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Old December 9, 2012, 02:08 AM   #1
StukaJU87
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I just don't understand...

Let me start my rant by saying I went to a gun show today to look at 9mm pistols. I'm partial to the 1911 platform in .45 but have been thinking about getting a 9mm for awhile. My wife doesn't like my .45 so I thought I'd go and see what's out there and maybe find something we both like. We walked around until we found a table with a Beretta 92f and some Glocks on it. My wife liked the looks of the Beretta but her hands were too small and mine were too big. Next I looked at a Glock 17. She didn't like how it felt in her hand, plus she thought it looked like a toy. The guy running the table over heard her and started asking her questions and was very helpful and knowledgeable. He recommended she look at a S&W M&P and pointed out a couple of guys that were selling them. He was right, it fit both our hands and she liked how it looked but that's when it hit me, almost every pistol and we looked at either had a "rail" on it or a forward serrations. Now for the rant. Lol

Why are firearm makers so obsessed with putting rails or forward serrations on everything they make? It's fine if someone wants to buy unnecessary aftermarket gimmicks so they can turn their perfectly good firearm into a Christmas tree and hang all kinds of useless junk off it. But what about those of us just want a firearm and not some mutant Swiss Army knife/gun? Why not offer the model both ways?

I'll never understand why anyone would want to mount a flashlight on their firearm. All a flashlight does is, tell whoever you're looking for where you are AND gives them a nice target to aim at. Trust me, in the dark, they'll see that flashlight long before you'll see them.

I know it just cosmetic but I just can't stand the sight of a rails or forward serrations. I've heard they can be helpful if you have a scope mounted on your pistol. Realisticly speaking tbough, how many shooters ever mount a scope? I know some do but I doubt the majority ever will. So why the forward serrations? Are manufacturers trying to make buyers think their lower level pistols are on par with their line of competion models? I prefer a plain slide and see forward serrations as an unnecessary addition that just ruins the look of what would, otherwise, be a really nice looking pistol. I'm a fan of "if ain't broke, don't fix it".

I don't know, maybe it's just me but it about broke my heart the first time I saw a rail being offered on the 1911 platform.

It's a shame some firearm makers don't offer models without rails or the forward serrations. I probably would have bought the S&W if it came without rails on it.

Anyone else hate rails or think manufacturers have gone too far? or am I alone?

Last edited by StukaJU87; December 9, 2012 at 02:37 AM.
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:13 AM   #2
Flopsweat
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It needs to be worth their while to add a model without rails. If they only sold a few thousand of them they'd loose money. Lots of folks use them. I've got a holographic sight on the top rail of a target pistol and a laser on a carry gun. That's two for one guy and I don't even have that many guns.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:56 AM   #3
Bowdog
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light

Its 0 dark 30 how do you see your target with out a light?
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:32 AM   #4
foxytwo
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I agree with Bowdog. When it is dark you can not see your target. You do not have to have it on all the time. You can turn it on and off as the need arrives.
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:33 AM   #5
Sparks1957
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Quote:
Anyone else hate rails or think manufacturers have gone too far? or am I alone?
I do think that mounted lights are not the greatest idea. They give away your position and require you to point your gun at someone/thing to illuminate it, breaking the rule about not pointing guns at things you aren't willing to destroy.

However, I can understand sometimes needing them to leave a hand free, but I'd rather have a separate light in my other hand.
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:13 AM   #6
h2otoo
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Given a choice between two same (but different) guns, one with rails and one without, I would take the one with. Even though I would likely never use them, it is nice to have the option should I change my mind down the road. So, I would call it a plus. Guessing the manufacturers feel the same. My two cents.

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Old December 9, 2012, 08:28 AM   #7
Bud Helms
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Why are firearm makers so obsessed with putting rails or forward serrations on everything they make?
It is not an obsession, its response to the market.
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:37 AM   #8
Hal
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Can't help you with the rail part - but - on the 1911 type feel/look that both you and your wife might really love - have a look at the Browning High Power with a set of Craig Spegle thin grips.
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Old December 9, 2012, 09:44 AM   #9
CWKahrFan
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Is the cup half empty or half full?

We've never had so much choice and variety in firearms as we have now.

One can always look for good-or-excellent-condition used examples of the older non-rail styles on sites such as gunbroker.com or armslist, etc.
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Old December 9, 2012, 10:05 AM   #10
baddarryl
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This is why I have heard that it makes better safe to have a flashlight in the hand, off of the firearm if possible.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:07 AM   #11
darkroommike
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Not a big self defense pundit but here are my thoughts. Firearm makers make models that sell, the business, like every business is market driven, and other than the 100th. Anniversary 1911 nostalgia boom, where every maker offer a tribute pistol, the market is moving towards "tacticool". I have two objections.

Firstly, the light rail under the barrel adds bulk and weight to the front end of the pistol, which then requires a larger holster and may impede ability to un-holster in a time of necessity. All this without any "junk" hanging from the rail.

Secondly, even a small light up font is going to really affect the balance of the pistol. 1911's etc. are excellent, instinctively pointing pistols, UNTIL you hang a big dead mackerel to the front end of the barrel. OK, it's a light, not a dead stinking fish. But how often do you really need a light on the end of your pistol? Unless you are in Special Forces, SWAT, FBI HRT or SAS, I think a set of tritium sights or a trigger activated laser makes more sense. I also shoot a SIG Sauer P6 and prefer it to the newer SIG's with the rail.

For home security my choice is a shotgun, again without a light, if I need a light, I'll use a light, held away from my body on my offside. I sure as heck don't want to advertise my position with a big old "come and shoot me!" Or I'll just turn on the house lights before I go downstairs and watch the baddies scurry like cockroaches.

At least one maker already offers a pistol kit with two "lowers" and two barrels, one a shorter "carry" barrel the other a longer barrel with a barrel weight and compensator "forward" for target shooting. It's legal for that model since there is a separate "fire control group" that BATF has deemed the receiver for that model that can be transferred from one frame to the other. Such a solution, unfortunately, is impossible to implement in more conventional designs.

At some point I'm sure a custom house will open to retrofit these tacticool designs once the tacticool fever is broken and the embarrassment begins. For a couple of hundred bucks the rail will be ground off, and the lower repolished and refinished.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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So, if you don't want to hang stuff off your pistol....don't hang stuff off your pistol. It has a rail, but nothing says you HAVE to use it.

And it you don't use the forward serrations, don't use them.

I don't see a problem here
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:39 AM   #13
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As noted, rails complicate holster searches. A P226 holster for a classic P226 may not fit a rail model.

Balance of a platform one used to like may be changed.

I am one of those who does not like lights mounted to handguns, for the same reason scoped rifle hunters should carry separate binoculars.

I don't like the aesthetics of forward serrations; I also think they entice careless handlers to muzzle sweep their own hands and fingers more than they may realize. I have heard that FCS were originally intended for race guns, that had mounted optics that interfered with gripping rear serrations. I am not sure what FCS are supposed to achieve on a carry gun.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:46 AM   #14
buck460XVR
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Quote:
It is not an obsession, its response to the market.

Not only that, but you were at a gun show. One reason I quit going to gun shows around here is that the majority of the firearms there are the ones that don't sell well in the vendors brick and mortar store, or the ones that have been discounted by wholesalers and represent a bigger profit for the retailer. Also the "tactikool" theme is very popular nowadays, especially with those that are fairly new to firearms and unfamiliar with prices guns normally go for. They tend to be more of the impulse type buyers and think that sometimes more gadgets and do-dads are better and thus should cost more........

There are many traditional models out there without all the window dressings. Many folks still prefer them. Odds are they are sittin' in the case back at the store.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:52 AM   #15
StukaJU87
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Quote:
It is not an obsession, its response to the market.
Unfortunately the market is heavily influenced by tv and Hollywood, and we all know how helpful they are when it comes to firearm training/safety.

Quote:
They give away your position and require you to point your gun at someone/thing to illuminate it, breaking the rule about not pointing guns at things you aren't willing to destroy.
Exactly!


Quote:
the light rail under the barrel adds bulk and weight to the front end of the pistol
Excellent point. To be honest, I never gave balance a thought as I've always walked past anything with a rail.

Quote:
At some point I'm sure a custom house will open to retrofit these tacticool designs once the tacticool fever is broken and the embarrassment begins. For a couple of hundred bucks the rail will be ground off, and the lower repolished and refinished.
While I agree, wouldn't this throw the balance of just as much as adding it in the first place? Especially if the weight of the rail was factored into the original design.

Just seems like these rail systems have created more of mess than anything. Another solution to a problem that didnt exist.

Oh, and for anyone that thinks you need a light on the end of your firearm to see at night, Firearms have existed for centuries, tacticool is a recent fad. How do you think people saw what they were shooting at before mounted lights? Do you think dark encounters is something new?

Also, when in a dark environment, your eyes will have to re-adjust to the dark every time you turn your flashlight on. Your actually better not using one, allowing your eyes to fully adjust to the darkness. Otherwise, all you do is successfully give away your position and temporarily blind yourself every time you turn it on.

There's a difference between what looks cool and what actually works. Unfortunately, most people spend more time getting familliar with their tv than they do with their firearm. The Spas 12 shotgun is a great example of this. When it came out, lot of people just had to have it based soley on looks and what they saw in movies. Of the those that have owned one, most got rid of them because they were just too impractical to use. They were a neat toy but not something you would want to rely on.
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Old December 9, 2012, 12:54 PM   #16
Flopsweat
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I don't see people becoming embarrassed by rails on their guns. I have a few that have unused rails and I'm perfectly content with them. It may happen that someone invents something down the road that I will want to put on that rail. I certaily will not be paying someone to grind it off.

Yes, mounted lights are a relatively new concept. This does not make them a bad thing. You can still carry a light in your pocket for "normal" use and reserve the light on the gun for when your other hand is occupied. If you can see in the dark, more power to you. I can in some cases and not in others. I'm pretty sure that's why the torch was invented in the first place.
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Old December 9, 2012, 01:09 PM   #17
chadio
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Seems many of my favorite handguns don't have rails, or the older versions didn't anyway....

my old W. German P226
the Beretta 92fs
most 1911's

My brother has an older G19 with no rail, although I'm not a huge fan of Glocks, his non-railed G19 has earned some 'cool' points with me

A friend of mine owns another pistol that I've become quite fond of lately, the FNP-9. It does have the rail, however .... it is just a sheer joy to shoot, I find it to be one of the most under-rated pistols today.
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Old December 9, 2012, 01:11 PM   #18
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People seem to believe that the one that checks the most boxes is "better". x model/maker "has" while y model/maker "has not". No one wants to be the guy selling the one that "has not" if they think it will mean someone might choose the one that "has" instead.
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Old December 9, 2012, 02:09 PM   #19
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"[My wife liked the looks of the Beretta but her hands were too small and mine were too big.]"


Not to drift too far,,, Your hand fits a M&P but not a 92f PS Like said most will have rail now days..

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Old December 9, 2012, 04:17 PM   #20
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A million dollar idea and I'm giving it away.
(1. Because no way it's worth a million dollars.
2. Because somebody undoubtedly already sells it.
3. Because it's kind of dumb.)

An accessory that fits on your rail that is all smooth on the outside to make it look like your gun has no rail.

Yeah...number 3.

Maybe Birdman of the side slide sights fame would include it in his catalog.
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:32 PM   #21
StukaJU87
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I had never had a chance to handle a Beretta before yesterday and everyone I picked up, the grips weren't tall enough for my hand. I could only grip the pistol with three fingers. The Beretta grips were too wide for my wife's hands and the Glock grips were too long for her, meaning front to back. It fit my hand but I didn't like how sharp the corners of the trigger guard felt against my middle finger every time I tried to aim it. My wife just laughed and said "if the trigger guard bothers you, you could always just melt it, since its made of plastic." She hates the look of Glocks because she thinks they look like toys. Lol

I'm not sure which back strap the guy had on the M&P we both picked up, she said it was the most comfortable for here, it fit all my fingers, and there weren't any corners digging into my middle finger. Lol
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:26 PM   #22
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The rails turn me off too. I'm not into hanging things on my handguns. I like handguns for being small and portable. The hanging things detract from that.

And it's easier to find a nice sleek holster for a gun without a rail. I'm almost to the point of filing them off a few guns I own.
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:58 PM   #23
'88Scrat
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Disorientation

In regards to the OP's original question about the usefulness of flashlights, I think I can shed some light on the issue (get it?).

My M9A1 has a rail and a TLR-1 attached to it. It is fun and admittadly useful on my pathetically lit local range but I will concede that during a home invasion at night the light would give away your position but there are benifits.

The first of which is simply having a light, but the real advantage comes from the distraction and disorientation that the light causes. I found this out by accident but try shining any kind of tactical light into a mirror, it is blinding even in a fully lighted room. Now my TLR-1 also has a strobe mode that I also tried in the mirror and my eyes actually hurt for few minutes after looking into the mirror for only a second or two. Obvious as it sounds, just because you have a light does not mean you have to turn it on, so don't rule out the possibility of sneaking around until you find something suspicious and then shining the light right into its eyes.

Now consider this from the side of a home invader. Even if he was able to shoot back it would be at best blind fire, while you would be able to line up a good shot.

My take is that, no its not necessary, but it is useful to have as an option.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:03 PM   #24
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I have never given much thought to putting a light on my pistol, even though my Glock has the rail, and I will admit, having slipped a friend's on there once, it does look really cool, but have never given it any serious thought.

That being said, I can attest to the disorienting effect of having a SureFire light on the end of a long arm.

It was handy when searching through somebody's closet or dark rooms at night, and, I found that at night, on the side of the road, when somebody may or not be hostile, be abling to effectively blind them while you stop and frisk them is a pretty handy, non-lethal, non-violent compliance tool to have.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:10 PM   #25
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
It's a shame some firearm makers don't offer models without rails or the forward serrations. I probably would have bought the S&W if it came without rails on it.
S&W 1911, 9mm, No Rail, No Serrations
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