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  1. #1
    pbjunkie87 is offline Junior Member
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    hello everyone from michigan

    hey everyone,

    im brand new to the forums, so i just thought i'd say say hi and introduce myself a little bit. Im a college student from michigan who is working on getting his first handgun. Ive done a lot of research about permits and laws and regulations pertaining to the purchasing and registration of handguns here in Michigan, and am feeling very excited about purchasing my first handgun.

    A couple of things are holding me back. Obviously, with me being a student, finances are a major factor. However, a bigger factor is the fact that I have no idea what im doing. I know next to nothing about guns, which is better for home security, which is better for the money, etc...

    Im looking for something that I can "plink" with, but is also going to be good for future home security, and possibly a CCW in the future. I have smaller hands, so large grips are not going to work. Im attempting to do my research mostly online, but Im going to attempt to get to a reputable gun store sometime in the future so i can get some hands-on experience.

    anybody have suggestions as to what i should get?

    I apologize for my ignorance. I look forward to your resonses!

  2. #2
    Fred40 is offline Member
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    Hello from Michigan as well.

    I'd probably start out with a class. Unless you get lucky (like me) and have an expert competition shooter showing you the way. I started out with a 22. (back in March....my first gun) and have already moved up to a 1911 .45ACP. I've heard all the arguments about starting out with a .22 and I do think it was a smart way to start. No intimidation factor and you can really focus on the fundamentals of shooting a handgun. That being said if you take it slow and have good instruction I see no reason for not starting out with a larger caliber. I know I could have done it. You will just have to be more cautious about not picking up a flinch.

    As far as what works for you......go to a big range that rents handguns and try some different models.....but don't do it alone. Find someone who knows how to shoot and take them with you.

  3. #3
    Growler67's Avatar
    Growler67 is offline Member
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    In doing your homework, you should get your hands on as many as you can. Go to gun shows, gun shops, and get them in your hands. Gain from these experiences what grip angles and ergos fit and feel comfortable to you qnd which do not. Listen to what people say, but keep in mind that it'll be their opinion as to which is "best" or "what they would choose". Find and take an NRA "First Steps" class.

    If a gun does not fit and feel comfortable in your hands, you will not be able to shoot it as well as if it did. In gaining this experience, there are some models by some manufacturers that will be identical but come in (your next decision) different calibers. If you want options, there are some that provide for such. For instance, a SiG Sauer P226 or P229 come in 9mm. However, if you get one of these in .40S&W or .357SIG, you can buy a conversion barrel (at a later time) and shoot .357SIG, .40S&W or even 9mm.

    The great caliber debate has been around for ages and will continue to exist until ammo is developed that is self guiding and can correct it's flightpath and trajectory en route to the target. IMO, shot placement is the more critical criteria over bullet size but that is just my opinion. Keep in mind, a firearm discharges a projectile at very high velocities (as compared to slingshots and BB/Airsoft guns) and as such, even a "puny" .22 can kill mortal humans.

    The best way to get information on what you think might be best for you in the caliber choices, find a range facility or three. If you know somebody who shoots, tag along and try as many as you can. One caliber may feel uncomfortable (snappy or whatever) in one type of gun and not so bad in a different type of gun. If there is a range facility that rents, you have found the equivalent of you library.

    Different construction materials are available by most manufacturers and have pros and cons for each. Steel frames are very durable but are the heaviest out there. Alluminum and alloy frames are durable (with current metalurgy and manufacturing techniques) and are lighter than steel frames. Polymer frames are becoming more and more prevalent these days and are the lightest. Weight in a handgun assists in managing recoil. The heavier the gun, the better at compensating for such because of Newton's laws. With a lighter frame there isn't as much weight to counter the recoil force induced by the round when discharged and so the grip angle and size of the gun, as well as the grip mechanics you have on the firearm play more into the equation. There are always trade-offs.

    Striker versus conventional hammer. Becoming a smaller and smaller debate these days, IMO. Conventional hammers are pretty obvious whereas a striker for those that don't know are something foreign. They are the internal styled mechanism that performs the same function with (generally) less parts to transfer the cycle of operation into discharging the round in the chamber. Being internal in design, there is no external hammer exposed to possibly get hung up on clothing during a draw. You did mention eventual CCW. Thought there are hammerless version of the conventional design too these days.

    Do not rush into any decision. The best decision you can make is an informed one and to be informed best, you have to seek as much information and experience as you can before the decision is made. Gather your information and even take notes (mental or even writing down your impressions afterwards) because it'll all eventually help you out when it comes time to decide.

    I'm not going to cloud your vision by stating one gun you should get over another. That, IMO, is a personal decision. There things you will hear about certain models (both good and bad) but do your research. Some are just haters and some are fanbois. Hear something too good or too terrible, do more digging and ask around to find out what will be useful to you in making your choice whether it is caliber, particular ammo, or manufaturer or model.

    Your hands will be your guide and when you find "the one" you'll know it. It'll fit and feel good which translates into shooting it well which means you'll be more proficient with it. That builds confidence in your firearm as well as your ability to employ it. Only then can you begin to prepare yourself for getting into whether or not you can do so when and if the time ever comes for you to CCW and draw. There are some other decisions you have to consider before entering that pool. In particular is whether or not you ARE prepared to take a life if the condition(s) arise. If you decide you can't, then you shouldn't carry. In some states and local municipalities, brandishing will get you into more hot water. This is stuff for another discussion later on down the road so I'll get back on topic.

    Got any questions? If you aren't sure, digest a while. When you figure them out, come back and ask. We'll be here. Specific questions will get you specific answers. Find some local resources. Friends, gun shops and ranges to do the homework you need to make a prudent and dilligent decision. Good Luck.

  4. #4
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Welcome to the forum.

  5. #5
    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from southeast TX.

  6. #6
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from Northern Arizona.


    If you have small hands look at pistols that have different size grips available such as the Smith & Wesson M&P series. The M&P9 should make a good moderate cost starter pistol and will serve HS/CCW applications quite well. Go to a gun store and, if available, have the Clerk install small, medium and large grip on whatever you are interested in before you buy. If you rent ask for a grip that fits.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Thallas's Avatar
    Thallas is offline Junior Member
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    Hello from the good ol' UP of Michigan!

    I am new to this forum as well, and like you was looking for something that I could start on and use for plinking. My first purchase of a pistol and I would recommend anyone looking to get started with a pistol is one from High Point Firearms. They offer a low cost product with a great warranty. My first pistol was a .45 ACP and brand new it only cost about 165 bucks. I used this until recently where I upgraded to the Glock 17. I am going to use this as my concealed weapon when my permit comes through. Tomorrow I do the final step (the fingerprinting) and will just have to sit tight until the gun board issues the permit.

    I agree with the others, the best way to find what you are looking for is to go to some sporting goods stores or gun shows and get your hands on some different kinds of pistols. I just happened to find High Point Firearms one night and really liked the .45. It was a nice starting piece for me.

  8. #8
    RevDerb's Avatar
    RevDerb is offline Member
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    Hi, from northern lower peninsula of Michigan and welcome to the forum. I started out with a 9mm SIG P-6 which I found at a gun show for $300 OTD. It was a great shooter and inexpensive to shoot. Just recently traded it for a Glock 30 which I don't regret at all. My EDC is a G36 but it is getting a face lift right now and expected back any day. Read a lot and take your time. You will find out by reading that when purchasing handguns, you generally get what you pay for and remember that your primary purpose for owning and carrying is SD so when you pull the trigger, you want it to go "bang" EVERY time. Good deals can be had but if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Enjoy the forum and enjoy what I have found to be a really fun hobby (owning and shooting handguns). In His grip!

  9. #9
    Wyatt's Avatar
    Wyatt is offline Member
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    Welcome to HGF. Before I can determine whether to give you good advice or bad, I need to know - are you a Spartan or a Wolverine?
    Last edited by Wyatt; 09-23-2008 at 10:49 PM.

  10. #10
    Thallas's Avatar
    Thallas is offline Junior Member
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    are you a Spartan or a Wolverine?
    Lets Go Blue

  11. #11
    JustRick's Avatar
    JustRick is offline Member
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    Western Washington New to Pistols

    One newbie to another -- hi!

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