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Emotional honesty in brand recommendations

Brand loyalty is stupid. Here’s an absolute fact: we live in the Golden Age of striker fired semi-automatic pistols. If I showed up for work Saturday and instead of my M9 there was a bag that contained a Sig M18, a Glock 45 (the model, not the caliber), an M&P 2.0, a Beretta APX, a Walther PPQ, and a HK VP9 then I was told that whatever gun I grabbed out of the bag I had to carry I would be fine with any of those choices. The simple fact is that guns from reputable manufacturers are better than ever…and they’re all kind of the same.

Beretta APX Combat

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m sponsored by Beretta, and I do like shooting the APX. I think it does some things better than the other guns on the list, but I also think that other guns I named do things better than the Beretta APX. For instance, the Sig M18’s manual safety is excellent and intuitive to use. The M&P 2.0 has the best factory texturing and is the only entrant on the list I don’t think needs aftermarket stippling. I could find something about each pistol that it does better than the other ones on this list, but when you add up all the features on these guns the end result is the same: a reliable, accurate, duty ready pistol in 9mm.

This is why at this point brand loyalty is pretty dumb which it comes to service pistols. Sure, be brand loyal when you’re talking about custom 1911s or precision bolt guns, but if you’re talking about the genre of 9mm people-poppers? They’re all pretty much the same. Imagine being a brand loyalist who insisted the Nissan Altima was “better” than the Toyota Camry. They’re all the same.

BUT! It’s also totally okay to have brand preferences. When I say that it’s “stupid” I don’t mean in the sense that you’re a person of below average intellect if you have a brand preference. I mean that at this point when you’re discussing service pistols, having a favorite is a purely emotional choice since they’re all basically the same. I’ll be the first to admit that because of my long-running relationship with Beretta I have an emotional attachment to the APX, and I’m sure someone out there has an emotional attachment to Glocks or Sigs. That’s awesome, because no matter how seriously we all take this “shooting guns for blood and money” thing, it’s okay to like stuff more than other stuff.

I have an emotional attachment to DA/SA .45 ACP guns

The core of this post is to be able to recognize emotional attachment as different from objective differences. For example, if I say “the Beretta 92FS is better than the CZ75 because it fits my hands better” that statement is emotional. If I say “the Beretta 92FS is safer than the CZ75 because the Beretta has a safety/decocking function, where the CZ75’s hammer must be lowered by hand.” That’s an objective statement, because we can all agree that having to touch the trigger and lower the hammer by hand is less safe than flipping a decocking lever.

Emotional attachment is dangerous when we can’t admit it to ourselves. But as SMEs and “influencers” we have an obligation to admit to ourselves and the sort of people that follow us when we’re being emotional and to differentiate that from when we’re being objective. That being said, the Beretta APX is definitely the best striker fired pistol on the market and you should all go buy 7 right now.

Caleb Giddings
Caleb has over a decade of experience in the firearms industry as a professional competitive shooter, instructor, content creator, as well as other positions. He is also still serving in the USAFR as a Combat Arms Instructor.

He has a weird thing for Berettas, and if you follow him on social media you’ll see a lot of photos of his dog.
Caleb Giddings on InstagramCaleb Giddings on Youtube

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