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  1. #1
    Cole3823's Avatar
    Cole3823 is offline Junior Member
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    Experienced shooter looking for first gun

    I'm looking for something a little more than just an opinion. I'd like to know which of these guns is the most reliable. As I will be carrying it concealed eventually for personal defense, and i don't really want a jam at the wrong time. I am a fairly experienced shooter so ease of use isn't an issue.

    I've mainly fired Beretta 92fs', h&k USP compact .40, Bersa Thunder .380, and a few rifles.

    a Glock 30 is an option. I'm not sure how i feel about the DAO though. as you can see I've only ever fired DA/SA's or SAO's. so I'd like to know if that is a big deal to other people or if i'm just making it up in my mind


    I'm also looking to keep in a price range of about $600. and the cal .40 or above. i could do 9mm/.380 if it was a very good gun

    I've added a poll of some of the choices I've been looking at, feel free to leave a post with your advice though.

  2. #2
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    *I really don't care for any you have listed. But I'm an odd little man that has a time wrapping my mind around experienced shooter and first gun.

    If it was me I'd get a Duty Tested (certified Pre-owned) Sig Sauer. They are not to expensive, extremely reliable, and you can get them to work in SA, and DA. Also they seem to be pretty user friendly for shooters of all levels of experience. It's a win - win.

    Or a nice 1911....but I'm one of those guys that's nuts for those old fashioned always jammed outdated pistols I happen to be wearing one right now!

    ..I'm not only the president..I'm also a client......

  3. #3
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Wow, everyone these days seems to limit themselves to .40 or above. Get your hands on as many guns as you can, and rent them if possible. This will help you make your decision, or at least narrow it down more.


    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    ..I'm not only the president..I'm also a client......
    I can see your head from here....

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    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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  5. #5
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    But I'm an odd little man that has a time wrapping my mind around experienced shooter and first gun.
    Yup, that got me too.

  6. #6
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    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    *...I'm an odd little man that has a time wrapping my mind around experienced shooter and first gun.
    Kind of like a contradiction in terms isn't it...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole3823 View Post
    I'm looking for something a little more than just an opinion. I'd like to know which of these guns is the most reliable. As I will be carrying it concealed eventually for personal defense, and i don't really want a jam at the wrong time. I am a fairly experienced shooter so ease of use isn't an issue.

    I've mainly fired Beretta 92fs', h&k USP compact .40, Bersa Thunder .380, and a few rifles.

    a Glock 30 is an option. I'm not sure how i feel about the DAO though. as you can see I've only ever fired DA/SA's or SAO's. so I'd like to know if that is a big deal to other people or if i'm just making it up in my mind


    I'm also looking to keep in a price range of about $600. and the cal .40 or above. i could do 9mm/.380 if it was a very good gun

    I've added a poll of some of the choices I've been looking at, feel free to leave a post with your advice though.
    Welcome Cole.

    These questions are often asked at handgunforum.net. Suffice to say the responses are just as often: nothing will tell you more than range time. If you are not near a range who rents handguns, then you need to hit whatever local shops you have and find one that feels good in your hands. Once you have a list of potential buys, we can definitely give you some feedback on them. The one thing I can tell you is MOST handguns in the $600 range are all going to offer a great amount of reliability.....but....

    You list of weapons with logged time is all over the place. You've got the Beretta up first, which is a great handgun, but about the worst you can get for concealed carry due to its weight and size. Then you've got a USP 40, which is a popular defensive weapon, but you'll never find one new for $600. Then there's the Bersa Thunder, and it seems like that was picked simply because fullsize and compact sizes were already covered. The prices are all over the place, too, from $750 to $550 to $300. To be perfectly blunt, what size handgun are you looking for and what will be its primary use?

    I love giving advice and sharing my personal experiences to help others fine-tune their decision making, but it helps a great deal knowing specifically what you plan to do with it whenever its held.

  8. #8
    Cole3823's Avatar
    Cole3823 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by literaltrance View Post
    Welcome Cole.

    These questions are often asked at handgunforum.net. Suffice to say the responses are just as often: nothing will tell you more than range time. If you are not near a range who rents handguns, then you need to hit whatever local shops you have and find one that feels good in your hands. Once you have a list of potential buys, we can definitely give you some feedback on them. The one thing I can tell you is MOST handguns in the $600 range are all going to offer a great amount of reliability.....but....

    You list of weapons with logged time is all over the place. You've got the Beretta up first, which is a great handgun, but about the worst you can get for concealed carry due to its weight and size. Then you've got a USP 40, which is a popular defensive weapon, but you'll never find one new for $600. Then there's the Bersa Thunder, and it seems like that was picked simply because fullsize and compact sizes were already covered. The prices are all over the place, too, from $750 to $550 to $300. To be perfectly blunt, what size handgun are you looking for and what will be its primary use?

    I love giving advice and sharing my personal experiences to help others fine-tune their decision making, but it helps a great deal knowing specifically what you plan to do with it whenever its held.
    Well I'd like to Purchase a Handgun in the not too distant future. I'd also like to not waste all my money for the gun at the range just to find a gun. I'm also a rather large man 6'3" 230#, so a full size gun isn't that big of a deal for me to carry. I do understand though, obviously the smaller the gunn the easier to carry, for anyone. i do plan on using it for concealed carry

    and yes my logged time is all over the place, because what better way to see what you like. I'm not going to spend my time shooting a beretta if i want to know how a glock feels you know.

    so all in all I'm just looking for some help here to make my decision rather than wasting hundreds of dollars at the range. and yes the only range around here would cost me hundreds of dollars to narrow it down.

    like i stated in my original post, feel free to tell me what you like. these few guns i've chosen are in no means set in stone. just a few that i think I might like.

    thanx for your time

  9. #9
    Cole3823's Avatar
    Cole3823 is offline Junior Member
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    p.s. i'm really curious about the Glocks too. whats everyones take on them. they seem to be the best price to performance ratio. I'm just not sure about the DAO

  10. #10
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    Welcome Cole,

    I personally like Glocks because they do not have a traditional DA/SA trigger. I was brought up on a double action revolver so the transition to semi-autos was made easy with the Glock. In my former life as a law enforcement firearms instructor I had the pleasure of trying out just about every make and model of service grade sidearms, and each time I tried something new, I still liked my Glock better.

    The Glocks I have been around have been much more reliable than any other make of semi-auto handgun. Most Sig Sauers, Heckler und Koch, Beretta etc. have been good too but I have also seen issues with all those makes that I never saw with the Glocks.

    The Glock is a very easy handgun to shoot well with minimal training, and of the major brands, it is among the least expensive.

    I have carried and owned several different models but have always like the 9mm selections the best. I own one semi-auto and it is a Glock 19. This model does it all for me. Big enough for uniformed duty/open carry, small enough for off duty/CCW carry.

    The wonderful thing about Glocks is that there is a size and caliber combination to fit just about any shooter's needs.

    Last but not least, being a big guy myself, the whole idea that you can conceal a full sized pistol etc. may be true but after dragging a big thing like that around for a while, most will opt for something smaller. I can carry anything I want, and most of the time I carry a Smith & Wesson J frame. I am 6'4 1/2" and weigh 245 these days.

    Good luck and, again, welcome to the forum.

  11. #11
    redfalcon302 is offline Junior Member
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    I must say I agree with Ptarmigan. I have a Glock 19 as well and I haven't had any issues since day one and have somewhere in the neighborhood of 500-700 rds through it. I love the trigger!! I'm not an incredibly experienced shooter, but I like the idea of having a little stiffness on the trigger for concealed carry, though I'm not crazy about the DAO like the Kahr. I haven't shot a Kahr, btw, and I was looking at getting one, but they had a Glock 19 in stock and I've never regretted my decision. I'm about your size (though a little thicker and I find the Glock 19 to be a perfect concealed weapon. I have a Charter Undercover .38 that I'm starting to carry sometimes, but I find the Glock is a fantastic piece. Like Ptarmigan said, big enough to shoot comfortable, but small and light enough to conceal. I can almost guarantee that if you're a big guy with big hands and you get a Glock, you won't be sorry. Just my two cents. Also, i never feel under-gunned with Federal Hydra-Shok 124gr. 9mm rounds. But I have thought about a .45 just because. Good luck!!

  12. #12
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    gmaske is offline Senior Member
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    When I bought my first simiauto I didn't really study it out. I wanted a 45ACP and the Ruger P345 looked pretty cool. I liked the pistol but it has some issues as a combat pistol in my opinion. My next purchase was a 1911. It to me is close to, if not the very best design. It has two safeties that are easily dealt with under stress and there is no transision from DA to SA. The pistol points naturally for me and it is thin and easier to conceal. Think about these things when you shop. Is the safety easy to deal with in the process of readying the pistol to fire? Is the pistol sleek or bulky? The most important one is, am I comfortable with the way the pistol handles and works. The 1911 isn't the only answer but it was right for me. Good luck with your quest. My carry weapon is a Commander sized 1911 with an aluminum frame. It to me is a good ballance of concealability, shootability and weight. Any shorter and it is hard to point shoot. The extra 1" of a full sized 1911 makes in the waist band carry a bit more crowded on the 5" barrel.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole3823 View Post
    Well I'd like to Purchase a Handgun in the not too distant future. I'd also like to not waste all my money for the gun at the range just to find a gun. I'm also a rather large man 6'3" 230#, so a full size gun isn't that big of a deal for me to carry. I do understand though, obviously the smaller the gunn the easier to carry, for anyone. i do plan on using it for concealed carry
    OK then. As Ptarmigan said, even if you can conceal a fullsize pistol, that doesn't mean it's your best option. Even if you're somehow able to deal with the weight, belts and belt loops on pants won't hack it after a few months of daily carry.

    That being said, I'm thinking you should go for something in the compact range either in a IWB or OWB holster (inside or outside the waistband). Your choice here is going to largely depend on climate and local population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole3823 View Post
    and yes my logged time is all over the place, because what better way to see what you like. I'm not going to spend my time shooting a beretta if i want to know how a glock feels you know.
    Oh yes, I understand completely. I mostly brought that up to see if there was a preference in size and price. I'm getting the impression your spectrum on both aspects is rather wide....which is fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole3823 View Post
    so all in all I'm just looking for some help here to make my decision rather than wasting hundreds of dollars at the range. and yes the only range around here would cost me hundreds of dollars to narrow it down.
    I suppose this is where Ptarmigan's opinions differ from mine since I am not much of a Glock fan. Don't get me wrong. I'd trust my life to one, but I had some rather displeasurable experiences with the Glock 22/23 models. This was mostly due to the general dimensions and grip angle combined with the 40S&W caliber. The Glock 19 seems to make everyone's list though, and for some reason I actually enjoy shooting it. The real big plus about Glocks which many overlook is the vast amount of aftermarket accessories available for them. You will never have a problem finding holsters, extended mags, sights, trigger mods, etc. etc.

    While I'm at it, I'm going to go ahead and suggest you steer away from the 40S&W caliber altogether. Unlike the 40S&W, both 9mm and 45ACP can be had in high pressure "+P" defense loads, and while the 40S&W recoil is managable, it takes a practiced hand to tame its rigid snap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole3823 View Post
    like i stated in my original post, feel free to tell me what you like. these few guns i've chosen are in no means set in stone. just a few that i think I might like.
    Ok, so here's my list of compacts which I either own or want to own, and why:

    CZ P-01: best ergonomics in the industry and comes with the quality and accuracy of your higher-priced handguns. If you dislike polymer (i.e. you like all-metal handguns) and want something that feels like a natural extension of your body, this is it.

    H&K USP compact: comes in a wide variety of calibers, and while expensive, H&K stress tests their handguns to shoot tens of thousands of +P ammo. They are also known for their accuracy out of the box. H&K compacts are nearly exclusive in the fact that your typical models will come with a DA/SA trigger and a decocker/SAFETY lever. I do not own a compact but I have the fullsize and it's a HELL of a handgun....definitely my favorite.

    Sig P229 (compact version of Sig's P226): somewhat heavy because the slide is, well, dense, Sig products are reknown for build quality and like H&Ks, impressive out-of-the-box accuracy. These are also all-metal and come in a variety of calibers. This is probably the best-engineered of them all: easy takedown, easy cleaning (no internal hard-to-get-to spots), slide rails run along the entire frame, and so forth. Ergonomics are not quite CZ-level but its better than most.

  14. #14
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    My top three "Starter CCW" guns for anyone:

    M&P9c (my carry gun)
    XD9SC (my former carry gun)
    Glock 19

    Any or all of these, I consider equal in reliability, accuracy, and honestly, price within $50-75.

    They're all small enough to conceal, big enough to shoot accurately, high enough capacity for defense, and have the simplest "manual of arms"... Aim, squeeze, repeat.

    The Glock is the best for accessories, but lacks in ergonomics (and finish).
    The M&P is the king of fit/ergonomics, but lacks in accessories.
    The XD is somehwere in between for both fit and toys.

    All three should run between $450-500 new.

    There is NO reason to go with "at least a 40"... unless your ego will not allow you to carry less. You'll put more aimed rounds on target in less time with the 9mm.

    But if that's the case, all of the above guns... come in 40. (M&P40c, XD40SC, and Glock 23)

    JeffWard

    PS My definition of "experience shooter" is at LEAST 5,000 rounds fired. Preferably more. I've got to be around 10,000 in the last 18 months alone, and 50,000 lifetime.

  15. #15
    rfair is offline Junior Member
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    Not to throw you from a glock or an XD which are great guns! but Sig's SP 2022 is a great pistol as well, very reliable, light to carry accurate, DA/SA and the slide release can easily be reached with smaller hands.
    I carry one daily only because my 92 FS is heavier and longer. I would advise you to go to a few gun shops and handle the pistols to see what fits you best for hand fit and reaching the controls without using both hands.
    My next will probably be an Springfield XD because it fits me great.!
    But don't rule out the Beretta 92, because alot of people carry them daily including our troops!

  16. #16
    truman565 is offline Member
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    Hey Cole. I hate to tell you this but I think sooner or later you are going to have to spend a little money and just go to the range and try some guns. Why? Well you say that you are interested in Glocks but you are not sure about DAO. As someone said before the Glocks are not a traditional DAO but all of the opinions in the world aren't going to tell you if you are going to like the Glock trigger system or not. The only way to find that out is to shoot it. Everyone has different preferences. Some people will shoot some guns better than others. That said there are certainly some guns to check out and some to avoid.

    My advice would be to try a Glock 19,26, or another Glock in the compact/subcompact catagory. Try the Springfield Armory XD Subcompact. Maybe try a S&W M&Pc. All of these guns are in your price range, are very concealable, are very reliable, and would make a good choice. Which one would you like best? I have no idea man. Only you are going to know that and the best way to find out is to try them out. If you still don't want to spend money renting guns then at the very least hold each gun and see which one feels best in your hand. Go with that one.

  17. #17
    Cole3823's Avatar
    Cole3823 is offline Junior Member
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    Ok so I've been at the range and the gun shop near me practicaly all week. I've learned quite bit.

    First I've learned I do not like glocks. I fired a glock 23 and handled several. The ergonomics on them do not feel comfortable for me. the safetrigger system also while very simple, would make me very uneasy while carrying it around. it is a pretty accurate and light gun however. those two aspects don't, however improve the comfortability while shooting for me. Also I limp wristed the first couple shots (haven't been to the range in a few weeks lol) and jammed the gun. now I know thats completely my fault, however, it is the only gun that that has really ever happened to me and I don't really want to have to worry about things like that if i'm trying to protect my life.

    Second, I've learned I love Berettas. I shot the 96, and fs92. I also handled the px4 storm. They're Even more accurate than the glock, for me anyway, and they fits my hand like a glove. I also intentionally tried to jam it by limp wristing them and the slightly heavier slide helped get itself back into place. My first choice for a Beretta would be the px4. While I didn't fire it, it is the lightest and smallest of the full size pistols, and i havenn't heard any negative reviews about it.


    Everything else i tried this week just kind of fell inot a gray area. Nothing else really was a stand out, and nothing else was really that bad. The H&K USP's I've tried are very good guns. similar to the glocks they just don't feel comfortable to me.I also despise their magazine release. I know thats not THAT important but just a pet peeve of mine.

  18. #18
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I just real recently traded out my (para ord) LTC after shooting an alloy frame LTC

    I really didn't think I would like the lighter frame but one shot and I was in love. So now I have a new LTC (I kept my Wild cocobolo grips though

    I tell this story because I am a Para nut! Look to Para Ord and you will not be disappointed. I know now why you don't see many used ones in shops or sites like gunbroker. People get them and they keep them. I've had 1911's most my life but nothing like these. I am looking to add another 2 from them this year (Really like the LDA's). And one of the 9mm LTC be nice too.

    If you get a chance to get your hands on any Para do yourself a favor and check them out. Buy beware...They cause empty wallet syndrome. Because you will want more than one.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole3823 View Post
    Ok so I've been at the range and the gun shop near me practicaly all week. I've learned quite bit.

    First I've learned I do not like glocks. I fired a glock 23 and handled several. The ergonomics on them do not feel comfortable for me. the safetrigger system also while very simple, would make me very uneasy while carrying it around. it is a pretty accurate and light gun however. those two aspects don't, however improve the comfortability while shooting for me. Also I limp wristed the first couple shots (haven't been to the range in a few weeks lol) and jammed the gun. now I know thats completely my fault, however, it is the only gun that that has really ever happened to me and I don't really want to have to worry about things like that if i'm trying to protect my life.

    Second, I've learned I love Berettas. I shot the 96, and fs92. I also handled the px4 storm. They're Even more accurate than the glock, for me anyway, and they fits my hand like a glove. I also intentionally tried to jam it by limp wristing them and the slightly heavier slide helped get itself back into place. My first choice for a Beretta would be the px4. While I didn't fire it, it is the lightest and smallest of the full size pistols, and i havenn't heard any negative reviews about it.


    Everything else i tried this week just kind of fell inot a gray area. Nothing else really was a stand out, and nothing else was really that bad. The H&K USP's I've tried are very good guns. similar to the glocks they just don't feel comfortable to me.I also despise their magazine release. I know thats not THAT important but just a pet peeve of mine.
    Cole,

    This post sounds as though you have narrowed your choice a lot. You really like the Bereettas, Don't the Glocks or HKs for ergenomics etc. Check out that px4 you like.

    As to the jamming glock.. I hate to have to say this if you already know it...but NOTHING is 100%. and yes i will get flamed by (insert manufacturer name here) owners because their (same name) has never failed. I can say the same about many of my firearms, cars, computers pick the product. But that does not mean they are 100% failure free. get that idea out of your head or it just may kill you. I am not suggesting a jamomatic, but practice for failure, and when it doesnt fail, you do even better.. Practice for NO failure, and you may be dead.

    Anyways i understand on the Glocks. I have always hated them when i held them. Shot one a few weeks ago, bought a 19. I may re-sell it to a friend, but the price was too good to pass. I love my colt 1911 officers, but they are not for everyone. anything else i have doesnt sound like you are interested in.
    So leet us know how you like the PX4.
    And good luck

  20. #20
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    I have not shot the full size PX4 however I own the PX4sc. The PX4 full size has a rotating lock mech for the bolt and mine has the drop down cam/barrel design.

    Over on the Beretta forum, sorry mods, the general feeling is the full size PX4 line has a reduced recoil feel due to the rotating locking system.

    Beretta firearms have been around for nearly 500 years. It is a venerable line. You have done the right thing by handling and shooting as many as you can. That is really the only way to determine what is going to fit/work for you or not.

    I am like you. I really like the look of the Glock but when handling the different models their ergonomics do not feel good for me.

    Good luck with your continued search and let us know what you end up with.

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