Newb Needs a First Handgun (scheduled for a defense tactics program)

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    1. #1
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      Newb Needs a First Handgun (scheduled for a defense tactics program)

      Hi,

      I'm looking for my first handgun. It will be used to prepare myself for a defense tactics course. I'm considering the S&W M&P .40, and would like opinions on that weapon. http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...egory_rn=15711

      The course is a opportunity associated with my job. It involves attending a 1 week defense tactics training session put on by a department of the federal government. The gun I would be issued if I were to successfully complete the training is the H&K USP40 compact. This is also what would be used during the training, but I do not obtain the firearm until my arrival. I have about 6 months to prepare.

      I have no real handgun training or experience, having been a regular civilian my entire life. I feel like I need to practice and improve my marksmanship if I have any chance of completing the course successfully. I grew up around hunting rifles and shotguns, and currently just own a remington 870 & baretta extrema2 for hunting/HD. Recently a Police Officer friend of mine took me to the range and let me fire his Colt 1911-style .45 and an S&W M&P .40.

      I took a liking to the S-W M&P .40, as I could get fairly accurate shots with it after a bit of coaching. I was wondering if this would be a good semi-auto for me to purchase in preperation for my course. I would also use it for home defense after it had served that purpose. I've also considered the springfiled XD line and Glock 22 based on reviews I've read online. I could also get an H&K USP40 of my own for $495.00 if I wanted.

      I am leaning toward the S&W M&P because I actually have used it, it's made in the USA, .40 S&W seems like a good round, it seem to get good reviews from what I've read, and I think it looks good. Plus I'd like some variety if I'm going to get issued the H&K, it seems redundant to have two of the exact same weapon.

      Opinions, thoughts, comments? Thanks in advance.

    2. #2
      Member Redwolf's Avatar
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      I like the M&P's, they shoot good, I have the 9C 40 and a 45 they are back by a life time warranty and I dont think you could go wrong with them. and you will find people say the same for the XD and the Glock. they would all be a good choice. And do not pay no 700 dollars for it thats too high.
      Last edited by Redwolf; 01-16-2009 at 06:20 AM.

    3. #3
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      Go to the range, rent as manny of the guns you can. Buy what feels good to you.

    4. #4
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      The new springfield XDm series is the most accurate it has a match grade barrel

    5. #5
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      I would say that if you will be carrying the H&K, that is what you should get. Also, $495 for a H&K is a great price. The thing to keep in mind is that the weapons you mentioned (Glock, M&P, XD) all have very different trigger systems than the H&K. Training with a double action only/safe action weapon and then taking the class with a DA/SA weapon may not be a great idea.

    6. #6
      Member Snowman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ptarmigan View Post
      I would say that if you will be carrying the H&K, that is what you should get. Also, $495 for a H&K is a great price. The thing to keep in mind is that the weapons you mentioned (Glock, M&P, XD) all have very different trigger systems than the H&K. Training with a double action only/safe action weapon and then taking the class with a DA/SA weapon may not be a great idea.
      I agree 100 percent. If your plan is to practice shooting only with the M&P, you may find the USP awkward until you get familiar with it. If it were me, and I really wanted to pass this course, I'd go buy a USP 40 Compact. If you do pass, and get another one just count it as a success. It's always nice to have two of something that you like and can use well.

    7. #7
      TOF
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      I am an M&P40 owner and am totaly satisfied with it after somewhere above 10,000 rounds fired. I believe it would be an excellent choice and you have tried and liked one so don't need to go the rental route.

      The XD-M match barrel hype is hype. My M&P has shot numerous 5/8 to 3/4 inch groups at 15 yards and the XD-M's will do no better.

      Different trigger systems don't bother me as I switch from rifle to revolver to shotgun and semi auto pistol on a regular basis.

      All brands mentioned so far are hi quality reliable weapons so get the one you like the best.

    8. #8
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      There is a lot to be said about similar action. I for a while was finding it hard to determine what primary platform to purchase, and fired many at the range. My consistency in aim differed greatly depending upon the action. I also felt less comfortable with some than others.

      Unless you plan on putting a lot of rounds down range between now and your class, I would purchase a pistol with the same action as the one you will be using during the course. The more experienced you get, the more quickly and efficiently you will be able to adapt to different actions. But that comes with a lot of practice ...

    9. #9
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      Thanks for all the replies. I am now leaning toward ordering an H&KUSP40 of my own since many of you had made good points about the trigger action being so different. Indeed, so far in my shooting, a smooth trigger pull with the M&P has been the main deterrance to my accuracy. I tend to pull shots low and to the left (I've shot about 150 rounds with the M&P).

      The only downside is that it will take 6 weeks to get my H&K if I order with the discount. Maybe I'll order it and buy something else to tide me over in the meantime.

    10. #10
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      If you know for sure that the H&K you will be using for the class is a traditional DA/SA trigger, you should be able to pick up something similar without spending a great deal of money. Something like a Ruger P95 or a Smith & Wesson 910 should work.

      Now if you really like the M&P, by all means, get one. Any time on a handgun will help you get ready for your class. If you can afford it, I suggest you get the M&P you like now, order the H&K, and then train as much as you can before the class. Of course, the money you would pay for another gun now surely would be more than buying the H&K now without the discount.

      Either way, good luck.

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ptarmigan View Post
      If you know for sure that the H&K you will be using for the class is a traditional DA/SA trigger, you should be able to pick up something similar without spending a great deal of money. Something like a Ruger P95 or a Smith & Wesson 910 should work.

      Now if you really like the M&P, by all means, get one. Any time on a handgun will help you get ready for your class. If you can afford it, I suggest you get the M&P you like now, order the H&K, and then train as much as you can before the class. Of course, the money you would pay for another gun now surely would be more than buying the H&K now without the discount.

      Either way, good luck.
      Thanks. I'm sure it will be this gun: http://www.capapilots.org/pdf/Pilot_Pistol_Offer.pdf
      .....that will be used in the training.

      Are there any other .40 cals with similair trigger pulls that I could look into in the mean time? I think the ones you mentioned were 9mm types.

    12. #12
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      This is good info. The H&K used does not have a traditional DA/SA trigger. It has the LEM trigger system, which, as far as I know is a double action only trigger. I have never tried it, but I am guessing that it will be close enough to the M&P/Glock/XD type trigger i.e. the same pull on each shot. Unless someone knows more about the LEM trigger system, I think you will be fine if you get the M&P now, and the H&K later.

    13. #13
      Member Scratchshooter40's Avatar
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      Shoot what you carry, drill, drill, drill . . . .

      As a graduate of FLETC in Glynco, GA and Quantico while serving in the USMC, training FBI newbies years ago I am firmly of the opinion that you drill exhaustively with the weapon you carry. Make it part of you and make all actions with the weapon a natural extension of yourself. As part of my ongoing drill, I dry fire my Berettas with snap caps every evening without fail as well as clip change drill and clear the action drills. Many people will say the safety on the Beretta is not a natural action, it is for me. Keeping my finger out of the trigger guard is also a natural action handling the weapon, even, no, especially under stress. I shoot every week in a lighted range and they will turn the lights off for you if you shoot between 8:30 PM and 9:00 PM. This is useful as I have a LaserMax LMS-1441 in the 96 I carry CCW and as a Reserve Deputy. I own 10 handguns and shoot all occasionally, but mainly use the ones I don't carry conducting a weapons self defense course for women. The variety allows them to find the weapon that fits them best. From a S&W M&P40 to a Model 60. So after the diatribe, train like you fight and fight like you train. Debts you pay in sweat will keep you from paying in Blood. Shoot safe and shoot well.

    14. #14
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      Thanks for all the replies. I went ahead and bought an M&P .40 today.

      I immediately went to the range and went through 150 rounds. I was OK with my results. With my last 30 rounds, all my shots were within the "9" at 3 yards and all within the "8" at 7 yards and the bullseye was well covered.

      Granted, I have a ton of room for improvement but I think I am getting a good feel for the weapon. I just need to decide which grip feels best, I did everything with the medium today.

      I still will probbly order an HK if the results from my psych eval. for this program come back with a green light, but until then I can't be 100% that I'll even be able to attend.

      Thanks for the help,
      LSW

    15. #15
      Member TheReaper's Avatar
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      congrats on the M&P 40. I have a 40fs and a 45 and the 40 is my favorite.

    16. #16
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      Congrats on the M&P.

    17. #17
      Senior Member tekhead1219's Avatar
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      Congrat's on the M&P. Continue the practice and I guarantee you'll like the results better and better.

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