Need a little help in the gun buying process
Taking the advice from Shipwreck's sticky for newbies, my wife and I have been frequenting a local gun shop that rents (Impact Guns in Ogden, UT). We've been there 3 times and each time we've shot a different caliber: 9mm, 40S&W, 45ACP.
SW99 - not impressed, the trigger felt terrible
Beretta 92fs - liked it, my wife's 2nd favorite... somwhat bulky
Some other gun I do not recall - obviously not very memorable
XD40 - did not like the way felt/shot
Sig P229 - felt great, but the rental gun was in poor shape and they're $$$
Some Taurus compact - very unpleasant to shoot
Springfield 1911 mil-spec - awesome
Kimber Ultra Carry - okay, somewhat unpleasant to shoot
Nighthawk Customs 1911 - didn't seem any better than the Springfield
The gun will be carried for protection while out hiking/backpacking, serve as backup home defense (shotgun is primary) and shot at the range for funsies and probably some practical pistol (I think my club does IDPA).
Based on our trying the different styles, we decided that we would prefer a "traditional" control setup with external hammer and safety and possibly a decocker... which eliminated the P99 a gun I had considered in my top 3 (I was not impressed with the SW99 anyway so it's probably just as well). Other than that, I liked a lot of the guns we fired that fit in that group. I figured my wife would only care for the 9mm's due to recoil and consequently I was already leaning towards a Beretta PX4. But she felt that there wasn't much of a difference in any of them other than the excessive muzzle flip of the 40S&W. Her favorite gun was the Springfield 1911. She shot it the most accurately, was comfortable with all the controls and just generally liked it. I was shocked as the 1911 probably would have been my #1 choice prior because of my affinity for Browning designs, classic looks and I like the 45ACP cartridge. So this all seems fine, it's my first choice it was her favorite... done deal. Well, I'm just wondering if it's the best choice. Part of me thinks we'd be better off buying a PX4 or similar 9mm and then we can get a 1911 down the road (though it would be because I wanted one... she'd say "we already have a gun, what do we need another..." you know how some ladies are ). The ammo is cheaper, the gun is cheaper, easier to clean (I gather from lurking here), more reliable (again I gather) and perhaps a better 1st gun (again, gathering). Then there is the idea of getting a .22 autoloader and doing a winter of indoor practical pistol and then hopefully being in a better position to make this decision, though getting a .22 now will stretch the budget a bit as we just moved and the gun purchase is targeted more for next spring. Okay, I'm done, sorry for the length... any pearls of wisdsom?
Nothing at all wrong with picking the springfield mil spec 1911. They're awesome. For a range gun .45 is slightly more expensive ammo-wise than a 9mm but it's not much of a disparity if you get ammo when it's on sale.
If you both like the 1911, go for it. The grip and trigger pull of a 1911 are hard to beat, parts and mags are easily available and fairly cheap. The 45acp is a great round, easy to shoot with minimal muzzle blast.
I just don't like the carrying the 1911 "cocked and locked". It makes me nervous. Maybe revisit a good used P-229. You should look around and try a P-225 or P-226 in 9mm.
Find a pistol that scores A (or B+) in these areas:
Ergonomics - (not bulky like the Beretta)
Price - you may have to get a good used gun
Reliability - check the track record on line
Caliber - if you are going to shoot a lot, go with 9mm or .40 S&W
Portability - for me, full sized 1911's are OUT
I use a Bersa Tunder .380 for the hiking bit, and have a SIG (used) P-225 for range fun. It sould also be used foe competition.
I think you have answered your own questions. A 1911/.45 will meet all your needs and they are fun to shoot. Remember one thing a 1911/.45 that is not carried in cock and lock is nothing but an expensive rock. You might consider some lessons at the local range or a NRA instructor. Good luck.
From what you said , you might want to check out the Ruger P-95 DC . This 9mm is a good gun, very dependable & accurate. I had one & sold it, Needed some fast cash at the time These are not pricey guns either so it might fit your budget . + down the road you can get yourself a 1911 & give the miss the Ruger. I think you will like it if you try it out.
Both of you like the feel and can shoot the 1911a1 then I would say that is the one to start with. You can pick the one that fits your budget best and with your lady liking it she will shoot it and want her own. I find the 1911 easy to clean and maintain. A .22 is a good plinker and very cheap to shoot so it will pay for itself by saving in ammo cost, it can also help with learning trigger control. Good luck and happy and above all Safe shooting.
The sig is out on account of she was uncomfortable with the controls and we'd both prefer a safety.
I glad the cocked & locked was brought up because I forgot about it. I had heard this before about 1911's and it made me a little uneasy. After handling and shooting one I feel a little more comfortable but it would still be a slight issue. What are the concerns with carrying a 1911 cocked & locked?
I think Mike is against a 1911 as a first handgun. Is it the gun or the cartridge that causes some to feel it's not for beginners?
I'm still kicking around the .22 idea as I'll need something to pass the time when I'm not skiing
Browning Hi-Power may be the best choice for you. 9 mm and simlar to 1911. Beautiful gun to boot.
(my personal favorite would be the 1911 tho)
Looking for your first hand gun can be hard to do.Sometimes it best to get 2 used gun to fill the needs.Im a realy big fan of .22 pistal for the range and plinking. Its easy and cheap to shoot a .22 , You can get 500 rounds for $11.00 and shoot for hours at the range. With a 45 you can get 50 rounds for $11.00 and shoot for 1/2 hour at the range.
Shmeefer the 45 1911 mil your thinking about getting is a great gun I like them alot.But if you and the wife are going to shoot it alot its going to $$$.
If you and your wife each shoot 100 rounds, at $22.00 a 100 rounds thats $44.00 plus range time.
If you and your wife shoot a .22 it would cost $5.00 plus range time.
90% of my range shooting is with my .22
100% of the time I carry my XD 9mm or my 380
Let us know what you get.
The 1911 has gotten a bad rap from those who tried to learn on worn out unmaintained military weapons, the scarery stories about what a 45 did to so-and-so. I have carried a 1911 since 1969 and learn to take care of it. Both of you like the feel and can hit the target with a 1911 then you will both use it. A good .22 can be had for around $300.00 ans ammo cost is very good. You have a life time to try all you can afford enjoy.
I carry either a 1911 in 9mm cocked & locked or a Kahr PM9 with a round chambered. I feel safer with a cocked & locked 1911 with two safeties on than I do with a SA or SA/DA pistol with no safety at all.
I agree with being uneasy carrying a 1911 cocked and locked. I used to carry a USP compact .45 DE-cocked and locked. Pricey, but give it a look! It's much more easy on the mind IMHO. Since, if you somehow accidentaly hit the safety lever to the off position, you have a LONG DA first trigger pull to help prevent accidents.
Of course I just picked up a 1911 for carry purposes. Go figure.
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