First time buyer, close to a decision. Feedback wanted
First off let me say that this forum, and many others, have been an excellent source of information in helping a prospective new gun owner learn and understand what is available as well as piking up some basic terminology and concepts.
I have been considering the purchase of a handgun for some time now. I have stopped myself several times, because I take the idea of owning a firearm very seriously. However, with the craziness in the world today and my perception that the 2nd amendment is at real risk I have finally decided to exercise that right.
I started by going to a local gun shop and talking to a guy who showed me two models I should consider as a first handgun...A Glock 19 and a Smith and Wesson M&P. He recommended, and after much research, I agree that a 9mm is a good place to start. Mainly because I feel if I am going to buy a gun, I intend to become proficient with it. That means going to the range frequently and since 9mm ammo is less expensive and can be just as effective as larger rounds, I think it makes the most sense for me.
I have done weeks of talking to people and researching. I have also signed up for a 3 part NRA certified gun safety course and a reputable range. (Like I said, I want to do this right as it is too important not to) On my list of considerations were the Springfield XD and XDm series (if the 9mm comes out soon), The Glock 19 and 17, The Smith and Wesson M&P, and the CZ75 Series. I have really narrowed it down to either Glock or Smith and Wesson...though I am leaning towards the Glock 19. I don't plan to carry regularly, but I am going to apply for a carry permit so the 19 seems like the best trade off.
My primary use is home defense, but I also plan to go to the range at least once a month, and will get a carry permit (but really will never carry....but since it is a right I am afford in PA, it does not hurt to get one).
So given that information, does the Gock 19 sound like a good choice for me? Any reason to consider the 17 or the Smith and Wesson more strongly? I have handled each and they all fell comfortable to me. I know I will get to fire a few different guns during the course, but being a beginner, I don't know how well I am really going to be able to tell after a few shots if one gun versus another is going to be better for me in the long run. I based my decision on research, recommendations from gun owners I know, and the fact that Glock seems to be easy to repair and parts are abundant.
Also, does it make sense to go ahead and put night sights on it? The idea is appealing to me, and I'd rather do it up front if it makes sense to do so at all? I'd like to hear opinions. Can I order a Glock with them installed as an option, or do I need to have a gunsmith do it at the shop? Does it take long to order one if they don't have it in stock?
Are there any federal laws restricting the 15 round magazines the 19 comes with? I thought I had read something about that, but then they sell them here is PA, so is it a state by state thing?
Finally, on the Glock website, they show their guns coming in a case with an extra clip...basically a complete kit. The ones on display in the stores are obviously just the pistols themselves. Are these just diplay models, and they sell you the actual kit? Or do you need to ask for the whole kit if you want it....sorry for the newbie question...I am just not sure how that works.
Sorry for the long post, but I do look forward to any opinions or advice!
Trigger comparison-Glock vs. Smith
I like the Smith trigger better, mostly due to the comfort level I have with the Smith over the Glock. It seems to be a little better to me. I just tried both with snap caps and they are quite similar, but my Smith is smoother than the Glock. Keep in mind that I have over 6,000 rounds through the Smith with classes and my shooting and maybe 300 through the Glock 22. My hand position on the Smith is more optimal for me, large hands, and the grip angle suits me better. Go somewhere that you can handle the Smith and Glock at the same time and, NOT sweeping anyone, point each at an imagined target, then take a look at your sight picture, whichever one is dead on fits your natural wrist angle. The Beretta fits me so well that all my shooting for qualification at the 7 yard line is point and shoot and I shoot possible with it. The Smith is approximately the same grip angle, hence my comfort. The Glock is a more acute angle and my sight picture with it is high, naturally. Good defensive handguns are all about you and what fits you the best. I like the external hammer on the Berettas, the controls and all. A lot of people object to Beretta's safety/decocker due to the direction of it's implementation, I don't, I am very used to it. You might want to try a Stoeger Cougar in 9mm, great gun, great price, short with a fairly robust grip size. I have it as a truck gun and a BUG. However both your choices are excellent, just trying to answer your question, hope I did. Incidently, the Smith shows no sign of wear @ 6K rounds in any manner.