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  1. #1
    speedy16 is offline Junior Member
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    what gun and caliber

    I am new to handguns and was wondering if anyone could shed some light on this for me

    I haven been looking every where and I have choose between .40S&W or a .45ACP i was wondering what everyone thinks about both calibers I have heard good things about both.

    I have choosen a few guns if anyone could help with this also.
    HK45, USP, USP Tactical, USP Expert, MK23

    this would mostly be for home safety and maybe CC

    thanks for the help

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  3. #2
    TerryP Guest
    The 45 ACP did the job for the military for what 75 years? I think it is an excellent fight stopper. The 40 S&W was developed for Police work because of some of the reported short comings of the 9MM. Ammo development has helped level the playing field.

    There are generally two schools of thought on caliber: big and slow or small and fast. Basically a large caliber heavier bullet moving at a slower speed like the 45 ACP. It makes a large hole and penetrates deeply. The second is a smaller caliber lighter bullet traveling at a higher rate of speed. At impact the bullet is supposed to expand rapidly and impart tremendous shock. The 9MM is the typical example used in this regard.

    I tend toward the first school although my primary home defense weapon is a Ruger P94 in 40 S&W and it is accurate and totally reliable. My carry weapon is a 357 mag 2 1/2" revolver which is an excellent caliber as well. If I haven't given you a definitive answer it's because I don't think you can go wrong with either. I own both but my go to is the 40 just because of reliability issues with my 1911 45 and I favor a double action auto as I'm uncomfortable with the cocked and locked of a single action auto.

  4. #3
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    I currently only own 9mm handguns because I think it's plenty power to get the job done (and it's cheaper to shoot), but if I were looking for something bigger I would personally skip over the 40S&W and go straight to the .45ACP. That's just what I would do though, no particular reason other than the fact that my personal feelings are that the 40S&W is just a middleman.

    -Jeff-

  5. #4
    themayer78's Avatar
    themayer78 is offline Member
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    ^ What he said. I chose a 45 for home defense but its a BLAST (pun intended) at the range too. We also have a 9mm and of course I would use it in a HD situation if my 45 was unavailable, but for us it's really more for easier carry outside of the house and is obviously a little easier on the wallet at the range. I don't think I would ever own a 40 cal gun only because I personally don't see a great advantage to it. In my opinion the 40 cal doesn't do anything that a 9mm or 45 doesn't do better it just sort of splits the difference.

    Since you are new to handguns and will want to cc as well as defend your domicile my suggestion is to go with a 9mm first. Plenty of bullet for HD and more affordable ammo may give you incentive to practice more.

    That said, since you are looking at HK, my suggestion is the P30. I would have definitely bought one instead of our M&P if it wasn't almost double the price.

    Good luck

  6. #5
    speedy16 is offline Junior Member
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    im not concerned with the price of ammo really and im a big guy with big hands

    I am open to any suggestions I was looking at 1911's but like I said im new thats why I joined to get some help from you experienced guys

    Im looking for reliability and accuracy

  7. #6
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Get your hands on a few..See what fits you best. Once you find the pistol that fits you can look into calibers.

  8. #7
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome aboard!

    .40s and .45s are poor choices for a new shooter. Heavy recoil and high cost of ammo hurt a new shooter much more than they help.

    .22 or 9mm are much better. However, based on the guns you listed, I suspect that you are set on a mall ninja gun rather than one actually suitable for a beginner.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  9. #8
    speedy16 is offline Junior Member
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    well im not really worried about a big caliber having to much recoil or any of that im a big guy so im not sure a big caliber will make a diffrence

  10. #9
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Physical size has almost nothing to do with handling recoil.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: http://www.nierecovery.com/.

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  11. #10
    Mark Metz's Avatar
    Mark Metz is offline Junior Member
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    Witness

    My 9mm EAA witness shoots excellent out of the box, was inexpensive to purchase, inexpensive to shoot and has had zero problems after over 1000 rounds. Also it has a fairly large grip area suited for big hands...

  12. #11
    speedy16 is offline Junior Member
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    so what it basically comes down to is what feels the best to me.

    right now I dont know of any shooting ranges in the nerbaska area were I can test fire a few diffrent guns

    is there a huge difference in recoil from .45 to .45

    is there a place I can find the diffrent manufactures of handguns???

  13. #12
    JRI
    JRI is offline Junior Member
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    If I were you,I would start off with the 9mm,very affordable to shoot...lots of rounds so you can become proficient with it,I own all three calibers ie 9mm,40 S&W,and 45 ACP,also a 10mm.

    To me,shot placement is alot more important than caliber,a 9mm to the chest or head is much more effective than a 45 to the shoulder.
    Also,with the 9mm,follow up shots will be faster.

    Just my .02 worth.

  14. #13
    JRI
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy16 View Post
    so what it basically comes down to is what feels the best to me.

    right now I dont know of any shooting ranges in the nerbaska area were I can test fire a few diffrent guns

    Yes,that's what is most important,which ever one you you feel the most comfortable with and are willing to practice plenty with.

    There are some very good loads for the 9mm now days.

    To me,there isn't alot of difference in recoil between the 40 S&W and the 45,the main difference is the recoil from the 45 is more of a push and the recoil from the 40 is snappier..ie a quicker push.

  15. #14
    speedy16 is offline Junior Member
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    so pretty much I go to my local shop and handle a few diffrent guns and see which I feel more comfortable with and then choose a caliber after shooting all 3?

    so basicaly its what im comfortable with and practice??

    can all 3 have the same ability with the right amount of practice

  16. #15
    JRI
    JRI is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy16 View Post
    so pretty much I go to my local shop and handle a few diffrent guns and see which I feel more comfortable with and then choose a caliber after shooting all 3?

    so basicaly its what im comfortable with and practice??

    can all 3 have the same ability with the right amount of practice
    Yes,go to your local shop and explain your situation to them,and see which ones feel the best in your hands.

    The more comfortable you are with your selection,the more likely you will be to practice and become proficient with it.

    You will have the same ability with all 3 if you practice enough,and all 3 will do the job in a self defense situation if you do yours. Remember,it's placement,placement,placement.

  17. #16
    speedy16 is offline Junior Member
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    well then I guess the final choice is up to me and I really appriciate all the help from you guys thanks alot

  18. #17
    JRI
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy16 View Post
    well then I guess the final choice is up to me and I really appriciate all the help from you guys thanks alot
    Yes,the final choice is ultimately up to you,my advice is,don't "jump" on the first gun you handle,if you find one you really like,set it aside and check out other ones,the go back and recheck the one you set aside.

    Please let us now what you found out!

  19. #18
    jjcool is offline Junior Member
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    I have been going through this same process. I am about to buy my firs handgun. I narrowed it down to either a 9mm or a .40. Then I researched online for guns that I liked cosmetically. Then I went to a store and held all the ones that I was considering. I discarded the ones that werent comfortable in my hand either for grips too large, or too small. Tried the optional grip pieces on the ones that offered it. Once I narrowed it down to a couple of guns, I shot them all at a range, that rented guns. Once I decided on one that felt good in my hand, I shot it in both 9mm and .40. Difference for me was negligable, so I went for the .40

  20. #19
    speedy16 is offline Junior Member
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    ok I think I have botherd you guys enough but one last question

    What are some of the top handgun manufacturers?

  21. #20
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Physical size has almost nothing to do with handling recoil.
    +1

    Speedy, I would take that comment into great consideration. Physical size has nothing to do with handling recoil. I'm a big guy, but I know guys twice my size that can't handle the recoil on larger calibers. I would start with a 9mm and once you've practiced a TON and are a better shooter all around, then I would move up to a .45. Handling recoil has to do with your maturity as a shooter not your physical size. Just my .02

    -Jeff-

    Edit: As far as top gun manufacturers, they're pretty much all listed in seperate sections in this forum. I would take a look at those and browse through those particular sections for information.

  22. #21
    themayer78's Avatar
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    JEEZ, just get an XD already!

  23. #22
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themayer78 View Post
    JEEZ, just get an XD already!


    Seriously....do it!

    -Jeff-

  24. #23
    speedy16 is offline Junior Member
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    well I have to find someone to buy me one bcuz im underaged (im 18)

  25. #24
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy16 View Post
    I haven been looking every where and I have choose between .40S&W or a .45ACP i was wondering what everyone thinks about both calibers I have heard good things about both.

    Between these two, it's a wash. IOW, if you can't do it with a .40, then you aren't going to get it done with a .45. For me, the main consideration would be which pistol suits me best, and the actual caliber would be a secondary consideration

    I have choosen a few guns if anyone could help with this also.
    HK45, USP, USP Tactical, USP Expert, MK23
    this would mostly be for home safety and maybe CC

    These are sidearms, which would be fine for home defense. However, it seems silly to me to use one as a CC, as they are full-sized handguns that aren't meant for CC. That's not saying you can't do it, as many do. However, when one considers how many really good mid-sized and compacts there are in your two calibers of choice, I just couldn't see carrying that much weight and bulk, for no practical gain.

    Yes, I'm speaking from experience, as I had to carry a full-sized Beretta in a CC mode for a number of years while in the AF, and I hated it. Nothing like obvious printing....
    If you are truely new to handguns, then at least rent a smaller caliber handgun for a while before you get a hand-thumper. Otherwise, you will most likely be a lousy shot, or mediocre at best. Of course, if mediocre is fine with you, then please disregard the above.

    PhilR.

  26. #25
    SacCat's Avatar
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    Will you be the only one using it??

    are there children ever in the house?? visit??

    What is the likelihood that you will have a break in while you are there.??

    Most people can get by with a shotgun..

    for home defense with you being the only person in the house, a wheel gun is the most reliable, and the most likely not to be miss used or fail to fire in a panic situation.

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