We went pre-shopping tonight. We went to Gander and I handled guns. I managed to scrape my finger enough to make it bleed. I could cock most of the guns, but the Browning, which I thought looked beautiful, was too hard.

My favorites were:
the Baby Eagle– all metal, good fit for my hand, an Israeli gun (some cachet there for me), and it’s a baby Desert Eagle (again with the cachet). I want a full-size Baby Eagle and there are 15 bullet magazines for it. That’s good. The full-size only weighs half a pound more than the compact and it fits my hand better. (They both weigh over 2 lbs.)
After doing some research, I have found that the BE is picky about ammunition. It just will jam regularly if you use a kind it doesn’t like. It HATES Winchester ball ammo and will misfeed 4 out of 10 times with it. Also don’t use Fiocci 230 grain JHP [hollow point]. Then you’ll get a live round smoke stack and it jams every 6 or 7 shots. Of course, now I don’t know what kind to use, only what kinds not to use.
Again the research says that the finish comes off easily. You can scratch it with your wedding ring and if you go at it with a brush too hard when you are cleaning, it will come off. I don’t like that.
I am a little confused. I thought IWI made these guns, but people are saying Magnum Research does. Are there two BEs? Answer: Magnum Research designed the guns. They were made in US by Saco until recently when they switched back to Israel and IWI. I guess that means the Israeli Special Forces gun is actually a US gun, just made there. But other people say it’s a CZ75 clone. Of course, they also say it is an improved clone, so maybe MR did the improving part. It’s confusing reading.
The gun store guy said that BEs hold their value. If you bring a BE into a store three years later, you’ll get 90% of what you paid for it back. That’s pretty dang good.

the Taurus PT100– I could cock it even with my sore finger and thumb. (Finger from the baby Eagle, thumb from sticking a comb down into the bed beneath my thumbnail.) I liked the look of it, too. [It’s Brazilian! I didn’t know that.]
I like the fact that it makes pushing the slide back easy from the front by making it holdable.
It seems that the Taurus 92 was modeled on the Beretta 92 (a 9mm), but that they have now made some changes to it. A Taurus 100 is a derivative of the 92, but for .40 S&W.

the Beretta (a 96?)– easy to cock. I liked the way it looks. I also liked the ambidextrous safety, although I don’t need it.
I like the fact that the company has been owned by the same family for 500 years. That means it is pretty stable.

the Springfield XD– easy to cock, fit in my hand. Didn’t like the look as much as the others.
It did have a couple of “by feel or by sight” features that the guy behind the counter was impressed with. You can feel if the gun is cocked by feeling the striker. I can see how that would be useful, but really, I would want the gun cocked all the time, wouldn’t I? Ah… The touch stuff is useful in lowlight situations. Say I put the gun in a drawer and someone breaks a window in my house. I can feel the striker and the loaded chamber indicator, so I’ll know if I’m ready. I can see where that would be useful.
In addition, there is a grip safety. So if it is in my purse and something hits the trigger, it won’t fire.