Armed with my list of final choices, I made my way to my not-so-local but well-stocked gun shop.
The last few semi's I handled were the Springfield XP-40 Tactical, the HK USP, the Beretta Elite 2, a Para-Ordinance LDA 9mm, a Glock 22, the CZ-85 Combat, and the Walther P99.
I decided months ago to take up shooting as a hobby. I haven't shot since the early seventies. I've wanted to for years, but raising a family and maintaining a career put shooting and a lot of other things on hold.
So, for the last six months, I've gone through almost all the hoops Canada placed in front of gun fans--legal gun fans, not criminal gun fans, of course.
At the counter of Ellwood Epps Sporting goods, I wanted to make a final decision based on grip, trigger feel and sighting ease. I've fired a number of semi's over the last few weeks, so I felt confident that dry firing, plus reading everything available on each gun, would give me an accurate idea of using one on a range.
The first handgun I picked up was the Glock 22. I could not get comfortable with the gun. The grip angle, shape, and indentations were not made for my hand.
The HK USP, probably a fine gun, was huge. My medium sized hands could not get comfortable. Also, the thing is huge. Massive. Overbuilt, probably, for my needs.
The Beretta was beautiful. It fit my hand perfectlyThe . It made lovely racking sounds. If it were about $300 less expensive, it would have been a bargain. Also, I could get a used police DAO Brig for CAN$500 with a Safariland thrown in and change a spring for a few dollars.
The Para was a stainless-steel beauty. It had that unique and glass-like trigger--but, again, it was very expensive.
The CZ was a good fit---much like the Hi-Power. But, try to field-strip the thing and you will know that you are handling old technology.
Some twenty minutes later, only the XD-40 and the P99 were in the running.
The XD-40 was $CAN200 less than the 99. Was the silky trigger feel, the unique features of the trigger system and the superior appearance enough to justify the added cost the P99?
After about another two weeks of goverment red tape--the kind of red tape criminals ignore--I shall pick up my black, completely German P99.