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Old January 9, 2021, 10:40 AM   #1
Frisco
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In Praise Of The 45 GAP

I stopped into one of my regular gun shop stops in Mesa when I was in the Valley yesterday.

They had five 50-round boxes of 200grain Winchester FMJ (FP), and four 50-round boxes of 200gr Winchester JHP in 45GAP.

Correction...I had all of them for $250 cash (that my wife didn't know I had), plus I bought some other stuff.

I had won a Glock 37 and four magazines in the LE Division of a USPSA match in Prescott, AZ back in 04 or 05. I shot it in a few IDPA matches and I liked it, but it didn't give me anything that my Glock 30 didn't already give me and that time we were issued Glock 22s (No other choice), so it would never really be a match gun and I'd never carry it on or off duty...so I just stuck it in the safe.

But here's what I like about that pistol...

Familiar frame feel. Chunky slide aside, the frame feels just like the Glock 17 or 22 I have carried for almost 30 years.

Same sight picture.

Same trigger.

Same manual of arms.

Same frame internals as any other Glock.

I can load GAP on my Dillon with ACP dies, even if sorting the brass is a pain in the butt...even with the Dillon sorting trays...ask ANYONE who has had a few pieces of GAP brass get tossed in the ACP bucket. I probably WON'T reload it because I am not digging into my supply of SMALL PISTOL primers on some oddball round when I can just load 9mm, but you get the idea.

Nearly identical ballistics to 45 ACP. Nearly. Close enough.

In the current ammo drought...you can still find GAP online or on the shelf at some local gun shops for the same, or close to the same, price you paid before all the election shenanigans began.

I may never carry the Glock 37, but if I need it...it's nice to know it's there.

What is an "oddball" pistol/caliber you have and like....and why?

Last edited by Frisco; January 9, 2021 at 08:45 PM.
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Old January 9, 2021, 11:00 AM   #2
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It's your money and you won the gun. If you can stand a Glock, be happy.
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Old January 9, 2021, 01:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Frisco
But here's what I like about that pistol...

Familiar frame feel. Chunky slide aside, the frame feels just like the Glock 17 or 22 I have carried for almost 30 years.
That was the express purpose for coming out with the .45 GAP -- so Glock could offer a pistol chamber in .45 caliber with the same size grip as their 9mm and .40 S&W models.
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Old January 9, 2021, 01:45 PM   #4
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That's one of the beauties of owning a firearm or two chambered in an unpopular oddball cartridge which has fallen completely under the radar, in times of ammo shortages in which just about every common cartridge has become extremely expensive and difficult to come by, you still have a viable alternative cartridge that you can turn to.

As far as these things go, I imagine that .45 GAP is probably just about the easiest and least expensive ammo to find, because unlike the many Soviet Surplus firearms/cartridges that everyone recommends during ammo shortages, practically nobody even stops to consider .45 GAP because it's just so incredibly unpopular, overlooked, and largely forgotten modern firearms cartridges around. Even .357 SIG has a niche following of enthusiasts and is often cited as a good alternative cartridge, especially since it's so easy to convert a .40cal pistol to .357 SIG.

.45 GAP on the other hand, is practically the modern day equivalent of the 9x18 Ultra cartridge, a flash in the pan that was targeted at police, but was completely overtaken by another cartridge and lacked any tangible benefits over the competition despite the fact that it's an otherwise viable self-defense/duty cartridge.
Come to think of it, does Glock even still offer pistols chambered in .45 GAP?
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Old January 9, 2021, 02:43 PM   #5
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They still list 3 pistols in that caliber on their website.
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Old January 9, 2021, 03:07 PM   #6
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Oh, good for them then, I thought they might have ceased production because I never see them anywhere these days. I remember that at one point they had convinced at least a few Police Departments who were already carry Glocks to adopt the .45 GAP by giving them some absurdly good deals, but as far as I know they've all since moved on.

It's honestly a shame that .45 GAP doesn't have a better niche, but then again, it was designed using an extremely common and often times success strategy of creating a new cartridge that's entire selling point is that it more or less replicates the performance of a larger cartridge. Unfortunately, by the time it had debuted, .40 S&W had already more or less dominated the Law Enforcement market, and thus a fair portion of the civilian market as well.
Nowadays 9mm Luger has become the dominant duty cartridge worldwide, and unless something happens that leads the Military/Law Enforcement to adopt another cartridge or somebody finally gets around to successfully producing an inexpensive handheld guided energy weapon, it's doubtful that will change.
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Old January 9, 2021, 06:11 PM   #7
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I picked up a basically NIB 37 a few months back for a decent price, especially considering whats going on these days. It had been sitting and no one seemed interested. Im guessing it was the caliber. The gun looks new and shot very little.

Our state police used them about a decade ago, and they used our range for practice. I picked up a bunch of 45GAP brass, and threw a bunch more away. Wish Id kept it all now.

I never really saw the point in getting one, as Im more into the 9mm, but I was bored, and remembered the brass, so why not.

I load for everything I shoot, so that was the plan, especially after reading I could use the same dies and components as my 45ACP. That was "sorta" true.

I tried using both RCBS and Hornady 45ACP dies, and found they wouldn't work. They didnt seem to size the case enough, and I couldnt get them to crimp the bullets enough to hold them tight. Even using a dedicated 45 taper crimp die. Ended up getting a set of GAP specific Lee dies which did the trick.

I was hoping to use the 230 grain bullets I had on hand, but that didnt work out either. Seems 185 and 200 grain bullets are what you want. Not a biggie, I can load 200 grain for both, so it no big deal.

Once I got things figured out, everything seems to work fine. Gun shoots well, and is accurate, shooting both plated and coated lead 200 grain bullets. Feels like a 45 when you shoot it, but with a better purchase on the grip, it feels more comfortable and controllable.

Ive had a couple of other 45 Glocks in the past, a 21 and 30S, and while they were fine, and shot great, they were big and never really felt right in my hands. Just a tad too big all around I guess.

The 37 feels just like a 17 in the hand, albeit, one with a swollen slide. Thats something thats instantly noticeable, especially if youre used to the 9mm guns.

The only other thing I did to the gun, was add a set of three dot night sights and stipple the grip, as I do with most other Glocks. Except for the RTF2 guns, the grips/textures tend to be a bit "slippy" and I need the extra texture.

For me, this is nothing more than a range toy and something to fool around with. I dont plan on using it for anything else, not that it would be a problem if it were needed, assuming you can find ammo for it. Most shops around here dont seem to carry it, or at least not much more than the small, high dollar SD type stuff.

The only real negative now is, the round uses a small pistol primer. And finding primers are a problem these days. Of course, Ive got more LP than I do SP, and I shoot a number of guns that use SP, so Im starting to back off a bit in shooting certain things, so I can focus on what I normally use.
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Old January 9, 2021, 08:51 PM   #8
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Yep. Know all that.

I was generally listing what I considered to be positives.

At the bottom of the post, in bold....which I have since enlarged...I asked "...what some oddball pistols/calibers others owned and liked and why?" in order to get an actual conversation thread started.
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Old January 9, 2021, 09:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AK103K View Post
I picked up a basically NIB 37 a few months back for a decent price, especially considering whats going on these days. It had been sitting and no one seemed interested. Im guessing it was the caliber. The gun looks new and shot very little.

Our state police used them about a decade ago, and they used our range for practice. I picked up a bunch of 45GAP brass, and threw a bunch more away. Wish Id kept it all now.

I never really saw the point in getting one, as Im more into the 9mm, but I was bored, and remembered the brass, so why not.

I load for everything I shoot, so that was the plan, especially after reading I could use the same dies and components as my 45ACP. That was "sorta" true.

I tried using both RCBS and Hornady 45ACP dies, and found they wouldn't work. They didnt seem to size the case enough, and I couldnt get them to crimp the bullets enough to hold them tight. Even using a dedicated 45 taper crimp die. Ended up getting a set of GAP specific Lee dies which did the trick.

I was hoping to use the 230 grain bullets I had on hand, but that didnt work out either. Seems 185 and 200 grain bullets are what you want. Not a biggie, I can load 200 grain for both, so it no big deal.

Once I got things figured out, everything seems to work fine. Gun shoots well, and is accurate, shooting both plated and coated lead 200 grain bullets. Feels like a 45 when you shoot it, but with a better purchase on the grip, it feels more comfortable and controllable.

Ive had a couple of other 45 Glocks in the past, a 21 and 30S, and while they were fine, and shot great, they were big and never really felt right in my hands. Just a tad too big all around I guess.

The 37 feels just like a 17 in the hand, albeit, one with a swollen slide. Thats something thats instantly noticeable, especially if youre used to the 9mm guns.

The only other thing I did to the gun, was add a set of three dot night sights and stipple the grip, as I do with most other Glocks. Except for the RTF2 guns, the grips/textures tend to be a bit "slippy" and I need the extra texture.

For me, this is nothing more than a range toy and something to fool around with. I dont plan on using it for anything else, not that it would be a problem if it were needed, assuming you can find ammo for it. Most shops around here dont seem to carry it, or at least not much more than the small, high dollar SD type stuff.

The only real negative now is, the round uses a small pistol primer. And finding primers are a problem these days. Of course, Ive got more LP than I do SP, and I shoot a number of guns that use SP, so Im starting to back off a bit in shooting certain things, so I can focus on what I normally use.
I am with you on that one. I scored a BUNCH of S&B small pistol at a really really good price before all this ridiculousness started, but I am holding onto my small pistol too. I have a metric pantload of LPP, so I dusted off one of my 1911s and an old Smith 24 for some local IDPA in the meantime.
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Old January 9, 2021, 09:48 PM   #10
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It is not really a oddball caliber (is it?), but during the shortage of early 2013, I was in the market for a new handgun, but when I went to my LGS and the only handguns and ammo they had was for the .40 cal. I really wasn't interested in it at the time, but later I got to thinking that if they are the last ones on the shelf, it might be worth having one gun and ammo to go with it. So, I researched some .40 and tried out an H&K P30L and it was great. So I bought one and some corresponding ammo for it. Like most Americans the location of the mag release is a pain, but other then that, no complaints. I later found out John Wick carried one, sans the compensator. So, nice pickup.
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Old January 9, 2021, 11:22 PM   #11
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In Praise Of The 45 GAP
When the whole world is blind the one eyed man is king. . .

Sorry I couldn’t resist.
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Old January 9, 2021, 11:39 PM   #12
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The only oddball cartridge I have access to is 7.62x25 Tokarev via a Romanian Tokarev TTC pistol I bought last Summer for cheap. It's an interesting round, high velocity, lots of energy, bright muzzle flash and loud report. I wish that someone would chamber a modern pistol for it, but sadly it doesn't seem like it's going to happen, although I presume that if they wanted to, Ruger could tweak the Ruger-57 design to make it run 7.62x25 Tokarev.

Speaking of 5.7x28 FN, I honestly think that the 7.62x25 Tokarev pretty much does everything that it can do only with a larger bullet and more energy, so it's a shame that nobody makes a modern pistol chambered in it.
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Old January 10, 2021, 07:36 PM   #13
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If there was ever a nationwide AWB (10 round limit) with no grandfathering, I'd much prefer a Glock 37 rather than a 17 or 22 with a stupid 10 round mag.
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Old January 10, 2021, 09:00 PM   #14
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What is an "oddball" pistol/caliber you have and like....and why?
.44 AMP and .357 AMP.

Why? because I have ammo for them and can make more if needed. Because they are magnum class performance, and because almost no one else has them.

I'm also fond of .45 Win mag for the same reasons. I have a bunch, don't need more, but if I did, I wouldn't need to worry about finding it on the shelf, its never been there, except for small amounts of .45WM a long time ago....

Now, I do need .44 & .45 bullets, and of course powder and primers, but I have ammo NOW on my shelves where I've had it for decades so this current shortfall doesn't mean much to me.

What I do find depressing is someone picking up 9 boxes of pistol ammo for $250 and being HAPPY about it...
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Old January 11, 2021, 01:30 AM   #15
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I had six rounds of .327 Federal in my pocket today. That's part of why I like it. I can get six rounds on a platform that usually holds five. It also gives me a nice balance of power and recoil. I find .357 magnum unpleasant in the LCR or alloy J-frames, which leads me to using .38+p. So this gives me a little more power and an extra round in a package that I enjoy shooting.

I'm also fond of .357 Sig. It does what people chase with insane 9mm +p+ loadings in a nice, safe, built-for-it package. It's also a joy to shoot in any of the guns where I find .40 S&W comfortable to shoot.

I never got into .45 GAP. I fell out of love with .45acp a few years back. Over time, it slowly worked its way out of my carry rotation. I just didn't feel like it offered enough extra to make up for the size and capacity limitations. The .45 GAP addresses one of those issues but at the end of the day, I'm not sure what it really offers over .40S&W.
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Old January 11, 2021, 12:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cosmodragoon View Post
I had six rounds of .327 Federal in my pocket today. That's part of why I like it. I can get six rounds on a platform that usually holds five. It also gives me a nice balance of power and recoil. I find .357 magnum unpleasant in the LCR or alloy J-frames, which leads me to using .38+p. So this gives me a little more power and an extra round in a package that I enjoy shooting.

I'm also fond of .357 Sig. It does what people chase with insane 9mm +p+ loadings in a nice, safe, built-for-it package. It's also a joy to shoot in any of the guns where I find .40 S&W comfortable to shoot.

I never got into .45 GAP. I fell out of love with .45acp a few years back. Over time, it slowly worked its way out of my carry rotation. I just didn't feel like it offered enough extra to make up for the size and capacity limitations. The .45 GAP addresses one of those issues but at the end of the day, I'm not sure what it really offers over .40S&W.
I would even go so far as to say that the GAP was an answer to a question that was never really asked other than a vanity play for Gaston. I seriously doubt I would have ever even considered buying any of the GAP models, or even owned one had I not won it in a match.

That said, I did outline some reasons why I kind of like it for what it is, and do have some bit of praise for it for the oddball thing it is. But...after a couple of IDPA matches with it, I put it into the safe and more or less forgot about it. It would never be a duty or off duty gun. I couldn't see anything it did better than 9, 40, or 45ACP. But, for an essentially free gun, why not see what I DO like about it right?

I also remember Massad Ayoob schilling BIG for the GAP in one of those news stand "books" he wrote that was basically a giant, $10 advertisement for Glock. He never went so far as to say the GAP was the greatest thing since sliced bread because there were still other Glocks that had to be "shown the love" too, but you'd have thought it was at least really good freakin' bread.

One little oddball pistol that I really actually liked a lot was a little Hungarian knockoff of the Walther. The FEG imported PA63. The old Jensen's in Tucson had them on sale for $119 back in 88 or 89. They had 32ACP, 380ACP and 9x18 in all blue or tu-tone. They came in a plain cardboard box with one magazine and a cheap leather or pleather flap holster. You could also buy spare mags for around $9 and I bought a couple of them too. I think Jensen's took all the spares out of the boxes to sell separately.

I bought one of the 380s and other than the HORRIBLE DA trigger, it was rock solid reliable, hit POA/POI at 10 yards after bumping the rear sight over a touch, and it would feed 380 HydraShok ammo. Most importantly, I could afford it on a newbie's pay and not eat ramen for two weeks.

I remember snipping 3 coils out of the mainspring and doing a kitchen table polish job on it and made the horrible trigger into an okay trigger and carried it off duty until I could afford my first Kahr 9mm. I kept that thing for years until I gave it to a friend who wasn't a shooter, but "needed a pistol".

That's one oddball I would pick up again just for the hell of it if I saw it at a good price.
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Old January 11, 2021, 03:22 PM   #17
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Put me in the group not interested in 45 GAP. I don't feel it does anything best and I would be happy with 40 or 9 in smaller framed guns.
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Old January 11, 2021, 08:46 PM   #18
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Folks often make statements to the effect that .45 GAP was just Gaston Glock wanting a cartridge with his name on it, but in reality it seems most likely that he was merely following the trend of the .40 S&W and .357 SIG in attempting to get his foot in the door when it came to American Law Enforcement seeking a replacement for .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 9mm Luger, and to a lesser extent .45 ACP. Unfortunately, he was late to the party, and unlike .40 S&W and .357 SIG which had numerous benefits from deeper penetration, barrier penetration, flatter-shooting, or increased capacity in addition to offering roughly equal performance to proven cartridges, all the .45 GAP really had going for it was that it offered roughly equal performance to .45 ACP in a shorter case, so it just didn't quite bring enough to the table to gain widespread adoption.

If the .45 GAP had another niche, some other tangible feature which offered something unique, then I think that it could have been more successful, or at the very least would have settled in somewhere, but it didn't.

I think that's honestly the problem with cartridges that offer nothing aside from duplicating the performance of an existing cartridge in a shorter case. Unless it feeds from a tube magazine, thus making it higher capacity, it just sort of ends up being a waste. Sure, sometimes you can make smaller, lighter firearms chambered in it, but that tends to be a double-edged sword because the smaller, lighter firearm tends to be less comfortable to shoot and potentially less durable.
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Old January 12, 2021, 02:45 AM   #19
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Good points. I'm also not a fan of hand cannon cartridges like the 460 Smith and Wesson. Any gun that big is not useful to me has a handgun making a rifle a better choice. I do think 454 Casull has a lot to offer as a defensive caliber in standard 44 mag sized guns against large bears. Then there is the 25 acp which might as well be a cheaper to feed 22 with real sights and a longer barrel.
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Old January 12, 2021, 04:00 AM   #20
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It's your money and you won the gun. If you can stand a Glock, be happy.
Any revolver that uses a moon clip and the Charter Pitbull can also shoot .45 GAP.
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Old January 12, 2021, 09:00 AM   #21
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The only oddball I shoot much is .30 Luger.
I don't really like the round, especially as a handloading proposition, but I like the gun.
.45 GAP interested me when the first gun of which I was aware was the Springfield Armory Defender; a GAP-chambered, compact 1911 that never came to market.
When the gun was reworked into the 9/.40 EMP, I lost interest in both the GAP cartridge and the gun.
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Old January 12, 2021, 09:43 AM   #22
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.45 GAP interested me when the first gun of which I was aware was the Springfield Armory Defender; a GAP-chambered, compact 1911 that never came to market.
When the gun was reworked into the 9/.40 EMP, I lost interest in both the GAP cartridge and the gun.
Most people don't remember (or never knew) that the Springfield EMP was originally proposed as a .45 GAP. AFAIK, Springfield may have built only one prototype. They certainly didn't make very many. The EMP in .45 GAP was written up in several of the gun magazines, and made to cover of most of them.

Comments at the time generally took the forum of, "Nice gun if it were in 9mm or .40 S&W, but who needs another .45 automatic cartridge?" Apparently Springfield listened to the marketplace.

Very few people have difficulty gripping a 1911. The problem Glock faced was that many police departments wanted their duty weapons chambered in .45 ACP, but the Glock .45 ACP model (whichever number that is) has such a big, blocky grip that most females and many smaller males can't hold it properly. So Glock's answer was to create a cartridge that packages .45 ACP performance in a cartridge that's the same length as 9mm and .40 S&W.

To accomplish that feat of ballistic legerdemain, Glock had to load the .45 GAP to pressures that would be considered +P in a .45 ACP. That's why you don't see .45 Glock +P ammunition -- it already is, they just don't label it as such.
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Old January 12, 2021, 02:23 PM   #23
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That was the express purpose for coming out with the .45 GAP -- so Glock could offer a pistol chamber in .45 caliber with the same size grip as their 9mm and .40 S&W models.
No, the reason was caliber name envy. Sig has the 357 Sig and Glock refused to label it right on the guns they made chambered for it and wanted to have the same PR buzz (they failed miserably).

Equally its a scary cartridge because it is shorter than a 45 ACP and they can be mixed up. All other look alike cartridge are longer so they cannot be chambered in the wrong gun.

Glock is all PR and not substance and the 45 GAP reflected that.

note: we are getting regular shipment of 9mm. Best to have the most common cartridge not the least.
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Old January 12, 2021, 03:01 PM   #24
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No, the reason was caliber name envy. Sig has the 357 Sig and Glock refused to label it right on the guns they made chambered for it and wanted to have the same PR buzz (they failed miserably).
I disagree. Glock already had a pistol chambered in .45 ACP. The gun scribes all reported at the time the .45 GAP was introduced that the reason was because Glock needed a smaller grip so females and males with small hands could properly hold the pistol.
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Old January 12, 2021, 03:36 PM   #25
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On another forum I go to, quite a few guys are buying used Florida Highway Patrol G37's cheap...$289, complete with cool FHP engraving.
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