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  1. #1
    Fredericianer's Avatar
    Fredericianer is offline Junior Member
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    Do you always try before you buy?

    Hi guys,
    This may seem like an odd question, but when you're going to purchase a pistol do you always try it out first ( i.e. at the gunstore, or by renting a similar model at a range)?

    If not, have you ever bought a handgun that you couldn't get on with? Or would you say that most people can shoot with most any pistol if they practice enough?

    Cheers
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Fredericianer's Avatar
    Fredericianer is offline Junior Member
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    In case you're wondering, the reason for the post is that there are no gunstores here who have pistol ranges on the premises, and neither are there any ranges where you can rent out different pistols in order to try them out.

    This means that if you're in the market for a new pistol and don't know anyone who has one that you can try, you are pretty much limited to handling and dry firing at the store before you purchase.

    Since the prices here in Denmark are quite a bit higher than in the US, buying a gun that doesn't suit could be an expensive mistake.

    Jeff

  3. #3
    mustnggt619 is offline Junior Member
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    Its always a good idea to try the model of pistol your looking at buying, But around here i dont have anywhere to do that unless i know someone that has the gun so i can try theres before purchasing. If you cant try it I always atleast hold one to make sure the gun is comfortable and fits my hand.

  4. #4
    not_possible is offline Junior Member
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    My main concern is only handling what I plan on buying to make sure I like the feel in my hand, but if once you do shoot it and don't like it you could easily sell it with little or no loss for the most part with the way guns are selling these days. I had never even held a Beretta 92 when I bought mine, but I couldn't pass up the deal so bought it and have no regrets. I had never fired a 10mm when I bought my g29, but did shoot a g30 which is the same feel to make sure I could get a good grip on it. IMO, if you can shoot first it's a great idea to, but if you can't it's no reason not to buy especially if you are getting a good deal.

  5. #5
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    Hi Fredericianer,

    That is a very tough question to answer..I can't imagine myself buying a gun before I can try to shoot it first..Sorry man, there are lots of missing details you can't get by just feeling a gun in your hand and dry firing it. As I can advice you from my own experience, if you are looking for a range gun go for a SIG P226 or CZ 75 SP01..These 2 guns have the approval of a majority of people who handeled them.

  6. #6
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I've bought several without actually firing it. I do check them out and I'll ask if I can remove a slide sometimes to get a good look inside if it's used especially. I'm one that does not go to a whole lot of shops though and I know the people selling me the weapon. Two of the three places I frequent will allow me to bring it back if I'm not happy with it in any way so that makes things a lot easier. They like my money and I like their guns so it works out for all of us

    There are some guns that if I'm confident in the maker and it is a new gun I can buy it without firing it. If it will feel good in my hand and it looks good I'll put my money down. If it turns out to be a dog then that's my fault for not seeing the problem when I bought it. So far I've done pretty well. I have not lost money on a gun yet and I've owned quite a few firearms in my lifetime and shot a whole lot more.

    Best I would advise is do your homework., Get all the info about a particular weapon that you're looking at. Know what other people have said about it. No matter that gun it is you're going to find someone that hates it but you can tell if you research enough if a particular firearm is junk or not.

    It's always best to be able to fire one just to know that you will like the caliber, feel, etc. If you can't then I'd no be trying out new calibers but you can still get a gun that fits you in a caliber you know you are comfortable shooting.

  7. #7
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    Guns.
    Cars.
    Women.

    Always take them for a test drive before you take one home...

    JW

  8. #8
    jimmy's Avatar
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    Jeff, hi:

    My dad used to say the same thing...Three things you can not lend to a friend: your gun, your car and your women.

  9. #9
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
    Jeff, hi:

    My dad used to say the same thing...Three things you can not lend to a friend: your gun, your car and your women.
    I had a rich friend in Los Angeles. He was a private pilot, a powerboater, and divorced. He always told me:

    If it flys, floats, or fu___, you're better of renting it...

    He was a wise man...

    JW

  10. #10
    gnet158 is offline Member
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    I only held before I bought. And it was love at first hold. I've always had my eye on Sig's and when I got the green light to buy I purchsed a 226 40. cal. It shoot just as good as it felt.

    But I atleast was able to see and hold a bunch before I bought.

  11. #11
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    Only gun I ever tried was a .357 I bought from a buddy. All of the semi-autos I've purchased, I had only held them before buying.

  12. #12
    Fredericianer's Avatar
    Fredericianer is offline Junior Member
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    I like some of the replies so far guys. Lots of wisdom indeed!


    So it's not just us poor Europeans who don't always get the chance to try before we buy?

    Have any of you bought anything that felt right in the shop, but which you had difficulty shooting with?

    I tried a friend's H&K SD9, which I thought looked very cool. It felt okay in the hand too, but when I fired it I wasn't too impressed. Perhaps it was just because I'm used to heavier pistols, or perhaps I would have got used to it if I'd persevered with it......

    It's not just the polymer frame either, as I did better with a Glock that I had a couple of shots with at the club.

    While on that subject, how much would you say is a fair test drive of a new pistol? A couple of magazines? 50 shots? Or should I begin to get used to it after the first five or six shots?

  13. #13
    Hollander is offline Junior Member
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    I bought three without firing but only my Springfield without handling it. I based that decision on what several people had told me. So far no regrets. I will also be purchasing a Karh PM9 in a few weeks without handling but I do trust my instincts that it will be fine for what I want it for - just a pocket weapon.

  14. #14
    dovehunter is offline Member
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    [While on that subject, how much would you say is a fair test drive of a new pistol? A couple of magazines? 50 shots? Or should I begin to get used to it after the first five or six shots?[/QUOTE]

    Atleast 100, normally when I have a new toy, I shoot anywhere from 200-300 on my first outing, and depending on the type/manufacturer, maybe between 300-500 rounds.

    Good luck and the positive thing about buying a gun without trying it. you can always sell it and do not have to take a big hit between the purchase/selling price.

  15. #15
    Bisley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredericianer View Post
    Have any of you bought anything that felt right in the shop, but which you had difficulty shooting with?
    Believe it or not, I bought 3 different Kahr pistols before I figured out why I could not shoot them accurately, consistently. I knew the guns were accurate, and I shoot all my other guns fairly well, but I could not always hit where I aimed with the Kahrs.

    It was very simply a matter of the trigger reach being too short for my 'largish' hands. I eventually figured it out and was able to compensate, but I fired a lot of errant rounds before I did.

    However, for the most part, I have been very pleased with the gun purchases I have made, without first shooting them.

  16. #16
    48dodge's Avatar
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    I've tried pretty much every 9mm available at the range I go to. Pretty much every gun that I handled and liked, I enjoyed how it felt when firing. The only one that I had a totally different impression about was the Kahr. I would have gotten used to the Kahr if I'd bought it without firing first. The gun I ended up with, I knew it was going to be perfect for me before firing. It was actually the first gun I held at the store (M&P9C). I was definitely pleasantly surprised after shooting the M&P fullsize. I did buy the compact without firing it first, though.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredericianer View Post
    Hi guys,
    This may seem like an odd question, but when you're going to purchase a pistol do you always try it out first ( i.e. at the gunstore, or by renting a similar model at a range)?

    If not, have you ever bought a handgun that you couldn't get on with? Or would you say that most people can shoot with most any pistol if they practice enough?

    Cheers
    Jeff
    While I try my best to at least check out a weapon in person before buying it, I have bought handguns I have never handled before (H&K P2000SK and S&W 1076), although both of these were niche-filling weapons with very specific roles:

    H&K P2000SK: a subcompact offered by a manufacturer who made my VERY favorable USP 45. This was a no-brainer. There are only two things you want out of subcompacts: small size and reliability, and based on previous experience with H&K's products I was confident in the purchase.

    S&W 1076: I wanted a "magnum" autoloader, and in my reading of available 10mms, this was the only one that was consistently described as "built like a tank." In addition, it was an official FBI issued weapon and came in a commander/compact size.. It was the only logical choice.

    To this day I am very happy with both purchases, but again, both of these weapons filled a role which I knew I wanted filled. From there it was just a matter of making sure there weren't any grossly negative remarks about them to be found online or in print (magazines still serve a purpose).

    So...

    If you have no way to "try before you buy" then find a weapon you know satisfies a particular desire: aesthetics, durability, comfort, finish, reliability...you name it. From there do the research to make sure the handgun isn't known for issues. Assuming it consistently goes bang, you'll always be able to say "I bought this because I wanted abcdef!" and thus it will always have been a satisfactory purchase.

    Be sure to let us know if you're looking for anything in particular. I think a lot of us love to make recommendations based on experience.

  18. #18
    Fredericianer's Avatar
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    I'm looking for my first pistol. Due to Danish law, I've got to wait until I've been a member of a pistol club for two years before I can legally obtain my own pistol. In the meantime I've been using the clubs Norinco CZ clone, which is actually pretty good. One of my friends has a Tanfoglio Combat Sport which I've tried a few times and liked too, so I'm seriously thinking about getting a similar pistol (CZ, Tanfoglio, Norinco, or perhaps even Grand Power).

    I've taken a look at a Tanfoglio Match which really impressed me, but I'm keeping my options open, as there are other pistols I fancy which I haven't tried yet.

    Among these are the 1911, the Beretta 92, the S&W M&P 9L 5", and the Sig P226 X-Five AL, I'd also like to give the Glock 17 another try.

  19. #19
    Bisley's Avatar
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    The CZ-75 is pretty hard to beat, even with a Sig or a Glock. Over here, it is one of the best values around. It is accurate and well crafted, and priced very competetively.

  20. #20
    Red-5 is offline Junior Member
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    While it is nice to try a firearm before buying or nice to give that recommendation, that is very hard to do. Some places have many to try, but not the one you are interested in, or others have very few to rent. When you get into the high end 1911's, may as well forget it. You buy on the feel and reputation when there are none to rent.

    If it does not feel good in your hands, it won't get any better once you own it.

    I would have liked to fire every firearm I have purchased, but unfortunately, some were not available at the ranges around here to try first, so I bought on the feel.

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