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  1. #1
    beararms is offline Junior Member
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    New to handguns; full size + subcompact or compact + .22 conversion, etc.

    I'm interested in purchasing a handgun (my first) and trying to work out the best approach in terms of gun(s) best suited for my intended purpose.

    The gun would be for home defense, self-defense (I'll get a concealed carry permit) and range use. I'm not a big guy, and figured that for concealed carry, I'll want something fairly small and light, which I understand might not be the most fun to shoot at the range. So I was thinking maybe a full size pistol (leaning toward 9mm semi-auto) for home defense and majority of range shooting, and a subcompact 9mm for CC.

    Then I started thinking about ammo. From what I've read, it seems 9mm ammo is 4-5x the cost of .22lr. Given that I'd like to become proficient and not skimp on range time due to ammo costs, it seems I'd be well served by having the ability to shoot .22 ammo, especially early on in my shooting. And given that I want my range time with a .22 to carry over to my self defense pistol, it seems I should go with either a pistol that can be easily converted to shoot .22 (and easily converted back), or two pistols that are very similar, one chambered for 9mm, the other for .22.

    And I'd like a reliable, quality semi-auto from one of the reputable makers, so I'm leaning toward manufacturers like S&W, Beretta, Glock, Sig, etc., and away from the lower end.

    All good so far, but here's where I have to start making tough choices. I don't have the budget for a full size, a subcompact and conversion kits (or .22 variants) for both. At the same time, I'm worried that the size and weight of a compact might prove to be too burdensome for everyday carry.

    Whew. That's a long post. Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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  3. #2
    usmcj's Avatar
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    Welcome... you've posted a common question, and I have a common reply that I began using several years ago......


    This is strictly my opinion, and has worked in many years of firearms training, and for men and ladies alike. Buy a handgun just like you would buy a pair of shoes. If Ol' Joe over here says he likes Charlie China tennis shoes, and you're looking for a new pair of shoes, do you run out and buy Joe's pick, just because HE likes 'em? Probably not. If a new shooter is asking what to buy for a carry gun, it doesn't matter what works for me, or anyone else. I suggest telling that new shooter to go to many gun shops, and/or gun shows, and handle all the guns they can get hold of. Just like they would try on shoes. Before long they'll be able to make a list of guns that feel ok, pretty good, real good, and "that really feels great in my hands". The last two are the ones to pursue, and here's why I say that....
    If a given handgun doesn't feel "right" in your hands, you'll not shoot it enough to become proficient with it, because it's not comfortable, and you won't like shooting it. Just like you rarely wear shoes that are UNcomfortable. If you're not gonna become proficient with it, save your money, and buy a ball bat to carry. With proper training, and fundamentals, he/she can learn to shoot almost any handgun, or any caliber. Very few folks can re-train their hands to make just any handgun feel comfortable. The last suggestion.........proper shooting techinques, practiced slowly, but proficiently, will breed speed. Do it slowly, and do it the right way, every time.......If you practice speed first, and introduce less efficient techniques into your training, you'll have to do it all over again to get it right.

    By the way..... anyone who introduces a new shooter to our pastime by having them start with a large-caliber handgun, makes a very poor decision. Yes, some folks do ok starting out with large calibers, but the vast majority will not continue to shoot if their very 1st experience is with .50 S&W. Start with a .22 caliber something, and as your technique/accuracy improves, work up from there. Caliber doesn't count until after you can hit your target.

    There always will be a trade-off..... light weight, more recoil...... shorter barrel, more recoil... just sayin....

    Again, just my ramblings.... but they work for me...

    Shoot Safely....

  4. #3
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    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    You might want to consider a Sig P series pistol for your quality home defense weapon with a .22 kit for practice and when your concealed permit comes then choose that weapon then .....the advice above from usmcj is excellent.....JJ

  5. #4
    beararms is offline Junior Member
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    What are examples of compact 9mm pistols that offer .22 conversion kits or have very similar models that are chambered in .22?

  6. #5
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by beararms View Post
    What are examples of compact 9mm pistols that offer .22 conversion kits or have very similar models that are chambered in .22?
    Glock 19 + Advantage Arms .22 Kit
    Sig Sauer P229 w/ Sig Conversion Kit
    CZ 75 Compacts w/ Kadet Conversion Kit

  7. #6
    beararms is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Glock 19 + Advantage Arms .22 Kit
    Sig Sauer P229 w/ Sig Conversion Kit
    CZ 75 Compacts w/ Kadet Conversion Kit
    Thanks, these will be at the top of my list of pistols to try.

    Does S&W make a compact 9mm that can be converted to .22?

  8. #7
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beararms View Post
    Thanks, these will be at the top of my list of pistols to try.

    Does S&W make a compact 9mm that can be converted to .22?
    They do have an M&P .22 Pistol, not sure what size it's for.

  9. #8
    500Benz is offline Banned
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    Anybody else on the site really endorse shooting .22?

    Had some .22s in all types of formats (rifle, autos, revolvers) and just doesn't seem
    helpful to be skillful in shooting a 22 and then carrying a 9mm platform.

    I don't think .22 shooting will really translate into 9mm firing as far as accuracy and precision go.

    But thats just my opinion. What do other members think.

    Athough 9mms are more expensive and the round is slightly more expensive,
    its still relatively cheap to shoot (100 for 16.99 bucks sometimes at walmart.)
    Defensively it stacks up well enough, and is funner to shoot than 22 IMO

  10. #9
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    Trigger control is the most important part of shooting. Learning to control the trigger on a .22 will be very beneficial in learning control of any weapon. Learning to handle your weapon and having confidence is paramount. Just taking a gun out and pulling the trigger is one thing/ Making it hit what you hope too is another. I endorse using a .22 and I find folly in anyone who dismisses it's effectiveness in teaching proper technique.

    RCG

  11. #10
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    Just my opinion but as a man in this world and for my money, a 9mm for training purposes is sufficient and can also be used as a defensive handgun. If you can't handle the recoil of a 9mm and sufficiently learn stances and trigger control, then don't own guns. Im buy things for the utility of them and .22 for me at least have no utility.

    I can see for plinking a .22 is good for like economical shooting if you like to shoot alot, but that is the only purpose for .22 in my opinion. That and zombies...lol

  12. #11
    usmcj's Avatar
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    I'd bet that fundamentals are most often taught with .22 caliber firearms than any other caliber. Stance, grip, and trigger control are most easily taught/learned with a firearm that has little to no recoil. Once a shooter becomes proficient (but most often before proficiency is obatained) then fundamentals can translate to larger calibers.

  13. #12
    500Benz is offline Banned
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    For beginners a 22 is a no brainer, but I'd say anyone considering carrying should be proficient in their caliber of choice for self defense, rather than play with .22s

  14. #13
    usmcj's Avatar
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    ...again.... most folks become proficient in fundamentals with a .22.... then move up in caliber.. Play with .22's ? Well the Israeli's were/are very efficient "playing" with .22's. One who is not proficient with a given tool rarely recognizes how effective that tool can be.

  15. #14
    usmcj's Avatar
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    For your information Benz...

    Feel Free to try to convince others that .22's are only to be played with. I know better, as do most folks.

    Tactical-Life.com Israeli Mossad .22 LRS
    Israeli Ruger 10/22 Suppressed Sniper Rifle

    For instance the Mossad (the Israeli's CIA) uses the .22 caliber round (a very weak, nearly harmless round) as a 'signature' weapon in assassinations. A .22 round is nearly harmless and it takes great skill to use it to kill with.

    Fire Fight Dynamics




  16. #15
    beararms is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 500Benz View Post
    Athough 9mms are more expensive and the round is slightly more expensive,
    its still relatively cheap to shoot (100 for 16.99 bucks sometimes at walmart.)
    Only slightly? I was under the impression that 9mm rounds are roughly 4x more expensive than .22. Is that incorrect?

  17. #16
    recoilguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeleinen1 View Post
    Just my opinion but as a man in this world and for my money, a 9mm for training purposes is sufficient and can also be used as a defensive handgun. If you can't handle the recoil of a 9mm and sufficiently learn stances and trigger control, then don't own guns. Im buy things for the utility of them and .22 for me at least have no utility.

    I can see for plinking a .22 is good for like economical shooting if you like to shoot alot, but that is the only purpose for .22 in my opinion. That and zombies...lol
    Well having an opinion is one thing but actually knowing stuff is quit another thing. Especially when the opinion is as flawed and the proof uses zombies.

    The "if you can't shoot a 9 don't own a gun" attitude is .....I guess your opinion. It is not the opinion of someone with knowelege, experiance or reasoning. It's cool that you own some Glocks and that you like the big caliber guns and your buddy has a bunch of bullets. That makes you experts only in your eyes. If you can't see the advantage of the correct tool in the correct situation, you still have many things to learn. It sounds like my opinion, it's not. It is the way it is.

  18. #17
    usmcj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeleinen1 View Post
    If you can't handle the recoil of a 9mm and sufficiently learn stances and trigger control, then don't own guns.
    That sir, is a foolish statement.

    Sounds like a valid reason to "remain silent and let others think you a fool, rather than to speak and remove all doubt".

  19. #18
    hideit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recoilguy View Post
    Trigger control is the most important part of shooting. Learning to control the trigger on a .22 will be very beneficial in learning control of any weapon. Learning to handle your weapon and having confidence is paramount. Just taking a gun out and pulling the trigger is one thing/ Making it hit what you hope too is another. I endorse using a .22 and I find folly in anyone who dismisses it's effectiveness in teaching proper technique.

    RCG
    couldn't agree more
    those three other fingers do need to be trained not to pull your shot off
    controlling the thumb and trigger finger is one thing - those other three can be a nuisance until the muscle memory is learned

  20. #19
    500Benz is offline Banned
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    They did decomission those guns after reading the article. Something to be said of that.

    But everyone is right that
    -it kills like any bullet
    -cheap, gives practice
    -ect. ect.

    I still maintain its best to practice with the calibers you carry and its cool if you have a 22 or whatever.
    I just don't think many ppl carry .22 so why be proficient, its already a pretty accurate round anyway.

    If your carrying a 9mm, get it in with a 9mm at the range.

    Lastly, my accuracy and precision with a .22 ruger, say, won't translate well
    if I'm carrying a subcompact .40/9/.45 ect. I guess thats my only point to add the conversation.

    .22s have advantages, but who carrys a .22?

  21. #20
    recoilguy's Avatar
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    A.22 handgun is a hand gun.....it works by pulling the trigger to make the weapon fire. It has a sight plain, and a front sight, a rear sight, a trigger, a handle, and holds bullets. You must aim the .22 correctly, maintain control of the sight plain and press the trigger to the rear with out altering your point of aim. The recoil from a .22 happens after the trigger is pulled the bullet leaves the .22 handgun after the trigger is pulled. You must reaquire the target to make shot #2. If you anticipate the recoil from a .22 you will not effectively perform a controlled trigger pull

    A 9mm handgun is a hand gun.....it works by pulling the trigger to make the weapon fire. It has a sight plain, and a front sight, a rear sight, a trigger, a handle, and holds bullets. You must aim the 9mm correctly, maintain control of the sight plain and press the trigger to the rear with out altering your point of aim. The recoil from a 9mm happens after the trigger is pulled the bullet leaves the 9mm handgun after the trigger is pulled. You must reaquire the target to make shot #2
    If you anticipate the recoil from a 9mm you will not effectively perform a controlled trigger pull.

    Your accuracy should translate very well if you do both properly. If it does not my guess is you are accurate with neither, consistantly. Granted, there are some differeances......... I have a friend who carries a .22. Quigg is his name, he is a biker buddy of mine. If you ask him about shooting a .22 his standard response is "it won't blow your arm off but if you think you can survive 10 stabs in the chest with a 6" long phillips screw driver, come in my house without asking. My wife at times carries a .22. If you tried to car jack her you would have 5 small holes in you in less then 2 seconds. I bet you wouldn't even have time to say ouch. If she was armed with her Kahr the holes would be bigger and maybe a second slower but either way the accuracy would translate into her keeping her car but having too get it cleaned.

    RCG

  22. #21
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  23. #22
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    so the most common caliber in the world has "no utility" for some and is used as a very effective training aide for others?

    i guess i would take a look at the experience of the owners of those opinions and decide who to learn from.

    the .22 may not be the best defense weapon you can find, but it IS better than a bat or an axe or a rock..... and as a survival weapon it has few peers. it can easily be carried, along with 1000s of rounds of ammo. while it may not be the most effective, it WILL take down big game. and in a SHTF scenario its a great gun to get a better gun with. easily suppressed and very accurate.

    so it will teach you
    feed you
    defend you
    and get you a better gun

    and yet it has NO utility? except for zombies?



    like i said, people will tell you everything you need to know about themselves if you just pay attention.

  24. #23
    usmcj's Avatar
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    and yet it has NO utility? except for zombies?
    Whenever your position is indefensible, you call in the zombies.....

  25. #24
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    i guess i shouldnt take it personally considering that there is an entire generation whose experiences are based on an rpg (NOT a rocket propelled grenade) ..... not real world experience but opinions offered up in a cloud of clove cigarette smoke and sipping lattes while feeling oppressed by "the man" cause they cut the funding for "saving the rain forests by a multicultural student exchange of glbtvrg peoples of all races"

    zombies must seem to be a real threat.... thank god i will not be around to see these people become our future leaders.

  26. #25
    recoilguy's Avatar
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    You zombaphobe.........I agree 100% with your post 3 back. Nicely played sir!

    RCG

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