I dropped in on my local Sportsman's Warehouse to pick up some kydex 1911 mag pouches, and as always, I stopped off at the gun counter to see what was new. I talked with the fellow about wanting to get back into a pistol club, but wasn't sure I wanted to stick with my Para LTC as a competition rig forever. We talked caliber and platform minutiae for a bit, and then he handed me a Sig 220, saying it was very 1911-ish, but the controls were a bit more user friendly.
Now I've shot a Sig 220 a number of years ago, and I liked it, but never saw anything striking about it. Until I played with the one at Sportsman's. There are a couple of meaningful upgrades on the Sig that a prospective 1911 buyer might want to check out. First, the slide release is directly above the grip, not in front of it. This makes reloading MUCH easier. Even with my slightly-larger mitts, I have to cant my 1911 slightly to reach the slide release. Second, there is no manual safety as such. The Sig runs a traditional DA/SA trigger with a de-cocker. That means you get the same point-and-pull manual of arms from the tactical tupperware of the shooting world. Also, you get real 8 round mags that work! I have yet to find any single brand of 8 round 1911 mags that all work. Even top dollar stuff like Wilson and Nighthawk don't always work well.
The Sig 220 comes at a hefty price though. The base model (and there are about two dozen flavors of Sig 220) starts at $850. Extra mags from Sig are a gag-inducing $40 each. Also, you can't use semi-wadcutter bullets due to the Sig's short feed ramp (XDs suffer from the same thing). And there's just something right about shooting a 1911 full of SWCs.
I handed the Sig back and asked to see a Glock 19, preferably Gen 3. They had one, and for $499 new, it seemed a bit of a bargain. I like Glock's grip angle and low bore axis. I like their cheap factory magazines that drop free every time and function every time. I like the fact that EVERYONE makes Glock mag pouches, holsters, and aftermarket parts. I miss my Glock 17, but I think the 19 would be an awesome do-everything gun. Concealed carry is possible, the sight radius is good enough for competition, and it seemed to point better than the G34 and G17 I also fondled while at the counter.
I'm not sure which direction I want to go with my next pistol (if I even decide to get one). I like the idea of being in the "major" caliber division, but the higher capacity of a 9mm (and lower cost) seems pretty appealing. I guess the first step is to actually get to a match and see if I'm competitive or not. Then worry about how to get better.