May wanna go here:
Hi everybody, I am making my first post. I am going to buy my first high power semi. I am an avid shooter with long guns and only own 22 pistols. From what I have read everybody suggests 9mm over 40 for beginners. I was looking at a SIG 40 until my brother suggested H & K. I am using this gun primarily for range shooting. I like my shotgun for home defense and don't plan on carrying a pistol since the places I work prohibit it. I am open to any suggestions. I have been looking at the full size in 9 and the expert in 40. When I am the stores looking at pistols, I am always drawn to a thicker grip and usually heavier gun. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I agree with the 9mm over the .40. Especially since it will be your first centerfire handgun. The recoil is a lot more manageable in the 9 vs the 40 and the ammo costs are considerably less. Less ammo cost = more range time. Just my .02.
If you're not worried about size, and you want an HK (good choice, btw), I would recommend either a USP 9mm, or a P30 or P30L. The P30 comes in V3 only (DA/SA w/ decocker) and the USP can be gotten in anything, though I prefer the V1 (DA/SA with decock and trigger lock) See which one fits your hands better and run with it.
I totally DISAGREE with everyone who thinks that 9mm is a better choice than .40 for a beginner. A beginner should have a .22. Most people make that desision totally on their limited experience (I shot 2 guns at the range and the 40 kicks too hard). I admit that I thought the same thing years ago. You have to experience many different guns and the different ammo in them before you truely appreciate the differences. The guns you are considering 9mm USPF and .40 Expert are totally different guns. When you shoot them side by side you will notice little if any difference in recoil but the expert will outshoot the USPF in anyones hands. And I mean my mom, dad, sisters, brothers, friends, kids etc (over many years). The .40 cartridge IS more expensive to shoot and when you hit the target almost every time you don't get tired shooting it so you shoot it more too. But isn't that the objective... hit what you aim at? The Expert is tougher to conceal and more expensive but the trigger action alone is worth the difference in price. The H&K guns are lighter than most of the others out there so the recoil is different. If you are looking for a cheaper gun that performs well get a CZ-75 (in either 9mm or .40), ~$400 used in either caliber. The CZ is much heavier so the recoil is different (but great guns). If you are lucky someone will let you send a few down range with an Expert.... once you do that you will never look back. I have both the 9 and 40 in Expert... and its an even split on preference. I would rather feed a 9 and shoot a 40. You can get a used USPF in 9 for less than $550 but an expert (in .40) is going to cost about double that new and ~$800+ used. An Expert in 9mm is an extremely rare item and if you find one for less than $1200 buy it. The 40 Expert comes standard with the 16rd mags (which are at least $50 ea). The USPF 9 can be equiped with the funnel jet giving you 18 rds but again the mags are at least $50 ea. I will tell you that once you shoot the Experts you will shoot your other pistols less! I was just at a gun show this weekend.... no used experts available... new $1200+, mags $65. USP tacticals are available in 40 and 45 used ~$1000 (threaded barrels will be banned again so prices are high right now!)
Since you've already gotten past the best beginner's step in handguns - a .22lr - the next step is inda on your own. The 9mm and .40 cal USP's use the same frame so basiclly choose the variant you want, then choose the chambering. Worry about one aspect of this at a time. Having the USP40 I will say it's snappy. Having the Elite in 9mm I can say it's verrry nice to shoot and a very accurate pistol. Were I to buy another in this series, I'd proberly opt for another 9m over the .40 because of 1) ammo costs and shootability. I can shoot the 9mm more comfortably then the .40 and therefore I'll shoot it more accuartely. If I were to do it again, I'd buy another long slide model, either the Expert or the Elite. . I just prefer the balance and look of the longer bbl models.
To each thier own but me, for my purposes, I like the 9mm's regardless of the model. My 9mm HK's out number my .40 cal HK's 4 : 1 if that helps.
Thanks for the all the info guys and advice. I am liking the sounds of the expert due to the fact that I am not going to carry this weapon ever. I just want a gun that I can get proficient at the range with and have fun shooting. I am still open to all suggestions to any high quality pistol. I just have heard so many good things about H & K and I have always liked Sig. Please keep the comments coming, they are much appreciated.
If you haven't see about getting a chance to shoot both a 40 and a 9mm.
I will say that as a range only gun you get off a little cheaper with the 9mm in ammo cost but if you see you like the 40 more than cost might not a big deal. But only after shooting one or two in each caliber can you really know.
Most people I have met though like the 9mm as a range gun. Hell.Get two!!..heh
And if you liked the Sigs check some out. They are really nice guns. HK is a great choice don't get me wrong. But so would a Sig.
By this I have to conclude you want something with high capacity and a "full" barrel. Considering this will be your first "stopping power" handgun, I would recommend a high-cap fullsize 9mm or 45ACP. I do not recommend anything in the .40 S&W caliber because the recoil on those is quite snappy and you eliminate the option of using +p ammunition (I must confess here, I really enjoy shooting regular target ammo, then switching to a few +p rounds just to feel the difference as well as survey the increased carnage of cans/phonebooks/wood downrange >.
So, assuming we're on the same page, here are my two highest recommendations followed by their ammo capacity:
Springfield XDM 9mm (19+1)
FN Herstal FNP 45 (15+1)
Both of these guns have received very positive reviews, offer absolutely mind-boggling ammo capacity , and are considerably more affordable than H&Ks. They are also some of the largest firearms in the class of fullsize handguns (minus exotics like Desert Eagles and Competition firearms, and with respect to caliber of course).
Some other recommendations:
Glock 17 9mm (17+1) -put Glock on the radar and still running strong
H&K USP 45ACP (12+1) -designed to handle 30000 +p rounds, it's a tank of a gun
Glock 21 45ACP (13+1) -quite large and until the FNP 45, was the highcap 45 king
CZ 97B 45ACP (10+1) -if you have a taste for superb ergonomics, nothing beats a CZ
Just some food for thought. What's nice about Glock/CZ/Springfield/H&K/SIG//S&W/Ruger is you really can't go wrong with any of their curent products.