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  1. #1
    Grampy is offline Junior Member
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    Arrow Hello--New to Guns, Shooting

    I recently went target shooting with a co-worker at his gun club and had a blast. That was two weeks ago, and I've been reading everything I have time for since. I shot his Taurus 9mm, Ruger .357 revolver, and his .22 target pistol. There was a couple other guys at our 25 yd. range who saw I was new and wanted me to try their guns which included Glocks, a couple 1911's-can't recall brand, and one each of an AR-15 and AK-47. I reaaly enjoyed the entire experience.

    Anyway, now I am considering getting some formal gun training even though my buddy is an ex-cop and spent a long time covering all the safety aspects. I want to get a lot of time in training and safety, and practice.

    Also, I want to purchase my first handgun, but want to rent some models first and try them. My short list includes:

    SA new XDM Model in 9mm
    http://www.the-m-factor.com/

    SIG P226 9mm
    http://www.sigsauer.com/Products/Sho...7&productid=61

    Stoeger Cougar 9mm
    http://www.stoegerindustries.com/fir...ger_cougar.php

    CS P01 9mm
    http://www.cz-usa.com/product_detail.php?id=28

    My interests are: Home/Personal Defense, Range shooting

    Price range up to about $800.

    Question I have is----what is the ideal barrel length given my interests in home/personal defense and becoming a good shot through lots of practice time? I probably would at some point go for a carry permit, but that is later on when I am better trained and more knowledgeable, and would get a small pistol for that. I am an older guy (60) on the short side with small hands.

    Later training and interests would be in getting a shotgun and rifle to complete my personal defense package.

    Any help/feedback is appreciated.

    Regards,
    Grampy

  2. #2
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    I would stay in the four to five inch range. This means a standard sidearm-sized handgun, which will be more pleasurable to shoot at the range, and will be slightly more accurate due to the longer sightline length.

    There are a number of pistols that fit your requirement. Look at the standard-sized Glock 17, Springfield XD, S&W M&P, FN FN9, Ruger SR9, CZ 75 or 85, and a polymer Sig whose model number I can't remember. These are fairly close in price to each other. Slightly higher on the price scale are the H&K's, Sigs, and my personal favorite for range use, the Walther P99.

    If you have small hands, then look at the compact versions of the Glock (model 19), XD, M&P, and P99. Any smaller than that and you are now looking at versions that are more useful as a concealed carry, and less of a range gun. Of course all of these can be used for home defense, but keep in mind that a larger handgun means more bullets, which is something nice to have if you ever have to defend your home.

    Good luck on your evdeavor. I should warn you that getting into shooting is a slippery slope. By this time next year, no telling how many handguns you will have....

    PhilR.

  3. #3
    Grampy is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks, Philip. I am also considering getting a .22 LR target pistol for getting more practice in at a cheap ammo price, but still want the 9mm now for defense.

    The rentals I am able to obtain will help decide on fit/feel/etc., which is more important to me than price.

  4. #4
    Dsig1's Avatar
    Dsig1 is offline Member
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    Welcome.

    You've certainly grasped the order of the basics.
    1. Study up
    2. Training and safety course(s)
    3. Rent an shoot and see what fits.
    4. Get hooked and start buying

  5. #5
    kev74's Avatar
    kev74 is offline Member
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    Join the NRA!!!

  6. #6
    Grampy is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev74 View Post
    Join the NRA!!!
    ---Probably will do that since it's in line with my views and one of the clubs I am considering joining requires NRA membership.

  7. #7
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum and addiction.

    Be sure to try the M&P with it's small back strap if you have little hands. Actualy you should at least hold it with each size grip in place. Do the same with any other you try that has adjustable grips.

    Enjoy

  8. #8
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from Northern Colorado.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsig1 View Post
    Welcome.

    You've certainly grasped the order of the basics.
    1. Study up
    2. Training and safety course(s)
    3. Rent an shoot and see what fits.
    4. Get hooked and start buying
    +1

    It sounds like you're going about this the right way.

    -Jeff-

  9. #9
    Grampy is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the tips~

    It seems the best path is to get the .22lr pistol and once I have the initial training course, spend lots of practice time with it. During this period, I will then get opportunities to see and try lots of other handguns and will be able to get the one that fits right for me as a defense weapon.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that I do not have 20-20 vision, even with my glasses on. It's more like 20-40 with right eye dominant. I was looking at getting some good night sights installed.

    Will this change my choice of defense handgun? Any suggestions on the night sights?

  10. #10
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the wonderful world of shooting. It's more addicting that about anything I know. Study up. Learn to always be safe. and be careful..After you buy your first gun you will see another that you just have to have

    Don't let people decide what you get. Advice is good. Research is better. Everyone has a type/style of guns they like best but that don't make them good for you necessarily. Rent what you can and get your hands on more if you can. Find what fits you and how you want to shoot.

    Again welcome to the forum and to the world of shooting.

  11. #11
    tholmes876 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilR. View Post
    There are a number of pistols that fit your requirement. Look at the standard-sized Glock 17, Springfield XD, S&W M&P, FN FN9, Ruger SR9, CZ 75 or 85, and a polymer Sig whose model number I can't remember.
    Sig SP2022 is the only polymer framed Sig still in production, but you can also still find the SP2340 or SP2009. SP2022 and SP2009 are available in 9mm.

    To the night sight question - The SP2022 typically comes with night sights. It is also well within your price range, even if you pay MSRP on it (which you shouldn't do, try to find a deal online).

    The grip however is kind of wide, like all Sigs are, and you mentioned you have small hands, so that can present a problem. I am not trying to sell you on a Sig, just telling you about a gun you might consider researching at least for a minute. I have one and I love it, but I don't have a vested interest in you doing the same

    Best advice is to go to the stores, hold (and ideally rent and shoot) the guns you are considering, and then go home and find a deal online (www.budsgunshop.com or a similar site). Or do it in the reverse order, just make sure that you get to at least hold a weapon before you drop hundreds of dollars in an online transaction.

    Best of luck to you.

  12. #12
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    Steoger Cougar 9mm

    Grampy, you had the Stoeger Cougar on your short list. Have you handled it? The grip is fairly large but for some reason the women that shoot in my defensive handguns course seem to like it a lot. As pointed out they also like the S&W M&P 40. I think the way the Cougar handles recoil due to the unique rotating barrel lockup is a major factor in it's popularity with the ladies. I think you might like the Ruger 22/45 for your .22lr as it mimics the grip angle and control placement of a 1911 and has quite a thin, compact grip. I use one for the class as well. You seem on the right course with your attitude and training desires. Look into Front Sight or GunSight as well for preparation for your CCW.

  13. #13
    Ram Rod's Avatar
    Ram Rod is offline Senior Member
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  14. #14
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tholmes876 View Post
    Sig SP2022 is the only polymer framed Sig still in production, but you can also still find the SP2340 or SP2009. SP2022 and SP2009 are available in 9mm.

    Thanks - I knew someone would know this. For some reason, I've not ever been able to keep those numbers in my head. Probably because the poly Sigs hold no interest for me (I do have a few metal ones though...).

    PhilR.

  15. #15
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampy View Post
    Thanks for all the tips~

    It seems the best path is to get the .22lr pistol and once I have the initial training course, spend lots of practice time with it.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that I do not have 20-20 vision, even with my glasses on. It's more like 20-40 with right eye dominant.

    Will this change my choice of defense handgun? Any suggestions on the night sights?

    I think a good .22 is a good place to start learing the basics. Besides, everyone needs one anyway, since they are both cheap and fun to shoot, and you will need a second handgun when you take someone with you to the range.

    I don't think your eyesight will change your choice if handgun too much, but it seems like there are more choice in sights for autos as compared to revolvers. You might consider a handgun for which you can purchase a LASER grip, such as Crimson Trace.

    As for .22's - take a look at the Browning Buckmark, Beretta Neos, or Ruger MkIII. Since you mention small hands, the Neos will most likely be the best fit, as long as you can deal with the somewhat unusual grip angle. Of the three, the BM has the best trigger and can often be found under $300. The Ruger is built like a tank, has a good trigger, and comes with a scope rail in case you want to mount a red dot scope. The Neos' trigger isn't as good as the other two, but it's not bad at all, and will cost the least. The S&W 22A is a great pistol for the price too, but will most likely be too large for your hands.

    hth,
    PhilR.

  16. #16
    cavie187's Avatar
    cavie187 is offline Junior Member
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    I was recently in a very similar situation. I was looking for a "Jack of All Trades" gun. I discovered the XDM, and have loved it so far. I only have about 350rnds through it so far, but it shoots well, and feels great.

    I was leaning more towards the home defense side so I ended up getting the S&W.40 version. I do not regret it, but if you are looking for more of a target shooting/range gun then I would suggest a 22 or 9mm. There are tons of choices out there, and a lot of personal preference is involved with the final decision -so continue to look around-


    Welcome to the Forum!!

  17. #17
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampy View Post
    Thanks, Philip. I am also considering getting a .22 LR target pistol for getting more practice in at a cheap ammo price, but still want the 9mm now for defense.

    The rentals I am able to obtain will help decide on fit/feel/etc., which is more important to me than price.
    With an $800 budget, buy a geat 9mm in the modern, striker-fired design of your choice 4-5" barrel for around $500. THEN go spend the other $300 on a good 22LR, like a Buckmark (my flavor of choice, or a Ruger Mark III.

    The ammo for the 22 will run you around $6 per 100 for the GOOD stuff (CCI Mini-Mags), and $15 per 500 for the bulk stuff, where 9mm at Walmart is $20 per 100.

    Shoot the 22 1-2 times per week, and the 9mm once per week.

    I'm shooting about 100-200 rounds per week from my Buckmark, and 50-100 per week from my M&P Pro (competition gun) and my XD carry gun.

    This keeps my ammo budget to a friendly $20-30 per week. Of course the weekend matches are 200 rounds of 9mm...

    Have fun!!!

    Jeff

  18. #18
    buck32's Avatar
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    Welcome from Big Sky Country.

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