So I went to Bullseye in Tacoma with a buddy who is a member there. I'm still in the process of figuring out what my first handgun will be and this trip definitely helped narrow it down. My buddy has me convinced to go 9mm for my first gun for the sheer fact that ammo is cheaper and I would therefore shoot it more often. I shot an XD subcompact 9mm (I've shot the fullsize in .40 before and liked it) an HK USP compact, a Glock 19, and something else (ruger maybe?) that I can't remember the name of.
The Glock was my least favorite. I'm not an experienced shooter so I can't specifically articulate why, but something about the angle my dominant wrist was at while I was lining up the sights just felt wrong.
The Ruger was ok but it didn't really make an impression on me.
The USP felt good. I was the most accurate with it and I loved the solid feel of it. It was maybe a bit on the heavy side for my liking, but when my buddy told me how much they run compared to the XD I was sort of turned off. It was good but not 700 dollars good.
The XD was my favorite despite the fact that it was sub compact and I have large hands. It was light and felt "natural" in my hands (whatever that means). And I thought it looked good to boot.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should try next? I want to shoot a Beretta PX4 and a Walther P99 but none of the ranges or shops around here seem to have them.
Also, what qualities do you all look for when deciding whether you like a gun or not? Is it all just gut feel, or are there specific things that make one gun better than another (trigger feel, weight, ergonomics, etc.)?
it has to fit my hand like a glove
it has to "talk" to me
a good trigger is a must along with good sights.
you would be hard pressed to find a better pistol than a browning HP
Pete's got it right if you can't shoot one before you buy it. You said you like the XD and have large hands. Well they have several sizes and maybe you could go up one size and be happy. My son in law is a big guy and he carries the full size tactical model. Pick out one and don't look back as it will not be your last. Trust me I know. Good luck.
You might look at the S&W M&P. It's like the XD, but not quite as ugly.
Ahem... Excuse me... the XD is NOT ugly, it is a handsome work of art.
The M&P is a great gun but having one of each makes it easy to compare and if they were both the same cal and I could only keep one it would definitely be the XD. They just seem to be more ruggedly constructed.