.
What does this mean? It means the P7 is really intended for beating the other guy to the shot in a quick gunfight. It's probably not the best gun for protracted situations. It's also expensive and nice looking, which makes one want to baby it and worry about it. Oh, and the grip is a little large and blocky(but I have large enough hands for it, so it never really bothered me).
Now, my second handgun ever, and the type I still carry, is the Glock 19. It's a superior carry gun for me for several reasons. First, it's a good bit lighter fully loaded than the P7M13, while holding 2-6 more rounds at the same time(depending on which magazine I want to use). The multiple magazine options is nice in itself. I even have a reliable 33 round factory magazine option, if I choose to carry one as a back-up.
The polymer frame doesn't heat up in the South Florida weather or during multiple rapid-fire strings like the P7M13's steel frame. You can shoot the G19 all day, and never have to lay it down. The polymer is also not as susceptible to cold, so it's more comfortable to hold in cold environments as well.
My G19 functions reliably with Magsafe Agent Loads and other "safety" ammunition reliably, even though all these rounds are less than 100 grains. The G19's I've owned have been reliable pistols. Are they as death-and-taxes reliable as the P7M13? Perhaps not. But properly fed and maintained, they come pretty close.
The G19 is more comfortable to shoot, and it's bore axis is almost as low as the P7's. The polymer grip flexes and absorbs a good portion of the recoil forces.
I never have to worry about the G19 rusting on me. The tenifer finish as close to rust-proof as you're gonna' get, even in Miami humidity and salt air. The G19 is easier to maintain and repair. I can clean a G19 faster than I can a P7. In terms of repair, ALL G19 parts are cheaper and easier to install.
Now, this next point is worst-case-scenario type thinking, but so what? The Glock 19 is a more versatile and hardier gun under adverse combat conditions like mud, sand, extreme cold, salt water, and constant abuse. Am I ever going to have to use the gun in these types of conditions? I don't know. No one really does. Who knows where, someday, you may have to take your gun.
Finally, the G19 is just easier for me to carry. First, it's more comfortable to carry. Part of this is due to the lighter weight, and part is due to its more rounded edges compared to the P7. The polymer frame, being softer material than steel, might also contribute somehow to carrying comfort. Finally, you just don't have to baby it or worry about it like like you do the P7. If your G19 drops on the ground, you can just just pick it up and dust it off. A P7 hitting the ground will cause you significantly more grief.
And think about this: God forbid you ever have to shoot another human being in self-defense. The police WILL confiscate your weapon. God only knows how long they'll keep it and how they'll treat it. Which gun would you rather lose? Of course, the infinitely more important concern is dealing with the police and the district attorney(and staying out of jail)--but still.
Wow, I sure ended up writing a lot more than I had planned when I started! I guess I just wanted to be thorough.