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  1. #1
    jblaze725 is offline Junior Member
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    Purchasing first handgun

    Hello all. I'm new here and this is my first post on the forum. Glad to be here to try and learn as much as I can from all of you here. I just have a question on the purchase of my first handgun. I'm trying to shoot as many different guns as I can to get a feel for which I like more and which I seem to do better with. I'm starting to form some opinions based on what I've shot so far, which isn't much. I've so far only shot about 350-400 rounds through 4 different 9mm handguns. I will continue to shoot more models and also calibers before I make my final decision. I just wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions as what to look for in a good first gun or any gun for that matter and any tips or info that might be helpful in buying the gun. Of course price will affect my decision as will NY state laws once I find out exactly what they are. In the end I would like to end up with the best possible gun for my money that I will be able to enjoy andf also shoot relatively well. All help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from down in the swamp. You going to have to think about what you are going to use the gun for. Guns are made to serve many purposes. That's why most of us have a varirty of guns. Ask questions will help a lot too. Good luck.

  3. #3
    jblaze725 is offline Junior Member
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    This is gonna be just a target pistol/home protection(I live in a very safe area, but who knows?). Getting a concealed carry in Westchester, NY is harder than winning the lotto. With that in mind I'm looking at full sized guns, not compacts. Most likely it will be a 9mm, .40, or .45acp. Also out of the guns I've looked at the most expensive model I have considered thus far is a little less than $700. I originally was leaning towards a revolver just because I heard so much about the jamming of the semi auto pistols, but everyone seems to say that with regular maintenance and use of good ammo that is pretty much a non-issue. With that said I'm no longer really considering revolvers. Mostly I just want a good reliable gun that i can enjoy shooting as much as possible and also be as accurate as possible with.

  4. #4
    Maximo's Avatar
    Maximo is offline Supporting Member
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    Don't think too much about caliber, or what is the IN thing. Study up, try lots of different guns and buy what YOU want not what someone pressures you to buy. That being said,I think 9mm is always a good way to go, but others are just as good. I have always been partial to the Ruger p89 as a first handgun. Accurate, soft shooting, very reliable, and not too expensive. Ruger has always been the poor mans good gun.

  5. #5
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Well there is a bunch out there and if your going to go $700 for one you should be able to get a good one. All I can say right now is stay away from the small compact and air weight guns. Get something with at lease a 4" barrel but 5" would be better. Shoot as many different ones as you can. Then it's a personal choice to which one you get. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Mdnitedrftr's Avatar
    Mdnitedrftr is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldy View Post
    That's why most of us have a varirty of guns.
    The other day, my mom asked me why I needed more than 1 gun. She doesnt get it. LOL.

  7. #7
    jblaze725 is offline Junior Member
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    I will definitely not be going for a compact gun. I'm also not really pressured by what others say although I do want suggestions of course. I may be leaning towards a 9mm now mostly because of ammo price. Also because all of the guns I've shot so far have been 9mm and I've enjoed all but one of them. I do like the Glock 19 I shot very much as well as the Sig which seemed even better. I also shot a Beretta and a Ruger which I liked, but not quite as much as the Glock and Sig. The only gun I really didn't enjoy was the Smith & Wesson I shot and that surprised me, but I also gave it the benefit of the doubt being as how it was a rental gun that probably didnt see much care and just gets tossed around from shooter to shooter. I would probably go Sig right now if they weren't so expensive, but price is a factor for me. That said I am looking 4 Glocks, the 34, the 17, the 22 and the 21. I have looked at the XD line by Springfield Armory and the Kimber Custom II .45. I am also still looking and have by no means made a choice. I very much like the 1911 style pistols, but again price is a factor as most of these are pretty high priced. As it is making the decision is pretty fun cause it means more shooting to see what I like, but I really do want to have my own handgun soon.

  8. #8
    viper101 is offline Member
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    i use to want a glock untill i shoot one and then i decided that i liked the XD better

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblaze725 View Post
    I just wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions as what to look for in a good first gun or any gun for that matter and any tips or info that might be helpful in buying the gun. Of course price will affect my decision as...
    Three things I looked for: Ergonomics, Reliability & Price

    Ergonimics: I'd make sure it feels comfortable in my hand(s). While shooting it of couse.

    Reliability: Find out what your local police/sheriffs use. If they approve of it, so would I.

    Price: Once you've covered the feel and popularity or reliability of a specific handgun then search around for the best price.

    My results from above: Lead me to get a Glock model 35. Ergo-felt comfortable and secure in my hands. Add a Hogue grip +1; I'm in heaven. SWAT have been issued with the G35 and most cops use the .40S&W caliber. Lastly saved $100+ less ordering it online, compared to buying locally. I'm very happy with it.

  10. #10
    Snowman's Avatar
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    Just know that simply buying your first gun infects you with the incurable desire to buy more. Your reasoning for looking at 9mm's is sound logic. I agree with the ergonomics/reliability/price method. Also, don't forget the all-important "cool factor" - make sure you love the gun. I think all except reliability is easy enough to determine for oneself. If you find one or more that you like, scour the internet and ask the knowledgeable folk of HGF about their reliability. You cover those bases, and you'll find a good un.

  11. #11
    FallGuy's Avatar
    FallGuy is offline Member
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    First and foremost make sure you are comfortable with the gun. It should feel natural in you hand not awkward. For home defense I do not recommend the 9mm. This is just my opinion (opinions are like butt holes everyone has one) but the 9mm is a weak round. It can not penetrate a moving tire or the windshield of a car in my experience. It does have a lot of rounds but they are weak. I recommend the .40 S&W round, it is strong round, not as strong as a .45 ACP but less kick as well. If you do want to carry a lot of rounds I have for example a Beretta PX4 .40 that holds 18 rounds (17 in the mag and one in the hole). With that many rounds I don't even carry an extra mag. The ammo here in NC cost me anywhere between $12-$14.00 for a 50 round box with brass casing.
    Last edited by FallGuy; 03-20-2007 at 11:46 AM.

  12. #12
    DjSaneR's Avatar
    DjSaneR is offline Member
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    I'm not sure what your budget is, but in my opinion the S&W SW9VE is a very good gun for defense, recreation and budget. A friend of mine has over 3000 rounds without one failure. Very comfortable, however comfort is different for everyone. See if your local range rents this out.

    $269-$30 rebate = $239
    Here's a link to Bud's Gun Shop, but you can pretty much find the same price everywhere.
    Smith & Wesson SW9VE

    Good Luck!

  13. #13
    jblaze725 is offline Junior Member
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    My biggest reason for looking towards the 9mm is price of ammo. I would like to do a lot of shooting and with the difference in price between 9mm ammo and .45 ammo I would certainly do more shooting with a 9mm. Also I understand that a .45 has more stopping power than a 9mm, but personally I would imagine if I got shot with either, especially if it were multiple rounds, I would stop. I know thats a kinda amateur way to look at it, but even with some tests they've done with ballistics some of the smaller calibers do very well in terms of their stopping power. It's not always the larger the bullet the better it is although that does seem to work most of the time. My point being I wouldnt feel like I'm really that underpowered with a 9mm, especially if it means that I've been able to practice a lot more with it and if necessary theres a better chance that I would be able to hit my target with it. Plus if everything goes well down the line I'll save up to get myself a nice .45 later on down the road.

  14. #14
    jblaze725 is offline Junior Member
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    My first time around with a S&W I didnt like it, but I mentioned before that it may have been do to the fact that it was a rental gun that Im sure was abused and not maintained. I'm also not really looking at .40 caliber anymore due to the fact that I keep hearing how its a good round, BUT its a very high pressure round and seems to have more issues with it than other calibers seem to. I may be seeing this as a bigger thing than it is, but it does keep coming up whenever anyone talks about it so I figure there has to be something to that. My ideal solution as far as I can tell now is getting a nice 9mm now and then a .45 later on once I know more about proper shooting and what I like in a gun more. This will also give me more time to research the .45's better.

  15. #15
    Nastynewt's Avatar
    Nastynewt is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblaze725 View Post
    My biggest reason for looking towards the 9mm is price of ammo. I would like to do a lot of shooting and with the difference in price between 9mm ammo and .45 ammo I would certainly do more shooting with a 9mm. Also I understand that a .45 has more stopping power than a 9mm, but personally I would imagine if I got shot with either, especially if it were multiple rounds, I would stop. I know thats a kinda amateur way to look at it, but even with some tests they've done with ballistics some of the smaller calibers do very well in terms of their stopping power. It's not always the larger the bullet the better it is although that does seem to work most of the time. My point being I wouldnt feel like I'm really that underpowered with a 9mm, especially if it means that I've been able to practice a lot more with it and if necessary theres a better chance that I would be able to hit my target with it. Plus if everything goes well down the line I'll save up to get myself a nice .45 later on down the road.
    I was shot in the chest with a 22 long rifle and it stopped me....9MM kills just like 45/40cal buy what feels good to you. I have 357 mag/38/45/380/22 and 9mm I shoot my 9mm more then any other gun.....next to the AK-47

  16. #16
    rb67 is offline Junior Member
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    I'm in the same boat as you. You might want to add these to your consideration:
    Walther P99
    S&W M&P (I'm not sure if you shot the M&P)
    CZ75

  17. #17
    nissan94 is offline Junior Member
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    value

    im no expert on guns. but you might consider which guns hold there value
    after u leave the gun shop... the first consideration for me would be what seems to fit my hand and the one im most effective with ..

  18. #18
    jeepgirl is offline Member
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    my first gun was a .40 springfield armory XD. i found it easy to use and very accurate. my second gun was also an XD, 9mm. have you shot an XD yet? i'd look into it if i were you.

  19. #19
    jblaze725 is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not really worried about which guns hold value as I'm not worried about getting rid of them later. They will stay with me a long as they last. I have actually shot an XD45 and the XD9 is what I'm thinking about getting for my first gun. I would get the .45, but 9mm ammo is just so much cheaper.

  20. #20
    jeepgirl is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblaze725 View Post
    I'm not really worried about which guns hold value as I'm not worried about getting rid of them later. They will stay with me a long as they last. I have actually shot an XD45 and the XD9 is what I'm thinking about getting for my first gun. I would get the .45, but 9mm ammo is just so much cheaper.
    yeah, that's why my second gun was a 9mm compared to my .40, little bit cheaper ammo. i personally don't think you could go wrong with the XD9 as your first handgun. i've been very impressed with mine.

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