Letter Re: Advice on a High Capacity .45 ACP Pistol

Tell me, what is your view on the Glock 21 platform? I made an election to go with this as opposed to a 1911 platform…mag capacity, accuracy, etc. The only down-side to the Glock 21 or any of those platforms, is the absence of a manual safety. It must always be holstered. For $450, they tend to outshoot their contemporaries; at 13 rds per magazine they pack a payload of punch.Your feedback? – Matt

JWR Replies: I think the Glock 21 is a fine pistol. As I have mentioned in SurvivalBlog before, if I hadn’t 30+ years of “muscle memory” invested in the M1911 design, that I would probably switch to Glocks or one of the new Glock clones. Most recently, I’ve been very tempted by the Glock-ish Springfield Armory XD .45 ACP, which also holds 13 rounds. The XDs have a grip safety as well as a Glock-style trigger safety, plus a “drop” safety. They also have both striker status and loaded chamber indicators, which might be a bit “gadgety”, but reassuring to have available. Even more importantly, they have a fully supported chamber, and a more natural grip angle than the Glock. (The grip feels a lot like a M1911 to me.) If I were to re-design the Glock, it would result in something a lot like the XD.

Regardless of your choice in handguns, use the right holster! I generally recommend designs that are molded from stiff Kydex, with a fully-adjustable tensioning system. Protecting the trigger is crucial for safety with a Glock, an XD, or other “safety in the trigger” Glock-ish designs. Here at the Rawles Ranch, we almost exclusively use Bladetech brand Kydex holsters. (We use them to carry our stainless Colt 1911 .45 ACPs. In fact, our only remaining traditional leather holsters are a couple of inside-the-waistband concealment holsters made by Milt Sparks.) When The Memsahib and I were at Front Sight last May, we I noticed that about 80% of the people on the firing line used Bladetech gear. That speaks volumes! BTW, Bladetech’s “Combo” packages (holster + mag pouch + separate detachable paddle) are a very good deal. The Fobus brand (from Israel) is another good buy in a stiff, adjustable tension, molded Kydex holster.

I should also mention that with a new Federal magazine ban (H.R. 1022) pending, make sure that you line up a large supply of magazines to buy before–or coincident with–your next purchase of any high capacity rifle, pistol, or submachinegun. Budget for buying at least 8 and preferably a dozen or more spare magazines for each gun, and don’t delay in doing so! If you dawdle, you may end up kicking yourself. (High capacity magazine prices are likely to at least triple if the ban passes!) I’m often asked why I’m “such a fanatic” about buying so many spare magazines. Here it is in essence: Most modern guns–especially those made of stainless steel–will last two hundred or three hundred years, with typical civilian use. It is not inconceivable that some of your great-great-great-great grandchildren will inherit functional guns from your collection in the year 2300. They may still be in commission then. But unless you buy a lot of spare magazines, odds are that they will be inheriting guns with no magazines. Let’s face it. the magazine is the most fragile part of a modern firearm. Magazines get lost–especially in combat. Magazines get stepped on or otherwise dented. Magazines get broken. Magazines might also become a political target and get confiscated. So if you want a 300 year supply of magazines to match the potential 300 year useful life of a semi-auto rifle or pistol, then we are talking about a lot of magazines. Stock up!