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  1. #1
    brent1202 is offline Junior Member
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    My First Handgun, Need advice

    I'm looking to purchace my first hand gun. This will be for home defense and concealed carry. I have a few things I'm looking for and they are as follows...
    -semi automatic
    -compact
    -good safety features
    -reasonable ammo
    -under $700

    Any help will be much appriciated, Brent

  2. #2
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is online now Administrator
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    While you're waiting for people to tell you what gun to buy, take some time and read over this:

    Selecting a Handgun for Defense

  3. #3
    brent1202 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the information. Well written and very informative. A gun that has sparked some interest in me but I don't believe is available yet in the Bersa BP9cc. This seams to have a lot of the features I'm looking for. Anything similar I should be looking at?

  4. #4
    sheepdog is offline Banned
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    ...used KP95 Ruger 9mm...around $350---plenty left for clips and ammo to practice....

  5. #5
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    Freedom1911 is offline Member
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    If you are willing to hold off a while. The Bersa BP9CC mentioned is worth looking at.
    If you are looking to buy now. I would look at the XD line up.
    If external safeties were not such a strong issue I would also recommend waiting for the Gen4 Glocks to hit the shelves and look at the G19. I like a wide range of pistols, and if the Bersa BP9CC were a double stack pistol that held more than 8 rounds I would consider it. But I prefer double stack, and for some reason to me the smaller the XDs get the blockier they get. The G19 is about the right size and holds I think 15+1 rounds, so for me it will be a good fit.
    Them external safeties might hold you up though.
    More info on the Gen4 Glocks is supposed to be coming out after the 2010 shot show.
    Jan 19th through the 22nd I think.

  6. #6
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    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum from North Central Texas

    I'd suggest you rent different brands and calibers og guns in order to decide which ones you like.

    Every gun feels and shoots differently for different people.

    Also if you buy some 9 mm / .40 / .45 ammo and take it to the range - most people will let you shoot their guns.

    The range master can help you with that.

    Good luck on finding your gun.


  7. #7
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    4" 45acp from kimber

  8. #8
    brent1202 is offline Junior Member
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    I do like the XD's and Smith & Wesson M&P line. I've actually had my hands on the M&P and loved the way the gun felt. Does anyone know when the BP9cc might be coming out? I'm not looking to buy a gun this weekend or anything, just gathering information and will be going to a gun show next weekend to look at a few.

  9. #9
    brent1202 is offline Junior Member
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    What about this Springfield XDm 3.8, anyone with information on this one?

  10. #10
    CigarGuy is offline Junior Member
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    As a newby, my daughter and I went through the same process. We were fortunate that 2 of the local ranges rented guns. We shot a LOT of different weapons. Kinda expensive, but invaluable as to what we liked and, most important, what "felt" right.

  11. #11
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is online now Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent1202 View Post
    What about this Springfield XDm 3.8, anyone with information on this one?

    It just came out. There's some dissension in ranks regarding this. The slide is usually the easier part of a gun to conceal, not the grip. The XDM 3.8 makes the slide shorter, not the grip. A lot of people don't see any "value" in this as the gun is still harder to conceal with the long grip (I've carried my XDM concealed with no real issues, your mileage may vary), however there are some advantages for such a gun:

    1: It will clear the holster faster while still allowing for a full grip
    2: Appendix or cross draw carry will be easier
    3: It would be more effective in a horizontal shoulder holster as the muzzle won't be poking out the back of your shirt.

    However, as discussed in this thread, Question on barrel length; the reduction of barrel length does have some adverse effects.

    I don't know if I'd get one, I'd really need to get my hands on it and see how I like it, but it it's not that "Compact"

    Speaking of compact, what exactly do you consider to be "compact"?

  12. #12
    zetti1 is offline Member
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    Welcome to the forum. Half the fun of buying your first pistol is the research (IMO). You will hear countless opinions about which is good or bad. Listen to what people have to offer, read reviews and do as CigarGuy suggested, rent some guns at a range. I don't own the XDm, but I hear it is good. I am partial to the S&W M&P (9mm) and CZ (9mm). In Alabama, most people are not very familiar with CZs, but they are very good. I personally like 9mm because the ammo is cheaper than the .40 or .45s. Good luck.

  13. #13
    brent1202 is offline Junior Member
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    As far as compact goes, I want to be able to get whole hand around the gun. I dont want my pinky hanging off, just doesn't feel secure to me. I'm wanting a 3.5" to 4" barrel. I have my hands on the SW m&p 9c and it felt great.

  14. #14
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is online now Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent1202 View Post
    As far as compact goes, I want to be able to get whole hand around the gun. I dont want my pinky hanging off, just doesn't feel secure to me. I'm wanting a 3.5" to 4" barrel. I have my hands on the SW m&p 9c and it felt great.
    OK, was your pinky resting on the magazine extension? If so you'll see inconsistencies with your grip if using mags without the pinky rest. What are you looking for as far as "Good safety features" go? Certain models of the M&P are available with a thumb safety or magazine disconnect. While I'm 50/50 on the thumb safety, I'm less inclined to own a pistol with a magazine disconnect.

    A magazine disconnect make the gun unable to fire if the magazine is removed, there are pros and cons to this:

    Pro: If you ever end up in a fight over your gun, you can jettison the mag and render the gun useless...of course now you're stuck with a gun that won't go bang...I guess for some it's worth the risk.

    Con: If you bump the mag release sometime during the day, your gun may not fire when needed. My father is a retired LEO and had a co-worker get stabbed due to a magazine disconnect as the mag had come out just a hair during his shift and when he had to draw and fire on a knife wielding attacker, the gun went click and he got stabbed.

    The XD / XDM do have the grip safety, but that requires a firm grip to activate, in some scenarios, it may not be possible to achieve the needed grip to fire the gun. Now before anyone starts hollering that I don't like the XD or whatever, I carry either an XDM or some variant of 1911 pattern pistol, I've pracitced "odd" shooting positions and am confident in my ability to deactivate the grip safety on both guns.

    Thumb safeties: Some love them, some hate them. I fall into the like them category for a couple of reasons such as them not being normal. I've had cops and range buddies demonstarte that they don't know how to work my gun. In the even that I'm disarmed by some thug, odds are he won't be able to use my gun against me immediately and I'll have some added time to deploy a knife to his torso, neck, and thighs.

    BUT, it takes work getting to the point where you can disengage the thumb safety on the draw instinctivly without thought. Some say that it's slower than a gun without a thumb safety, I disagree. In the hands of one who knows what they are doing with the gun, it is just as fast as the safety is being removed during the draw stroke which is the same range of motion as a gun without a safety.

    There are some that just don't think it's needed and that's fine for them. Ultimately the best safety is the one between your ears regardless of how your gun is equipped.

    Firing pin safties etc. These are pretty common in most current production guns and are primarily there to reduce the rate of accidental discharges to to droppage. Plenty of people have still shot themselves with guns equipped with tirgger activated safeties due to poor / improper handling.

  15. #15
    brent1202 is offline Junior Member
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    Yes, my pinky was resting on the extension. Felt very comfortable and like I could control the gun much better. I know the M&P comes with the thumb safety put the gun I was looking at didn't have it. For me, just having a magazine disconnect as my only safety feature tends to make me nervous. I like some of the features of the XDM.38 in that it indicates when the chamber is loaded and sticker status. I've never shot a gun with grip safety so I cant say if I like it or not. I do like that both of these guns back straps cant be changed to fit me.

  16. #16
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    While you're waiting for people to tell you what gun to buy, take some time and read over this:

    Selecting a Handgun for Defense
    It's funny..But it's true...I got brand X and it's the best! God article. The first gun club would do well to read that.

  17. #17
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent1202 View Post
    Yes, my pinky was resting on the extension. Felt very comfortable and like I could control the gun much better. I know the M&P comes with the thumb safety put the gun I was looking at didn't have it. For me, just having a magazine disconnect as my only safety feature tends to make me nervous.

    I like some of the features of the XDM.38 in that it indicates when the chamber is loaded and sticker status. I've never shot a gun with grip safety so I cant say if I like it or not. I do like that both of these guns back straps cant be changed to fit me.
    If you haven't shot the XD or XDM, how do you know you need back straps that change? Pending on the size and shape of your hand it may be a non issue. There's a lot of hype about the removable back straps on " X " gun, but not everyone needs them. If you consider a pinky rest OK to get a full grip, you're limiting yourself out of a lot of more comapct options than the XDM 3.8. The regular XD Service and sub compact etc, Glock 17, 26, etc. While you mention the M&P Compact, it's actually smaller than a G19 and is more of a sub-compact despite it's name, the size puts it in a smaller category.

    Back to the XD line...
    The loaded chamber indicator is nice, but I prefer to viaually see that there's a cartridge in the chamber, those little indictor doo-dads can break or get stuck indicating a chamber being full when it's not. Same with the cocked status indicator. If there's a round in the chamber, it's cocked. I guess when you're new it might be nice, but I never "forgot" if my gun was loaded, nor did I need some "feature" to tell me so.
    I guess the point is rather than feel for the loaded chamber indicator and cocked strilker indicator, all you have to do is pull the slide back a quarter inch and see the casing. Some will say that "Well with the indicators, you can chcek the status of your gun while it's holstered" So what, I say that it's better not to fidget with your gun while it's in your holster.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is don't get too hung up on features that aren't all that important in the big scheme of things or just flat out not needed and don't limit your choices based on those features until you're evaluated the usefulness of those features.



    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    It's funny..But it's true...I got brand X and it's the best! God article. The first gun club would do well to read that.
    Thank you.










    NOW EVERYONE GO BUY A SIGLOCKIMBEREVOLVER! They RULE! But I'm not going to tell you why I think so or why you should buy one.

  18. #18
    stickhauler is offline Junior Member
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    Myself, I don't see the problem with using a gun with a back strap safety, like a 1911 or a SA XD, or XDM. It gives you the added safety of needing to depress that safety under the web of your hand before it will fire. If you're unable to do that, clearly your grip (and any chance of accuracy or effective shot placement) is vastly ineffective.

    That back strap safety was the selling point for me with the XD, and I'll admit a love affair with the 1911 platform to anyone, good common sense controls and safeties, just a bit heavier firearm than I really want to carry on my hip.

    If the OP is looking at the Bersa line for a firearm, I have no qualms with advising that manufacturer either, my son carries a Pro Thunder in 9mm, and it's a fine gun.

    My dream gun would be a 1911 platform, with an XD-9 magazine capacity and it's weight. It ain't out there.

  19. #19
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    forget my earlier post - i forgot about the price limitation

    -semi automatic - ok
    -compact - 3.5 - 4" barrell
    -good safety features - this is pretty nebulous - semi autos have more safety features than SA and DA revolvers
    -reasonable ammo - the cheapest is the 9mm especially for practice - of course the hollow points can be as expensive as all other calibers
    -under $700 - probably rules out the steel frame autos - alot more time of machining, manual labor, and cost for the steel

    happy hunting

  20. #20
    hideit's Avatar
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    one item you might want to keep in mind is a gun that you can get a 22lr conversion kit for

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