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  1. #1
    kingcrowing's Avatar
    kingcrowing is offline Junior Member
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    Looking to get first handgun.

    Hey guys,
    first post, and I'm pretty new to handguns. I've done skeet shooting and target shooting with rifles in the past, and I'd like to get a bolt-action rifle at some point, but first I'd like a handgun. I've shot a few handguns but I've kind of narrowed it down to two:

    Ruger Blackhawk (maybe the convertible one that does 9mm and .357)
    CZ 75B .40

    They're both similar in price (I think) but I'm just not sure if I want to go revolver or semi auto. I'm basically going to be doing two things with it, going to the range mainly for fun. And for home defense. I'm getting my first apartment this sping/summer with my girlfriend and I'd really like to have something to protect our place. I really like the CZ (or potentially something else similar) But the thing is with a revolver is that I can keep it loaded and locked in the box and if, god forbid, someone breaks in I just need to pull it out of the locked box and I'm good to go. I've heard with semi-autos that if you leave ammo in the mag for too long the spring will wear out and won't load.

    The issue is I live up north and I don't know of any indoor shooting ranges near me so in the winter (November-March) I may not want to go to an outdoor shooting range in the cold/snow but I'd still like to have a loaded clip near my gun.

    What do you guys think would be best?

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  3. #2
    Wyatt's Avatar
    Wyatt is offline Member
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    Both are very good guns but, based on what you said I would go with the CZ as it is better suited for the HD role you want your firearm to play.

    What you said about revolvers ("just need to pull it out of the locked box and I'm good to go") is not true of the Ruger Blackhawk because it is a single action revolver. Unless you plan to store it cocked (which I wouldn't advise), then you need to pull back the hammer before you can get a round off, and you need to repeat this process for every shot.

    I would not recommend a single action revolver for HD for this reason.

    However, if you may consider other revolvers of the double action type (Ruger Redhawk or make/model), then it is more a matter of personal preference. The revolver is simpler to operate (consider a dud round for example) but a semi-auto generally gives you much greater capacity. And is usually quicker to reload, should you need to.

    BTW, I would not worry about "mag stress". It should not be an issue. This subject comes up around here occasionally and I've never heard it be an issue. I personally have kept fully loaded mags in my pistol for months and months and it has always functioned when called upon. I'm pretty sure everyone else will say the same. Also, you will want several mags for your gun, and you can change them out periodically.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Wyatt; 09-14-2008 at 10:52 PM.

  4. #3
    kingcrowing's Avatar
    kingcrowing is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks a lot thats helpful.

    So I guess the question now is, what are your opinions on the CZ? I just saw in another thread that you can get wooden grips, which I really like the style of and I checked out a 75B at my gunshop and thought it was great (just under $400 I think for a used one and about $500 new). Anything else I should look at?

  5. #4
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    I would recommend that you consider a good double action .357 Magnum revolver. I like Smith & Wesson but the Ruger GP100 is also a well made weapon.

  6. #5
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    The mag springs wear out from from the act of compression and decompression, so that is not an issue. I would recommend trying to find a range where you can rent and try out the DAO revolvers and various semi-autos. The CZ is a great gun, but try others if you can before you make a purchase. Good luck!

    -Jeff-

  7. #6
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    The only real problem with using a semi-auto pistol for self defense it that the manual of arms is a bit more complicated than a revolver's manual of arms. If you and your girlfriend are both willing to learn the semi-auto's manual of arms then I believe that you will be happy with the Cz (although a 9mm will be a bit less expensive to practice with than a 40 caliber and can be very effective for self defense).

    Having said that, a 38/357 magnum DA revovler, such as a Smith & Wesson, Ruger, or a Taurus is extremely versitile. The are fun at the range, you can hunt with them or use them as a woods gun, and that are effective for home defense. The are simple to use, and easy to learn with.

    Finally, I really like Ruger single action revolvers, and I have carried one for self defense, but as a general rule the DA revolver or a Semi-auto is a better option.

  8. #7
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Agreed on the simplicity of a revolver versus a semi-auto but the latter can be learned fairly quickly. I'm not sure I would recommend using .357 magnum in an apartment setting but I suppose most bullets, especially a missed shot will travel through drywall fairly easy. However, if that's what I have, then that's what I would use. I've never handled a CZ 75B but I do own a CZ P-01. It's a great gun, 9mm, and reasonably priced, in the $500.00 range. Sits very comfortably in my hand. Great range gun, easy to control during shooting, functions well with various brands of FMJ ammo. Also a reliable self defense gun, I have never had a malfunction with my self defense ammo at the range. The slide is very tight (at least on mine) and because there is not much slide to grab, there may be some difficulty racking it when the hammer is down. It takes practice and a firm pull to acquire a flawless motion. I keep the mags loaded to the brim most of the time and have never had a problem with the springs.
    Last edited by unpecador; 09-15-2008 at 05:08 PM.

  9. #8
    kingcrowing's Avatar
    kingcrowing is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks a lot guys.

    I think I'm going to get a CZ, I just need to decide what to get, they've got quite a few but the prices are much higher on their website than at my local gunshop (I'm in VT so we have some of the most liberal gun policies, no waiting period! Woohoo!) I know the stainless steel CZ 75B is $575, but online it's listed as $716 on CZs US website, almost $150 more. so it's a bit tough to figure out how much they'll cost me.

    I really like the 97B as far as style, and the .45 ACP is also pretty nice as well, but probably a bit more than I need for casual shooting and home defense.

    EDIT: What are the differences between the 75B and the P01/P06?

  10. #9
    Growler67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcrowing View Post
    Thanks a lot guys.
    EDIT: What are the differences between the 75B and the P01/P06?


    From: http://www.cz-usa.com/product_detail.php?id=28

    The 75B
    http://www.cz-usa.com/product_detail.php?id=29 All steel chambered in 9mm


    " The P-01 is based on the CZ 75, but with improvements in Metallurgy, quality control, and design. The components of the P-01 are completely interchangeable." Forged aluminum frame chambered in 9mm


    "The P-06 is based on the CZ75 design but with improvements in Metallurgy, quality control and design. The components of the P-06 are completely interchangeable with every other P-01/P-06, with no individual fitting required." Alloy frame chambered in .40SW

  11. #10
    kingcrowing's Avatar
    kingcrowing is offline Junior Member
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    I see that, but I see that the barrel is quite a bit shorter so I think I'd rather a longer barrel. I think I'm going to either get the 75B (Possibly in Glossy Blue or Stainless Steel), ot the 97B just because I've heard the .45ACP dosen't have much more kick and it's got a heckuvalot more stopping power than a 9mm. Plus I really like the included wood grips on the glossy blue, but thats more of a personal preference.

  12. #11
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Good luck with whatever you decide and practice plenty, regardless of the caliber, only hits count and well placed hits are even better.

  13. #12
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    The caliber debate (which is better?) has raged for years and will likely continue. Shot placement, IMO, is much more important as even the puny .22 can kill a person. Recoil can be managed in a number of ways. Changing springs, particular loads, grip allignment, compensating guide rods and porting of barrels to name some. I shoot 9mm more proficiently than .45. Test drive as many as you can before you buy (if you can) to give you an actual, rather than anecdotal, perception of whether .45 has less recoil for you or not.

    Different stroke for different folks, you know. Some like certain things like trigger smoothness, weight of trigger pull, polymer/alloy/or steel frame (affects recoil management due to the overall weight of the gun), magazine capacity and so on. Find out what you like and what works for you before you decide rather than deciding before you find out. Not saying don't have an idea in your mind, but go to a shop and get your hands on as many as you can first. Your hand size and the grip angle and ergos will help guide your decission. Go to a range and rent some to get a better idea if what you migh and might not like. Actually feeling the recoil will give you first hand evidence into what you can manage (form and technique wise). The best decission one can make is an informed one. The more informaion you can gather before a purchase, the less likely you are to regret it later down the road for whatever reason(s).

  14. #13
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    The caliber is not as important as its fit and how you hand the recoil. The 9mm has less recoil than a 45 acp. Also a double stacked 45 acp (which I believe that a 97b is) will have a fatter grip making it more difficult for folks with smaller hand to use.

    I would not worry too much about the p-01 barrel length. It is fine and in fact this weapon is extremely popular with competative IDPA shooters.

    However, you have focused in on an excellent company in CZ, I am sure that whatever you decide to purchase, you will enjoy.

  15. #14
    kingcrowing's Avatar
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    I'm a pretty big guy, just over 6' and have pretty big hands so the 75B was a bit smaller (bot not too small mind you) in my hands, so I think the 97B might be a big better.

    The issue is, theres no gun ranges around here where I can try out guns, as far as I know, I'm in VT. Does anyone know of a place I could go to try out more guns?

    I've used a Glock (I think 9mm) and a US Navy 1911 so that was a .45 and they both seemed ok to me. I may end up getting the 75B in stainless because I can afford a bit more then the standard 75B and the 9mm might be better to learn on.

    Can I get a wooden grip for the 75B though? And if so is it hard to install/ expensive to get?

    Thanks for all your help!

  16. #15
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    You can get wood grips, take a look at this site... http://www.imageseek.com/hakan/

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