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  1. #1
    ArmedBears is offline Junior Member
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    A First Handgun For a First Time Poster

    I have neither owned nor shot a firearm that wasn't a BB gun. Nonetheless, I am looking to buy my first handgun(s) and can absolutely see myself becoming a connoisseur of firearms on a tactical, practical, sporting, collecting, and tin foil hat level.

    I am looking to spend a maximum of $2500 for 2 or more handguns. There is a second budget for accessories and ammunition. I am not necessarily trying to cover my bases with this purchase. I am also not particularly trying to get the most handguns for my dollar. I intend to do something along the lines of firearm purchase every year after this in the decades to come.

    In order to narrow things down a little my criteria is as follows

    Caliber: .45acp, .40sw, or 9mm (redundancy allowed)

    Magazine Minimum Capacity: 8(+1), 10(+1), 12(+1)

    Composition: Metal over Polymer but Id go both ways.

    Must have a rail

    Action: SAO, DAO, SA/DA, DAK, I do not care.

    Size: Any I won't ccw for awhile but will eventually.

    Exceptions: I would certainly consider a revolver chambered in a .45 variant such as .454 Casull

    Nuances: In the great debate I support the 1911 over the Glock for largely unfounded reasons. Despite that, I would still purchase a Glock without concern.

    I feel that if I where to purchase a 1911 I would want to wait a few years and purchase a safe queen. Something that would only see that light of day in an open holster on trips to expensive steak houses in red states (I assume that is what you do there).

    I like brand names that may suffer from the Veblen Effect and would almost defiantly rule out the likes of CZ and Taurus. In other words I have a natural bias towards HK.

    Considerations: If I was to call something a nightstand gun I think I would be looking for something with as much .45acp as possible and the ability to easily install (not requiring drilling or 3rd party assistance) aftermarket red front and rear green tritium sights. Thus far it seems that the FNH FNP-45 and Glock 21 fit that void if any of my opinion on what a nightstand handgun should be is intuitive.

    For a workhorse .45 I've so far considered an HK 45, Sig Sauer P220 w/ a long beaver tail (ex. Elite Dark, Scorpion etc.), Colt Rail Gun, Sig 1911 w/ rail, or a SW 1911 w/ rail.

    For a 9mm I've considered HK P30, HK P30L, Beretta 92A1, Beretta 92FS, M9A1, Sig P226 w/ a beaver tail, or a Sig P229 w/ beaver tail. No reasoning for the beaver tail affliction.

    For a .40 I've considered a Sig P226 Elite Stainless or Sig P229 Elite Stainless under the assumption that a heavier gun leads to reduced recoil.

    As a filler, beater, mass market sorta handgun I've considered a P250 2Sum, Glock, S&W M&P,
    Springfield XD or XD(m), Ruger SR9/40, Ruger P345, Beretta PX4 Storm, Steyr, or a Walther PPQ.

    So there you have it in a rather long first post.

    What would you do in my position?

    Thanks for any and all replies.

    PS: I intend to rent/borrow test as many as possible before purchasing.

  2. #2
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    welcome from southern oregon

  3. #3
    FNISHR is offline Member
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    Welcome. You've named off a lot of fine weapons there, and it would be hard to go too far wrong with any of them. Enjoy.

  4. #4
    denner's Avatar
    denner is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmedBears View Post
    PS: I intend to rent/borrow test as many as possible before purchasing.
    Best advice anyone can give, but for never shooting anything other than a bb gun you picked good ones, as it will come down to what feels, serves the purpose in which you intend, and shoots best for you in the end.
    Last edited by denner; 02-01-2012 at 09:28 PM.

  5. #5
    jtguns's Avatar
    jtguns is offline Member
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    I would agree that you have made some sound choices and renting is great idea also, the first thing you should do is take a basic shooting course to learn safe handling and basic cleaning. I would also include a .22 cal for learning and practice. .22s are a good way to practice nad keep the costs down while learning the basics.
    Shoot safe and have fun
    JT

  6. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Your budget would likely be better applied to only one pistol, plus a lot of practice ammunition and some shooting-and-tactics lessons.
    You will learn more easily if your first pistol is full-size and full-weight, as this will aid you in controlling recoil.
    You may find that learning trigger control is easier using a single-action semi-auto.

    Pistol shooting is a difficult-to-learn skill, and to maintain that skill requires lots of practice. Practice involves lots of ammunition. So invest either in practice ammunition, a reloading outfit, or ammunition-manufacturer stock.

  7. #7
    Brevard13 is offline Member
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    I agree with Steve. I would find one pistol with great reliability. Since you are new to handguns I would also recommend getting something that is easy to maintain and work on to help keep that reliability high. I would say look into a Glock, XD, or my personal favorite a M&P since these tend to make a great gun for people just starting out. Invest in one of those then later on purchase a different gun later on.

    But like was said you mentioned alot of nice guns. I would also recommend doing some research take your time and find what you like. But most importantly is to try to rent say your top 3 picks if possible. You will learn quickly what you do and don't like. Me personally I love the M&P's, I also have yet to find a Beretta that I like. But that is just me. Good luck with your search and your new addiction because, it is just that an addiction.

  8. #8
    chessail77's Avatar
    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from snowy AZ....JJ
    Might want to look at Sig P 250 as it has the ability to become a range of different pistols and they are inexpensive and a great place to start.....JJ

  9. #9
    denner's Avatar
    denner is online now Senior Member
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    Very good suggestions, likewise, buying different caliber handguns all at once means you would need to buy different caliber ammunition, and while you can find relatively good deals on ammo in certain calibers, all in all, it ain't cheap, especially if you go to the range as you should. If Obama wins a second term watch out. I recall the ammo dry up a few years back and I couldn't even find 9mm at Wally-world for months.

  10. #10
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    As long as cost of ammo isn't a problem, and this is just me, I prefer metal guns with a hammer, in sa/da, so I probably would purchase(just Me) a 92fs for 9mm, a 96 for 40 cal., and for .45, I am not sure, probably HK or Sig......

  11. #11
    ArmedBears is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Your budget would likely be better applied to only one pistol, plus a lot of practice ammunition and some shooting-and-tactics lessons.
    You will learn more easily if your first pistol is full-size and full-weight, as this will aid you in controlling recoil.
    You may find that learning trigger control is easier using a single-action semi-auto.

    Pistol shooting is a difficult-to-learn skill, and to maintain that skill requires lots of practice. Practice involves lots of ammunition. So invest either in practice ammunition, a reloading outfit, or ammunition-manufacturer stock.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brevard13 View Post
    I agree with Steve. I would find one pistol with great reliability. Since you are new to handguns I would also recommend getting something that is easy to maintain and work on to help keep that reliability high. I would say look into a Glock, XD, or my personal favorite a M&P since these tend to make a great gun for people just starting out. Invest in one of those then later on purchase a different gun later on.

    But like was said you mentioned alot of nice guns. I would also recommend doing some research take your time and find what you like. But most importantly is to try to rent say your top 3 picks if possible. You will learn quickly what you do and don't like. Me personally I love the M&P's, I also have yet to find a Beretta that I like. But that is just me. Good luck with your search and your new addiction because, it is just that an addiction.
    Quote Originally Posted by denner View Post
    Very good suggestions, likewise, buying different caliber handguns all at once means you would need to buy different caliber ammunition, and while you can find relatively good deals on ammo in certain calibers, all in all, it ain't cheap, especially if you go to the range as you should. If Obama wins a second term watch out. I recall the ammo dry up a few years back and I couldn't even find 9mm at Wally-world for months.
    Range time accompanied with taking classes is definitely on the agenda.
    I'll probably wait a little while for proper instruction on hand loading before taking it up but it is most definitely a great idea.
    I feel that besides always having a firearm for the ammo, multiple calibers would allow me to be more frugal when allocating a percentage of ammunition each year towards long term storage.

    If I where looking strictly for a nightstand gun what would you recommend? If I wanted to maintain the need for a high capacity .45 for that application what else would fit the bill.

    Thanks again for the replies.

  12. #12
    ArmedBears is offline Junior Member
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    Oh, any range suggestion for the New England area would be greatly appreciated.

  13. #13
    ArmedBears is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevard13 View Post
    I agree with Steve. I would find one pistol with great reliability. Since you are new to handguns I would also recommend getting something that is easy to maintain and work on to help keep that reliability high. I would say look into a Glock, XD, or my personal favorite a M&P since these tend to make a great gun for people just starting out. Invest in one of those then later on purchase a different gun later on.

    But like was said you mentioned alot of nice guns. I would also recommend doing some research take your time and find what you like. But most importantly is to try to rent say your top 3 picks if possible. You will learn quickly what you do and don't like. Me personally I love the M&P's, I also have yet to find a Beretta that I like. But that is just me. Good luck with your search and your new addiction because, it is just that an addiction.
    I've heard that the trigger is what really sets the M&P's apart from their peers. Is this your reasoning?

  14. #14
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmedBears View Post
    Oh, any range suggestion for the New England area would be greatly appreciated.
    Hoffman's in Newington, CT. I almost moved to CT just to be able to go there more.

  15. #15
    Brevard13 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmedBears View Post
    Range time accompanied with taking classes is definitely on the agenda.
    I'll probably wait a little while for proper instruction on hand loading before taking it up but it is most definitely a great idea.
    I feel that besides always having a firearm for the ammo, multiple calibers would allow me to be more frugal when allocating a percentage of ammunition each year towards long term storage.

    If I where looking strictly for a nightstand gun what would you recommend? If I wanted to maintain the need for a high capacity .45 for that application what else would fit the bill.

    Thanks again for the replies.
    Glock, XD, or M&P should all do very well. I am not sure about the XD but I know Glock and M&P you are able to add a different baseplate and spring and make the mags hold more ammo. The Glocks You can just buy a bigger mag and stick in there. It isn't needed, but I know some people like knowing they have enough ammo they won't have to reload. Even though the odds are you won't have to. I would say hold all 3 and get which one feels best to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmedBears View Post
    I've heard that the trigger is what really sets the M&P's apart from their peers. Is this your reasoning?
    That and the grip itslef. Those backstraps on the M& P just make for a good feeling gun. I like the way the trigger feels with the slight curve to it as opposed to the Glock and XD. Also I like the way the M&P looks over the Glock and the XD. Add all of those factors up and the fact that when i bought both my M&P's they were cheaper than the Glocks and XDS. Not to mention that both my M&Ps shoot so much better than my Glocks and my XD. Now my wife's M&P was actually about $10 higher than the Glock and XD, but she really likes how they feel and shoot so it was worth the $10 IMO.

  16. #16
    hideit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmedBears View Post
    Oh, any range suggestion for the New England area would be greatly appreciated.
    go to web page
    wheretoshoot.org

  17. #17
    hideit's Avatar
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    Of the choices you mentioned I like
    for 45
    the FNH FNP-45 and Glock 21sf and Sig Sauer P220 w/ a long beaver tail and Sig 1911 w/ rail
    for 9mm
    the Beretta 92FS and Sig P226 w/ a beaver tail
    both 9mms are all steel and so for a polymer frame I would suggest the Glock 17

    most important is how they feel in your hand
    you may know the beretta 92fs and the sig 226 were the two finalists in the military tests in the 1980's
    the Sig won but lost the contract due to higher costs for the maintenance part of the military contract
    happy shopping

  18. #18
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    SigP229R is offline Member
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    Lots of fine weapons and you could not go wrong with any of them. I have a P229R basic 40 S&W and the .357 sig barrel to go with it they are 12 round. I have two Berettas, a 92f and a 92fs Centurian both are 15 round I also own a S&W5903TSW 15 rd. All are Ex Pd guns with the exception of the Centurian. As I have already mentioned tho you have some excellent choices named. Good luck on your hunt.

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