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!
I have not bought a Glock so I may not be able to answer all your questions about the 19 but in regard to the 15 round magazine, that is a state thing. California for example, limits magazines to 10 rounds. If they are selling 15 round mags in a legit gun store in your area then I would assume they are legal in your state.
I would wait until you've taken the course, and perhaps have rented some guns at your range before making a purchase. Basically all the guns you mentioned are quality firearms so it comes down to personal preference for certain features, how the gun feels to you and how well you shoot it. You already have a fairly clear idea of what you are using the gun for. As for the Glock 19 I would say it serves the purposes of HD, range tool, and occasional carry weapon.
Good luck and welcome to the forum!
Well as a fellow newbie I'd like to say welcome...... I like you took my first pistol very serious and did a ton of research on the subject. Here in NY there are a lot more hoops to jump through than you will find in PA so your process will be much quicker. In NY you wait 6mos for the permit to purchase a handgun so that gave me a lot of time to shop around.....
A Glock 19 would be a great purchase. They are super reliable and have lot of aftermarket goodies available. The S&W M&P is also an excellent choice. It was my first choice, but I put a financial limit on my first buy so I went with the S&W Sigma which is more or less a cheaper version of the M&P. Or I should say the M&P is the improved version of the Sigma.
As far as magazine limits, that is up to your state. In NY (like CA) I can only buy a maximum of a 10-round clip. But my buddy from PA just bought a Beretta Px4 with 15-round clips so I'm guessing PA has no rules about that. BTW the Px4 is a pretty nice piece too but is kind of pricey IMO.
It is nice to hear how serious you are taking your purchase. I was the same way and now that I have one in the house I have found that it is a 24-/7 responsibility. If mine is not on my body, it is locked away in its box. Most of the people you will run into here are super responsible gun owners.
As far as the 2nd amendment goes, don't worry. No one will ever get that overturned now..... the Government missed their chance on that one back in the 1960s and now that DC backed it up it is going nowhere..... T
he folks you have to worry about are the people in your very own state. They will never ban guns, but they can and will put on so many strangle holds that getting and keeping one will get very tough. NY is already tough enough, and from what I know PA is very relaxed so keep an eye on the people running your state, not the ones running your country.
Having recently gone through the exact process you are currently going through I can offer the following....
Find a range in your area that rents and shoot as many handguns as you can. You will quickly get a sense of what does and does not work for you (what good is a pistol if it dies not work for YOU).
My final 3 were the Glock 17, S&W M&P, and the Springfield XD with the XD coming out on top (it worked best for me).
I agree with you regarding 9mm, I am currently in the process of "learning the ropes" and the cost of 9mm allows me to shoot more.....we can always upgrade once we shoot straight.
Just me two cents....still a newbie but.....
All the handguns you mentioned are very good ones. I recommend night sights, especially for a home defense gun. The suggestion to rent some first is a good one, and the once a month practice is a necessity, if you want to remember the things you learned in your previous range session. Also, I agree that 9mm is a good starting place.
You are definitely on the right track.
Thanks for all the input so far! I would like to rent and try out some models first, but I can't seem to find ranges nearby that offer that. I will continue to look though.
PA is pretty gun for gun owners. The background check is done on the spot, and as long as it comes back clean you can buy your gun that day. Having nothing on my record, I anticipate no problems. The carry permit process will be interesting...in my county the sheriff has to approve it. But again, I have nothing against me there.
Any other newbies consider night sights as well?
Also, I will be looking for a good safe, ear and eye protection. Any recomendations there or things to look out for?
Did you order yours with the night sights, or have them installed after?
Originally Posted by Bisley
Glock or S&W M&P
Everyone has their preference, I like the S&W rather than the Glock. I carry a Beretta 96 FS CCW so as a carry gun it's moot. The S.O. issues Glock 22's and I have one. They feel like a 2x4 in my hand and I am not comfortable with the grip angle. That is not to say they are not a superior weapon by any means. I just think S&W did a better job on basically the same type weapon. I like the grip inserts and use the M&P to teach Women's self defense classes at our local range. They really like the M&P for the most part. I have carried the M&P on duty and as a BUG. It shoots to point of aim and I have never had an issue with reliability. Nor have I with the Glock for that matter. Rent, shoot, shoot some more and make up your mind based on what fits you. Great and very responsible approach to ownership/use by the way!
How would you compare the trigger feel between the Glock and the S&W? I agree that the changeable backstraps are ergonomic grip are nice features. I was concerned about reliability, but most S&W owners seem quite happy. Are they as resistant to firing as the Glocks are reported to be in the case of an accidental drop?
Originally Posted by Scratchshooter40
Since I am having trouble finding ranges that rent, maybe I'll call the place where I am talking the course and see what they have you fire for the training. Perhaps some will be on my list.
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.
At present, the only gun I own that has night sights is my Springfield Loaded Champion (a Commander-sized 1911 clone), that has Novak night sights from the factory. But I am so impressed with them that my future purchases will all have them. Of course, I'm an older guy, so I'm looking for all possible advantages to enhance my declining vision.
Originally Posted by curlyjive
My reasoning for night sights is that in a home defense situation, you are probably hoping to be shooting from a darkened area, into one that is lighted to some extent, so you may be able to see your target, but not necessarily your sights. The night sights cure this problem, and are helpful in many other low-light situations.
There are also some 'stick-on' dots (NiteSiters) that contain phosphorescent material that you can add, for about $10, that have to be charged by exposing them to a light source, prior to using them. I am trying some out now, but cannot yet vouch for whether they are worthwhile. They are easy to install, and the sight picture looks great, in low light. I just don't yet know if they will stay put, and how much of a hassle it is to keep them 'charged.'
Originally Posted by Bisley
Your reasoning for night sight use is the same as mine. It seems to me, it can't hurt to add them as they are just white dots during normal daylight.
I guess I'll have to ask how to go about getting them. I see that both Glock and S&W offer them on their website, so I assume that they can be ordered with them from the factory as an option?
I'm really grateful for all the helpful feedback. Getting into gun ownership can be intimidating. Walking into a gun shop for the first time and saying I was interested in buying a handgun was a surreal experience. But now, I have gotten quite used to the idea and I am really looking forward to the course I signed up for.....though I do fear this could be an addictive hobby!
I may go have another look at both the Glock and the S&W this weekend i I get a chance. I'd also like to compare the 17 to the 19, but I think the 19 will be more versatile.
The G19 sounds like the best choice for you. Just trying to look at things objectively here since I love all of my Glocks.
i would go with the Glock 19
with out a doubt
it is probably the most sold 9mm in existence on the market today
very very popular model
the guns at the shop are just the guns
when they pull out a brand new one (not handled) then it should have the extra clip if it comes that way
Well, I think I changed my mind! I went shopping again today and again handled the the glock 19 and S & W MP9. I also happened to pick up a Springfield XD9 and really loved the way it felt. It fit my hand way better than the glock. the MP9 still felt good, but I just really liked the XD9. I didn't get to rent them today, but I hope to either this week or next weekend.
The exact model I am considering is the XD9104HCSP06.
Anyone own this model that can comment on it? Are they hard to get or take a long time to order?
I have the XD-9 Service and could not be happier. I had a similar experience with the XD fitting my hand better. You will not be dissapointed with the XD.
Originally Posted by curlyjive
My local gun shop had them in stock so I had no issues with availability.
I use an XD45 as my home defense pistol, and I also carry it in a 'man-purse' in my pickup. I have a Clip-Draw on it, so I can take it out of the bag and stick it in my waistband if I want to. I consider it my 'work gun' - the one that is made to be used, not look good. I take good care of it, but I am unconcerned about normal wear and tear.
Like you, I tried Glocks and M&P's, and the XD just fit me better. I own a variety of handguns, but the XD45 is the one I want if ever forced into a shoot-out, whether at 3 yards or 25.
EDIT: As to availability, you can usually find them at Academy, Gander Mountain, or any other place that has a decent inventory, although they may not have night sights.
Yeah, I may have to order that model, but I am okay with waiting to get the exact model I want.
Originally Posted by Bisley
In the end, the gun that fits you is the one to go with. Everyone is different and requires different ergonomics. It's great that you found a good weapon that fits you. I have never been comfortable with Springfields personally, they just don't fit my hand like the Glock. That doesn't make them bad, that makes us all different. Rent, shoot and shoot some more. You are approaching this in a very anaylitical manner and if you will continue with this methodical method you will be very successful in your choice of weapon. Don't settle, get what you want. My boss approached his FNP40 DASA the same way and he has really come along with his shooting. He shot everything I own and settled on the S&W M&P40and my FNP 40 DASA. He went with a two tone and got the Holster pack that FNP offered as an incentive as well. He is now getting ready to go to Front Sight for additional training. I hope you do as well as he has done. Good luck with your interest.
I'd recommend the Glock 19, with the XD in 9mm a close second.
Get the night sights, they are more durable than Glock's stock sights, and are helpful for locating the pistol in a dark area.
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