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  1. #1
    Jlong1002 is offline Junior Member
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    Advice on first purchase

    I am finally buying my first handgun and was looking for some advice and suggestions. I'm 26, with minimal handgun experiance(by minimal I would say I've been to the range and shot handguns maybe 10 times), and no kids in the house. Want the gun mainly as a SD weapon for my home, but I plan on frequent range trips for target practice. Down the road I plan on purchasing a second gun strictly for target shooting. Being that I want it for SD I'm leaning away from 9mm and more towards .40 and .45. Don't want to spend any more than $700, and have looked at possibly getting a .22 conversion kit for some of the guns listed. Please give me some advice based on experiance. Here are some of the makes/models I've been looking at.

    Glock 21, Glock 22, Beretta 96 .40 cal, Springfield 1911, Ruger KP345 .45 cal, Smith and Wesson SW40ve .40 cal, Springfield XD45, Beretta Px4 Storm(I know it's a 9mm but I like the feel of it)

    I'm going later in the week to rent and test several of these, and would appreciate and advice or suggestions you have. Thanks

  2. #2
    Vom Kriege's Avatar
    Vom Kriege is offline Member
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    Just about anything from a quality manufacturer is worth a look, but I disagree with your take on the 9mm as it will more than get the job done and it gives away nothing to the .40SW.

    Try to handle and shoot as many different pistols as you can and pick the one that works best for you.

  3. #3
    Maser Guest
    My advice would be to go to a good, large handgun range where they have gun rentals and try lots of different makes and models until you find that "one" that fits you like a glove. But if you were to ask me, I would say get the XD or 1911. Two great HD guns there.

  4. #4
    Jlong1002 is offline Junior Member
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    The range I go to carries over 120 different handguns, so there is a pretty good selection, so feel free to drop some suggestions that arent on my list for me to test. Again thanks for any and all suggestions.

  5. #5
    imported_js Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jlong1002
    The range I go to carries over 120 different handguns, so there is a pretty good selection, so feel free to drop some suggestions that arent on my list for me to test. Again thanks for any and all suggestions.
    Beretta 92FS

    Great starter...

  6. #6
    Thor's Avatar
    Thor is offline Member
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    I just purchased a Taurus PT 145 Millenium Pro. (45acp, 10+1 in a compact). Awesome gun!! It rivals my H&K USP. All that and under $300 before taxes (New) Don't try just a pt145, a pt145 Millenium, it HAS to be the Millenium Pro model. It comes in 9mm, 40, and 45

  7. #7
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    I would not discount the 9mm. I think the caliber wars gets silly sometimes. And, if ya want, U can get some high power 9mm rounds that come close to 357 force.

    Right now, I have all 9mm - It is 1/2 the price for target ammo too. Keep that in mind - this is your first handgun. Also, .40 has a bit more power behind it, which transfers to more recoil. As a beginner, I think 9mm would be good. Plus, the ammo cost is reasonable.

    I used to have several 45s. I never cared for 40 cal. It is such a high pressure round that the majority of kabooms (whatever the brand of gun) tends to be from .40 cal.

    As for guns - I like the Walther P99 with the A/S trigger - best gun ever made, IMHO. But, I do not like the newer QA trigger.

    As mentioned above - the Beretta 92FS is a great gun. Also, I am a fan of the HK USP - especially the USP compact - the grip is a bit thinner. Glocks are nice, but ugly - The XDs are nice. If you want something bigger than a 9mm, maybe the new XD .45 is the way to go. Much less than your price limit, and it has good power. Plus, it comes with the newer finish that Springfield is putting on their slides. And, as a beginner, U will have the benifit of the grip safety on the gun.

  8. #8
    1911driver is offline Junior Member
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    HD gun

    I am going to take a different tack...BUY a simple gun.. like a Glock 19, if you are a 9mm person....that's fine. DO NOT buy a Beretta, HK , S&W or Sig. Why...??? Because they are difficult to learn on....They are complicated guns to run...You stated you are not all that familiar with handguns. The suggestion to go to a range and try several different styles of guns was a worthwhile suggestion. Try a Glock and you will see what I mean. A Glock is essentially a "Point and Shoot weapon." Learn on it..master the gun...then go buy you're target gun...Real simple. The Sig's, Berettas, HK's and S&W's will all be around when you get to wanting to own one....!!!

  9. #9
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    I disagree. I constantly see new users on the various gun boards - they are afraid to carry one in the chamber in a Glock. Granted - that usually wears off after a while - it did for me when I got my Glock 17 in 1993, but still. I think most new shooters like having a safety. If you don't wanna use it, then you don't have to.

    And, I don't feel like the others are that complicated. I can see that MAYBE a P99 A/S can take a little while for someone new to guns to grasp, but I disagree with the others. In fact, a long DA pull may benefit a newbie in a self defense situation. As for range use - I always cock my DA/SA guns anyway.

    Glocks have a different angle to the grip too - makes for some adjusting when going back and forth on the Glock platform and to other guns.

    I used to recommend to people for years the Beretta 92FS for a newbie. Gun works well, and you have a manual safety if you want it. Now, I think I would recommend an HK - not too different, but has the frame mounted safety - much better, IMHO.

    Anyway, to the original poster - U will see all of us go round and round on this issue. U should rent some guns and see which U like best yourself

  10. #10
    Vom Kriege's Avatar
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    Re: HD gun

    Quote Originally Posted by 1911driver
    I am going to take a different tack...BUY a simple gun.. like a Glock 19, if you are a 9mm person....that's fine. DO NOT buy a Beretta, HK , S&W or Sig. Why...??? Because they are difficult to learn on....They are complicated guns to run...You stated you are not all that familiar with handguns. The suggestion to go to a range and try several different styles of guns was a worthwhile suggestion. Try a Glock and you will see what I mean. A Glock is essentially a "Point and Shoot weapon." Learn on it..master the gun...then go buy you're target gun...Real simple. The Sig's, Berettas, HK's and S&W's will all be around when you get to wanting to own one....!!!

    A used DAO S&W 3rd generation such as a 4046 or 4043 can be had for under $300. However, I disagree with the contention that the S&W TDAs or the Sigs are hard to learn.

  11. #11
    poncaguy is offline Junior Member
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    The best, most reliable and affordable centerfire auto pistols are the Ruger P Series pistols........IMHO..I have a KP345DC, a KP90DC and a KP95DC. No failures of any kind and very accurate..............

  12. #12
    hberttmank's Avatar
    hberttmank is offline Member
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    Take a look at the H&K USP 9 or USP 9 compact and the Sig P226 or P228 in 9mm.

  13. #13
    imported_js Guest

    Re: HD gun

    Quote Originally Posted by 1911driver
    I am going to take a different tack...BUY a simple gun.. like a Glock 19, if you are a 9mm person....that's fine. DO NOT buy a Beretta, HK , S&W or Sig. Why...??? Because they are difficult to learn on....They are complicated guns to run...
    hmmmm... With all due respect, I respectfully disagree

    The 92FS is extremely easy to maintain and is probably one of the safest guns on the planet when it comes to built in safety features for first time shooters...

    I've read countless stories about people shooting themselves with glocks...why? because to take the slide off to field strip...you have to pull the trigger. For a first time shooter with no exiperence that could result in death. There's a guy that goes to the same range as I who shot himself in the stomach a year ago... reason.... thought he had emptied the chamber in his glock, turned the gun around, grabed the slide, pulled the trigger to remove the slide... BANG!

    examples:

    http://www.firearmsid.com/a_Unintend...kDischarge.htm

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...lice4page1.htm

  14. #14
    spacedoggy's Avatar
    spacedoggy is offline Senior Member
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    Your first gun should be one that you will never want to get rid off and will shoot the rest of your like. The gun GODS have come up with the Springfield XD's just for you. Check it out.

    http://www.springfield-armory.com/im...D9101Large.jpg

  15. #15
    P97
    P97 is offline Member
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    If you are buying a Personal Defense Gun, it is a personal thing. It should be something you personally like and can shoot well. Shoot all the different ones you can and then get the one that you like and shoot best. If you like one that is a little more expensive that another, its something that you probably will use for years, so it will be worth it. As to Calibre, they will all do the job if the bullet is put in the right place, so what you shoot best will be best. Good Luck !!!

  16. #16
    Destro is offline Junior Member
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    Have you considered a revolver? A good used 4'' 38special or 357 would be my choice for a nightstand gun that you can still enjoy at the range. Plus they are reliable, easy to clean, no safetys to fumble with when things go bump in the night and simple.

    But if your set on a Auto I would go with one of the Glocks, don't go with the 1911 unless you can afford to tune/upgrade it. The 1911 seems to be a tuner gun. I love them but 1911's in general are bottomless pits of customizations, But they are the most fun.

  17. #17
    skifiend is offline Junior Member
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    Another handgun to check out would be a Magnum Research Baby Eagle. I have a semi-compact in .45ACP and love it! It's my first/only pistol now, but I hope to have more. As it is my first gun, I can tell you it's easy to shoot, easy to take apart and clean, and the controls are easy to get to.

  18. #18
    spacedoggy's Avatar
    spacedoggy is offline Senior Member
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    Who are we trying to fool here. We all know his first gun won't be his last. He will find the one he likes best within his first 20.

  19. #19
    1911driver is offline Junior Member
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    first gun

    Look fellas..alot of you did not read my post..atleast not completely. First...it had NOTHING to do with safety as it relates to any particular make of gun. Secondly, I do know that many of you have your favorite make, model or caliber of gun and every time a "Neubie" starts asking "what should I buy"..??? You respond the same each time... I understand and appreciate your loyalty, because it works for you....Now the gist of my post was....That a new reasonably untrained shooter should start off with a Glock (of any caliber), precisely because of its simplicity, and learn the necessary gunhandling, safety and marksmanship skills that will let them become a competent shooter first...then he can go on to the more complicated HK's, Sig's, Beretta's etal, once he has mastered the techniques needed to enjoy his weapon. We had to constantly shift new students over to Glock's at Front Sight, because they found their newly purchased DA/SA HK's etal far too complex and intimidating to learn on. I submit that the ND with the Glock was a result of someone who wasn't totally trained in firearms. How about URFS #1...!!!! Additionally, a ND can happen to anybody with any type of weapon AT ANY TIME...

  20. #20
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    Re: Advice on first purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlong1002
    Want the gun mainly as a SD weapon for my home, but I plan on frequent range trips for target practice. Down the road I plan on purchasing a second gun strictly for target shooting.
    I'd go the other way. Get a 9mm now and do lots of target practice. With a 9mm, you're already worlds ahead of not having anything for home defense. Just keep a full magazine of Hydra Shocks and you're good to go. So start with a 9mm and blast away at paper targets. 9mm ammo is much cheaper than higher calibers. Once you are a seasoned shooter, get your a .45.

    As for 9mm, start with the Glock 19 and the XD9. Rent them and shoot them side by side. Pick the one you want then rent a Taurus next, or a Sig. Do your own playoffs.

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