Hey all! New to the forums, looking to buy my first handgun.
Hi guys and girls. My name is Chris. I am 29 years old and I live in Cleveland, OH. I have never owned a gun before, but always wanted to. Just the other day, I took myself and the wife over to a local shooting range (stonewall incase you are interested..) and took a beginners safety / learning course. We are hooked. We shot a wide range of calibers including .22, .38, 380, 9mm, .45acp and .357 magnum. It was a total blast (no pun intended....) Anyway, I am planning to make a return visit to the range to shoot more rental guns before I make a purchase. I want my first handgun to be used for home defense, and also for carry, as I plan on getting a CCW license if I am to purchase a gun. So far I am looking at 3 models:
- Springfield XD Sub Compact (.40 or 9mm)
- Walther P99 QA (.40 or 9mm)
- HK P30 (.40 or 9mm)
Are their any other models that I should be looking at? Any warnings or comments about the 3 guns I listed above? I have yet to shoot a .40 weapon, but I am planning to. It would be great if my local range had all 3 of these available to rent, but I doubt it. What are fair prices that I would pay for the above guns new? Also, there is a gun show in my area in a couple of weeks. Should I buy a gun there? New / Used? Sorry guys but I'm kind of a noob at this. Any tips are appreciated. Thanks!
To begin let me welcome you to the forum.
The three weapons you list are all good choices. The primary differences are feel and cost. Some control differences but those are secondary IMHO.
I would add S&W's M&P series to the group.
I prefer a full size rather than compact and carry a M&P40 daily. Longer guns will be easier to shoot accurately especialy for a newbie.
You will need to do a fair amount of shooting to become proficient so I reccomend you stick with 9MM for cost reasons.
Unless really strapped for cash I would purchase new. I don't believe you will save enough to justify starting with a possible problem child. People sell guns that they don't like or have problems with(same thing).
If you and your wife will be using the same gun to start you might want to lean towards one with adjustable size grips such as the M&P.
Good luck and enjoy your new activity.
Last edited by TOF; 10-12-2008 at 04:06 PM.
Reason: yopur is not a word
First of all, I think it is great that you and your wife took the class before buying a gun. That is very responsible of you.
Second, I would suggest adding the Smith & Wesson M&P pistol line to your list as well and I think you should take a good look at the Glock 19 and 26 as well. I carry a Glock 19 and highly recommend it.
Welcome to the forum and kudos on taking a class for your first step!!
All the guns mentioned are of good quality, you would be happy with any of them. It really comes down to preference for certain trigger actions and features, and fit, feel & accuracy. I for example, do not shoot Glocks very well and they do not feel good to me, but it is an excellent pistol and many people love them.
I would recommend 9mm over .40 and not just because the ammo is much less expensive (especially if you and your wife are shooting). And as far as for defense, do not worry about 9mm being enough, it is plenty. Any of the modern hollow point rounds made by the major manufacturers are plenty potent to stop an attack. There are many guys on this board with a lot of experience and training (including many who can afford to shoot anything) who rely on the 9mm round to protect themselves and their families, so it is not a "beginners" round by any means. Consider that, cost aside, the 9mm kicks less than a .40, .357, or .45 and thereby allows for more accuracy and ability to get off follow up shots on target faster. Hang around here for a while and you will learn that shot placement, training and tactics are far more important than caliber.
All good advice above.
So, I will just say welcome to the forum.
I agree with all of the above, and would add one more possibility in a 9mm or .40. The CZ-75, of which there are several variations, is a great value in an all steel, full size semi-auto. It is a very well crafted and accurate gun that sells for approximately the same price as the polymer guns mentioned.
Good luck and get lots of practice.
I can't believe there is so much unanimity on this. Let me throw in another vote for 1) no compact -- get a regular size with a 4" barrel, 2) 9mm -- .40SW is quite a bit snappier, my wife prefers 9, and to be honest so do I, 3) I've shot and like all the guns mentioned above except the Walther*.
I was agonizing between the XD and an M&P and then ended up buying an FN Herstal FNP9. I've been very happy with this choice. Try one if you can. Around here FNP9s are $40-50 less than a Glock, XD or M&P. Even if you don't buy the same gun I did, you are looking at a great list. For what it's worth, my next pistol is going to be a CZ-75 BD. It's a shooter's gun with amazing accuracy for a $500 pistol.
*EDITED: This doesn't mean I dislike Walthers, I just haven't fired one.
Although all of the handguns you list are fine weapons (and yes, do consider the Glocks/CZ's and Sigs too), I think that if you get the Walther or HK, you will soon realize that a handgun designed to be a sidearm is a lot for the average person to hide away as a CCW. If you can only purchase one and only one handgun and will be carrying, then I think you should go for the XD compact.
Yes, you can hide away a larger handgun, and many do so. But when you see what kind of handguns are commonly carried by a lot of people, you will find that most of these handguns are designed for concealed carry and are therefore smaller than the average sidearm-sized handgun.
A larger handgun makes a great range tool and home defense weapon, and for many are just plain easier and more enjoyable to shoot. But if you get one, don't be surprised if you will soon be looking for something smaller to carry. Personally, I think you should get the HK or Walther, and once you become proficient and learn a lot more about what else is out there, go and buy something more suitable for concealed carry.
+1...welcome to the forum.
Originally Posted by BeefyBeefo
Welcome to the forum!!
I'd have to bump the suggestion for the S&W M&P in 9mm with the interchangable grip inserts. I teach a class to women for self defenseive handguns to women in the area and the S&W is one of the favorites chosen by the women, oddly enough the Ruger P-94 is the second choice. My M&P is in .40 S&W and none of the women have any trouble with the recoil in this handgun. Probably due to the low bore axis and ergonomically correct grip for smaller hands. I had two 12 year olds who attended a class with their mother as the mother did not want a gun in the house without the girls being familiar with it and comfortable around it. Wise decision. Taking the class with your wife was an excellent move and will pay great dividends in the future. If I were you, I'd choose a 9mm due to ammo cost unless that is not a consideration. With modern JHP ammo it is a great defense round. Don't discount the CZ P-01 in 9mm as it has an excellent grip, I just don't like the mag extension for CCW. I carry a Beretta 96 FS for a duty and CCW weapon. Choose what fits you and your wife well and what you're comfortable with. Good luck and great to have you.
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