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Let me add my recommendation for the XD-s 45. It's my current EDC. It's very compact and shoots great. It also has great safety features including a grip safety.
 

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Someone else mentioned the glock 36. A good friend of mine carries one and he likes it and i know you can get ambidextrous mag releases for most if not all glocks. The only downfall is capacity.
 

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The 1911 platform is my favorite but would recommend the Glock 38 in 45 GAP. Feels like a G19 in the hand and I love it. The small Kimber is beautiful but a bit pricy.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
More good feedback, thanks. It's evident that my decision will be based partly on budget, and depending on what happens later this year, I may indeed get that fine Kimber. 1911s are my all time fave of course, but a nice DA/striker pistol would also be good. I'm open to suggestions and will make my decision later this year. I'm obviously on a budget so I can't just buy 5-6 new pistols on a whim. Sigh.

re the GAP cartridge, I actually chatted with Gunny about this when it was first introduced, at the NRA show. "Gunny" (R. Lee Ermey) is a spokesperson for Glock, as you may know. I found him a very cool guy, smart as you might think, very nice fella too.

I'm also sure the GAP is a nice round, but it's damn expensive to shoot, and I've got about 5 gazillion boxes of .45 ACP practice ammo on the closet shelf.
 
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