Another lively internet or gun store debate. American steel vs Tupperware. Modern polymer technology vs. classic steel.
There are those who hate the polymer firearms. Slamming the tupperware on internet forums and gun shops abroad. Claiming longevity issues and other nonsense. Even though they have been around for over 45 years. There are those who swear by them.
There are those who laugh at the people who would carry the old low capacity, heavy sidearms such as thumb-busters, 1911’s, or double action revolvers. Not understanding why someone would limit themselves to old technology and other closed minded thinking. There are those who live by them.
One thing of for certain, no matter what camp you belong to, all of these firearms are tried and true. Whether it’s capacity and lightweight carry that makes you feel at ease, or classic cold steel in your hands. You cannot go wrong with any of these fine firearms.
My two favorite full sized handguns are:
the 4″ Smith & Wesson Model 19 ( old school)
and the Glock 17 (new school).
Both are classics in their own right. They are ground breakers in their respective era’s.
Both serve or have served in countless law enforcement holsters across America.
What the old school has going for it is a better trigger, it is much better to hunt with due to penetration and energy displacement. Then there is the visual factor. It just looks great. Nothing beats the lines and look of a classic revolver.
Both are reliable. Very reliable They both shoot very well.
Depending upon the load, recoil is very manageable, but new school gets the nod for follow up shots.
Ballistics wise there is a difference in penetration, velocity, and energy between different loads and calibers. That difference is very apparent for hunting purposes as the 357 magnum can be loaded to an effective hunting cartridge. This definitely gives old school the advantage in regards to hunting and back country animal protection.
On the flip side, the improvement of modern hollow points as far as self defense is concerned have made all of the calibers penetrate and expand properly when placed where they need to be. So all of the calibers are perfectly acceptable for that purpose. Although some people still refuse to believe that. That is my opinion based upon the data I have seen. This gives new school the advantage in regards to capacity, weight, and felt recoil.
For me, new school wins out all day in terms of capacity. 3X the amount in one sitting. 18+1 vs 6.
In addition to the lighter weight, it is easier to conceal. It is much thinner and the weight helps with this. Making it easier to hide on the body under a simple t-shirt. New school is much easier to carry.
As far as open carry, a good holster makes both a pleasure to carry. But old school wins out here on visual aesthetics alone. It just looks right in a properly fitted belt holster. I love toting old school about as a BBQ or social gathering around a campfire gun.
I like to carry old school in the back country, where I have a self defense rifle close at hand, and I like to carry new school where it matters in the big city for self defense.
Obviously I still carry a 6 shot snub in my rural low crime community. I also carry a higher capacity polymer bottom feeder. I also like to carry to my situation, environment, and dress. I choose the best tool for the job at hand. I won’t carry my 5 or 6 round revolvers into the city any more than I like to lug my 15 or 18 round auto loaders day to day around my rural community.
But when it comes to full sized weapons the capacity vs. weight becomes apparent. Weighing in at 39oz for only 6 rounds in the Model 19 versus the 33 ounces for 18 rounds in the Glock 17. New school’s modern technology improvements become apparent.
New school just doesn’t look as good doing it’s job. Not many handguns can look as good as old school. New school is ugly, but it gets the job done reliably. It reminds me of the A-10 Warthog. ugly, tough, and reliable. I have come to realize with age that is not about how the tool looks, but how it does it’s job.
I have been a purpose driven firearm owner as of late. If it does not serve a self defense, target shooting, competition, or hunting purpose I have culled it. My collection is refined to useful tools for my hobbies. Collectors please don’t jump on me, I salivate at your collections, I just want to use my firearms and collectors pieces would be ruined in my hands. I just cannot let it sit in my safe waiting for the day that it is sold. I have to take it out, I have to carry it, I have to fire it. A lot. That really drives down the collector value and I feel those pieces are better served in the possession of individuals who can appreciate them and care for them to preserve these classics.
So in summary, both old school and new school serve a purpose for me. I have learned to appreciate both of them for what they are. There is room in my life for both of them to coexist and provide many years of enjoyment. Not to leave out another old school American classic, throw in a 1911 or two and three is definitely not company.
So no bashing here. All of these are welcome additions; from cold American steel, to injection molded polymer. They all are fine handguns. We are fortunate as Americans to have such wonderful choices to make. Nothing makes a range day more enjoyable than being able to enjoy all of these modern and past classics.