I've been reading the forums for a couple days now and decided to make an account so I can take part in all of the fun.
I was born and raised in the great state of West Virginia and I am currently attending WVU Tech. At this time, I am studying for a B.S. in Business Management with minors in economics and human resources. I've already graduated from Tech once with an A.S. in Business Technology: Business Supervision and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship. At 21-years-old, I guess I'll be known as the youngster of the forum. I hope my age doesn't automatically put me in the "young and stupid" category. I hope to learn a lot from everyone here and judging by the threads I've already read, I believe I will. I still have a bit of reading to do before I make the inevitable "help me" thread, but I don't plan to make my purchase until sometime in January, so I hopefully I can learn what I need to between now and then. I'm not much on hunting, but I developed a love for shooting at a young age when my cousin allowed me to fire a few rounds through his target pistol. As a proud US citizen, I would like to take full advantage of the right to bear arms and obtain my concealed carry permit. I'm going to primarily look into the caliburs that are suitable for affordable target shooting as well as adequate protection. I'm afraid the .45 cals are out of the question, haha.
Then start with dependable, simple, accurate, and affordable 9mm. Sufficient for self defense, accurate for range work, inexpensive to feed, and simple to clean and maintain.
As you've gathered, there are Glock fans, Walther fans, XD fans (like me), M&P fans, 1911 fans, and many other brands and types to fit your needs.
Start on the brand forums, and learn, learn, learn. Go to the manufacturer's websites, and learn more. Go to a rental range and shoot lots of guns. Revolvers, DAOs, SA/DAs, SAOs... Ahah... What's a SA/DA??? Learn before you buy.
Most guys at 21 have no lack of learning ability, but a significant lack of disposable income... Do your research, spend some money on rentals first to "test-drive" guns. And don't be steered by commission sales guys at the store.
ASK people here, ASK people at the range. We're full of experience. I've learned a TON here and online in the last year. Now I'm building a small collection of guns. One for every nitch...
But the first one? My suggestion is a polymer-framed, 9mm, with as few moving parts as possible... Then when you're ready for more, if ever, move up. Many guys start simple, spend a ton of money on complex fancy guns, then end up carrying a "simple" gun again in the long run.
If it will be for concealed carry, consider:
2) length of grip (shorter is better)
3) length of barrel (shorter is more concealable, longer is more shootable)
Most of all, welcome, enjoy, don't get addicted.
Too late for me.
What Jeff said.
And welcome aboard!
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All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.
I really appreciate the welcome from you guys.
I don't want to spoil my future help thread, but I'll shed a little more light on my thoughts for potential candidates at this time.
It was actually January of this year that I decided to purchase a handgun. As time went by and I studied what I wanted and so on, I had settled on a .40 S&W. The money wasn't there and the idea drifted away. I recalled a time when my uncle brought his duty weapon over and plunked off a few rounds at a milk jug in the yard. At the time, he was carrying a 9mm. I'm not sure of the make or model, but I know it was a 9mm. We were astonished by the fact that the bullets were penetrating one side of the milk jug and getting stuck in the other. He promptly switched to a .40 cal for his carry weapon when he returned home. It was that memory that had me convinced that if I ever bought a handgun, it would be a .40 cal. Several years passed and I still found myself most interested in the .40s. I would attribute this to lack of information. I discovered another handgun forum and was turned back on to the 9mm as well as other rounds. Now that the 9mm has been suggested again, I'd like to give it some serious consideration. I'm going to drop by the local Gander Mountain shop today so I can atleast get a feel for polymer vs. steel. My head tells me that polymer will feel like a toy, but a lot of people seem to like them. I'm going to keep an open mind and give everything a chance. Ideally, I'd like to have a wide array of accessories to choose from, so I'm thinking that Glock might be #1 choice as I go blind into selection ring. When all is said and done, I'd like to be out the door with a brand new handgun, holster, possibly an aftermarket sight, and some ammunition for under $750.
Welcome from down in the swamp. Enjoy.
Welcome from the mountian in North Carolina. You may want to look at a 4" .357 mag. It would fill all of your needs easy.
Welcome From Northern Arizona where the snow is falling as I write this.
It aint all desert.
When you heft the various pistols in the gun shop the plastic ones will feel light to you. As you indicated "Like a Toy"
Don't forget the weight that will be added by 15 to 18 cartridges or whatever it holds.
My M&P 9 & 40 both weigh in around 24 ounces empty. The same as a J frame snubby. Fully loaded they are over 40 ounces. Big difference. If you put that much ammo in an all steel pistol this decrepit old man would have a hard time holding it on target.
Well maybe not but you get the idea.
My 4" GP100 with 6 rounds of .357 only weighs a couple of ounces more than the Plastic Fantastics.
Enjoy the search and what you buy.
Last edited by TOF; 12-11-2007 at 01:53 PM.
Reason: Additional comment re. GP100
#1. Welcome aboard from the sandpile.
#2. +1 on everything said by Jeff.
#3. A used .357 might be a good place to start. The 4 inch recomended by Tony is an excellent place to start. As you read on, you'll see why.
#4. It's O.K. to be young and stupid. We've all been there. It's those of us who are old and still stupid that are the people to worry about. BTW, you can't be all that dumb. At least you're looking in the right place to correct your inexperience.
Jump in. Enjoy.
My trip to Gander Mountain cleared the plastic myth out of my head. I held three polymer framed guns. The first was a S&W M&P, the second was a Glock G26, and the third was a G19C. I also held a Sig P220 Elite. I know I'm not going to spend quite $1,000, but I wanted to hold atleast one steel frame. I really liked the M&P, but not so much that I would put it a clear winner in front of any of the others. As a matter of fact, I would put the G19C at the top of the list. The G26 was just far too small for my hands. At 6'2" and 250lbs, I'm a pretty big guy. It really did feel like a toy, haha. What's the deal with the "C"? From what I understand, it is supposed absorb some of the recoil. Does it really work or is it a gimmick?
Well, I guess my introduction thread turned into my help thread, lol.
I beleive the C means the barrel is ported. That's OK for a range /target gun but I would not want it on a carry/home defense gun. Of corse each to his own but I would never recommend one to anybody. Good luck.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people.
Thanks a lot everyone. Like I said, I have some time to read up about various models and such. Keep your eyes peeled for my final selection list sometime over the next week or two. I've read a lot of reviews, problems, etc. over the last couple of days and those have really proved to be useful. I want my first purchase to be the right purchase.
Welcome from the People's Republic of New Jersey! You couldn't have picked a better place to start researching. Please know that if you continue to take advice from Jeff you too will be addicted to XD's, up all night researching guns, more knowledgable than most guys two times your age, and trying to figure out where this sick addiction started. I happen to be not much older than you with a business degree in Entrepreneurship and let me tell you the innovation in the XD is phenomenal. They bascially took a Glock and made it better. Do everything everyone else before me has said and shoot, shoot, shoot! Good luck!
"C" as in compensator. same as Ported. Equals flames before your eyes at night and much louder noise to the rear of the muzzle than with standard barrel. You don't need a compensator yet. Try the M&P with each of the 3 grip sizes in place. It makes more difference than one might think.
Originally Posted by X6StringerX
Enjoy the search. (first of many)
Welcome...........and Howdy from Texas! Just buy one of each!! That solves the problem.
LOL! Good call.
The M&Ps look to be fairly tough guns. I was watching some kind of handgun show the other day on OutdoorNetwork and they put one in a cement mixer with a bunch of rock for 5 minutes. Despite being scarred up and covered with grit and grime, it fired consistantly. I know I'll treat mine like a baby, so I hopefully won't ever find myself in a cement mixer for 5 minutes, but its interesting nonetheless.
As far as maintenance goes, what differs between a polymer frame and a steel frame? Also, would you guys recommend polished stainless, satin, or blued steel?
Also, are there any true American manufacturers left? I mean where the guns are actually made here in the USA and not just stamped with "Assembled in USA".
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