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  1. #1
    clawlan is offline Junior Member
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    New to the handgun scene, help me out!

    Hi everyone. I have been familiar with firearms since I was very little, competing in amateur rifle shooting for example. But now that I'm going to be getting out on my own, I'd like to purchase a handgun. My father has a small revolver and 2 colt .45's. I'm not sure what I'd should get though. Heres what I do know:

    I don't want a revolver.
    I want something with some power
    Something semi accurate would be nice for plinking
    Low maintenance, reliability is also a plus.

    Always love the .50 cal. Dessert Eagle but I know that way overkill. Im open to your suggestions, bring 'em on!

  2. #2
    noproblem5671 is offline Member
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    Perception of accuracy depends on a lot of factors. It isn't as simple as putting two guns in a vise and pulling the trigger ten times to see which one makes a better group from 25 yards. Some shooters like one gun some like another and it is a combination of the gun, the shooters idiosyncrasies and the shooters technical skill that will produce the given results.

    If you want an accurate defensive semi-auto gun the top choices available today in no particular order are:
    Glock
    1911 (Kimber, Colt, Para Ordinance or Springfield) Take your pic.
    Spingfield XD (One of my favorites)
    Sig 229 or similar
    HK USP
    Walther P99AS

    You were not quite clear if it is for carry also or only home defense and plinking. Not that people don't carry every gun on my list, but it plays a role in deciding.
    (Excluding high dollar guns which often have as much to do with pride as function, of course given your background you might like handgunning enough to justify it.) Since most everyone who gets into guns owns more than one getting a solid defensive gun isn't a bad start since we know you're not affraid of a little recoil and a large framed gun.

  3. #3
    bantonio is offline Junior Member
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    As far as brand or style goes, you just gotta beat the bush and try them out. It's a personal thing about how good it feels in your hand. But, if it's your first, I'd suggest a semi-auto and also suggest a 9mm. It's a good place to start and shooting it often will not break the bank.......yet. For what it's worth.
    BA

  4. #4
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Well, here is some standard advice we give:

    Newbie to guns? Need help? Where to start?

    Also, trust me - U do not want a 50 cal desert eagle. U willd evelop some horrific shooting habits w/ that monster thing to begin w/. And, it will just end up staying in your closet. Its so impracticle.

    There is a huge used desert eagle market - many people buy it because of movies they have seen. They rarely shoot it, and they eventually sell it.

  5. #5
    M&P40's Avatar
    M&P40 is offline Junior Member
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    i would suggest if you want some stopping power but also want to plink with it go to the 9mm because the ammo is a little cheaper...personally im willing to pay 2-3 dollars more on a box of ammo for the extra stopping power of the .40

  6. #6
    Snowman's Avatar
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    In my opinion, a good place to start is whether you want a metal or plastic frame. I don't have much metal-frame experience other than the famed 1911. I did handle a Baby Eagle in 9mm which I thought had good balance; never shot one though. If you're a plastic guy, I suggest the Walther P99, Springfield xD, and Glock among others.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by M&P40 View Post
    i would suggest if you want some stopping power but also want to plink with it go to the 9mm because the ammo is a little cheaper...personally im willing to pay 2-3 dollars more on a box of ammo for the extra stopping power of the .40
    Then again, all the stopping power in the world doesn't mean a darn thing if you can't hit what you're aiming at. Shot placement is more crucial. You're better off with a 9mm and hitting a BG COM (assuming the gun is bought for self-defense) vs. owning a .45 and missing. Find the biggest caliber that you can shoot well.
    Last edited by Todd; 01-19-2007 at 09:28 AM.

  8. #8
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    Plan from the very beginnig to own more than one handgun. That will take some of the pressure off. You are looking for you "first" gun. Not your "only" gun.

    If you like your first gun, you'll love your second one.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  9. #9
    Charlie's Avatar
    Charlie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    Plan from the very beginnig to own more than one handgun. That will take some of the pressure off. You are looking for you "first" gun. Not your "only" gun.

    If you like your first gun, you'll love your second one.

    WM
    and third...........and fourth.............and fifth............etc..........

  10. #10
    dladd is offline Junior Member
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    As impractical as it may be, I love my Desert Eagle .50 A/E. It's a hoot to shoot and I shoot it often. Is it a good defensive weapon. No, unless you live on 20 acres and there are no houses around. If you live in an apartment or condo, this thing shoots through walls. It's expensive and ammo is expensive. Around here a box of 20 Speer Gold Dots cost about $35. That's a buck seventy-five per squeeze of the trigger. But when folks in the parking lot of the indoor range stop me and ask me what I was shooting that was making the walls shake, it's worth it. I tend to shoot it almost everytime I go to the range. I do however have the .44 magnum barrel and magazines for it so I can plink with it a little easier than if I didn't.

    Would I buy it again after owning it. You Betcha. I love that gun. Impractical or not. It is not, however, my only handgun and I wouldn't recommend to anyone that they should buy one if it was going to be their only handgun. For home defense and carry, the Sig P245 does quite nicely. I'm not a big fan of the 9mm which is why I went with the good old .45 ACP.




    dladd
    Last edited by dladd; 01-19-2007 at 02:06 PM.

  11. #11
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    That's kewl that U like it. But even U would probably agree that it isn't a good 1st gun for someone....

  12. #12
    dladd is offline Junior Member
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    Shipwreck,

    I'll say it like this. If your interest is to only go to the range and shoot a cannon but have no interest in home defense, then I see nothing wrong with this being your first/only gun. If you have the slightest interest in home/personal protection, then you are correct. It shouldn't be your first or only gun.

    In my case, I wanted a .44 mag pistol but really don't like revolvers. That really narrows it down if you know what I mean. I owned a .38 special revolver for home protection so this was not my first gun. It's just the first in my current buying spree. Anyway, it really depends on your reason for purchasing a handgun. Nowhere in Clawlan's original post does he really indicate what his intention is with the gun so we really don't have enough to go on. But if his intention is to make a very big boom, then the DE 50 is the gun for him. If home defense is a must, then it's not, he should stick with something smaller like a .45. Not nearly the muzzle velocity or lead mass so shooting through 3 or 4 apartments isn't a concern.

    dladd

    After reading my above post, I have to put one caveat in: If you can safely handle a large caliber handgun without hurting yourself or others, then I go for it. Many first-time gun owners don't have ANY experience with ANY gun. In that case, a DE 50 is way too much gun. It doesn't have training wheels and after you pull the trigger, you can't have a do-over.
    Last edited by dladd; 01-19-2007 at 02:59 PM.

  13. #13
    clawlan is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by noproblem5671 View Post
    You were not quite clear if it is for carry also or only home defense and plinking. Not that people don't carry every gun on my list, but it plays a role in deciding.
    I would love to be able to carry the gun but I'm pretty sure that this is illegal in upstate NY. Is there a website that has all the different state handgun laws? I have tried searching but haven't had much luck.

  14. #14
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by clawlan View Post
    I would love to be able to carry the gun but I'm pretty sure that this is illegal in upstate NY. Is there a website that has all the different state handgun laws? I have tried searching but haven't had much luck.
    Yes indeed. We have everything here - that link I posted above w/ help on new people to guns has 2 links in it. They each have state firearm laws...

    HereL

    Newbie to guns? Need help? Where to start?

  15. #15
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
    and third...........and fourth.............and fifth............etc..........
    Shh!

    Sure, your right, Charlie, but I didn't want to scare him!



    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  16. #16
    MLB's Avatar
    MLB
    MLB is offline Supporting Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by clawlan View Post
    I would love to be able to carry the gun but I'm pretty sure that this is illegal in upstate NY. Is there a website that has all the different state handgun laws? I have tried searching but haven't had much luck.
    Yes, you can carry in Upstate NY. Just need the appropriate permit. Takes about 6 months. It's a pain, but definately worth it. On the plus side, NYS concealed carry permits never expire. (Unless of course you do something stupid ) Go to your local pistol permit office or sheriff's department to get the forms.

    Take a look at www.packing.org. Best of luck.

  17. #17
    clawlan is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
    In my opinion, a good place to start is whether you want a metal or plastic frame. I don't have much metal-frame experience other than the famed 1911. I did handle a Baby Eagle in 9mm which I thought had good balance; never shot one though. If you're a plastic guy, I suggest the Walther P99, Springfield xD, and Glock among others.

    Good luck!
    For give my lack of knowledge, but besides plastic being plastic and metal being metal, what are the advantages/disadvantages?

  18. #18
    clawlan is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Then again, all the stopping power in the world doesn't mean a darn thing if you can't hit what you're aiming at. Shot placement is more crucial. You're better off with a 9mm and hitting a BG COM (assuming the gun is bought for self-defense) vs. owning a .45 and missing. Find the biggest caliber that you can shoot well.
    Again forgive my ignorance, what is BG COM? I'm not familiar with all the acryonyms.

  19. #19
    Spenser is offline Member
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    Definitely a 9mm. I'd agree that you need to decide whether you want a plastic or metal frame, safety or no manual safety, decocker or no decocker, etc. Then we can get down to specifics.

    I'd recommed in no order:

    Beretta 92FS (cheaper nowadays) or PX4, or a Cougar if you can find one.
    Smith & Wesson 3rd Gen.
    Sig P229
    Baby Eagle
    Glock 19 or 17
    H&K USP
    Walther P99

    I'll bet you can find something in that list that you'll love.

  20. #20
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by clawlan View Post
    Again forgive my ignorance, what is BG COM? I'm not familiar with all the acryonyms.
    Bad Guy - Center Of Mass

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

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