When very N00bish, I dwelled on firearm features I wanted in a gun before purchase. Not from experience, obviously. This sight style and that grip panel and the thumb safety so and the guide rod thusly. And, of course, this model, but never THIS manufacturer... Only this caliber and no other, &c. All picked from research, mostly online, in an attempt to maximize my potential shooting success and, as important, minimize mistakes that I wouldn't be able to live with.
The selected features didn't have that much impact on my success, and I made mistakes anyhow.
Now? Now I am more of an advanced beginner, well on his way in his Vision Quest to be a beginning intermediate, or, dare I hope, more. Feature requirements and preferences, while they haven't fallen by the wayside, have become less important. All those things matter less. Just be a 'not bad' pistol and let's shoot it.
My prejudice against Glocks is slipping away. I didn't shoot them well, initially. I shoot them better now. If I won one in a raffle I might not sell it away immediately and put the proceed toward something else. 3 years ago I would. At the very least, no need to worry about the ambi safety like I would with a 1911. And I know how to DO safeties! Beavertail fitting? Oh, boy...
This is not say I don't like pouring over features and gun parts, as much as I always have. You can't build an AR from the ground up or a 1911 from a bare frame and not take some serious thrill out of a Brownells catalog and devil take the hindmost credit card balance. It's just less important. The gun becomes a tool. While I like one screwdriver variety over another, in the end it is still a screwdriver and the screw needs tightening. Most any decent screwdriver will do.
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