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  1. #1
    Maddog10 is offline Junior Member
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    Newbie Purchasing First Handgun

    Hello guys,

    After reading for a few hours, I've already gained a ton of valuable information from this site. To summarize though, I'm about to graduate college and will have a place of my own within a month or two. Also, I will be getting married in the fall so the Ol' Lady will be in the house. Due to this, I'm looking to pick up a handgun mainly for home defense but with the possibility of the occasional concealed carry. Obviously I will be the primary handler, but I would like something that my soon-to-be wife will be able to handle as well if the need arises.

    I've hunted my whole life so I'm very familiar with rifles and shotguns, but am fairly new to the handgun scene. I've shot handguns a few times with my dad and friends, but now I'm looking for one of my own to keep at the house. After some searching, right now the S&W M&P 9mm has caught my eye. Based on reviews, it seems to be a reliable gun that shoots well and has a good reputation. My main dilemma is deciding between the full size and compact version?

    Like stated before, this will be primarily a home defense gun and won't be carried. This makes me lean towards the full-size, as I'm sure it is a little easier to shoot accurately due to the longer barrel, especially for a newbie like myself. With that said, I can see the occasional concealed carry scenario, of which I'm sure I would rather have the compact version. Has anyone shot these two guns or just have any input on this dilemma? If the compact shoots similarly to the full-size, I would rather have it. However, if there is a noticeable difference making the full-size easier to shoot, that may be the way to go for me.

    Also, I'm definitely open to other suggestions as far as which gun to choose. I'm not set on the M&P by any means, that's just the one that has my attention at the moment. Any help/suggestions are much appreciated! Thanks.

  2. #2
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    For home defense I would go with the longer barrel, they tend to malfunction less than the shorter versions do and the normally have less felt recoil(easier for mama to control)

  3. #3
    Brevard13 is offline Member
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    I have a full sized .40 and a .40c. Both are very reliable. I haven't had any problems out of any. I have also never heard of shorter ones having more malfunctions. From shooting both side by side I like my compact alot better. Even with thew snappier .40 round I found that I am able to control the gun more on the compact and having more accurate shots at identical ranges with both guns. My wife shot both of them and she leaned more towards the compact also. So much so that she was practically begging for a compact 9mm. I bought her one for her birthday and she absolutely loves it. Before she had no interest in shooting, and now she is wanting to go every weekend.

    I said that to say this. You will want to let her hold both before you buy it. A 9mm is a very controllable round. Maybe it has just been so long since I had shot a 9mm but there was hardly any recoil in the 9mm compact. However, you will want her to hold both, preferrably shoot both, but go with what feels more comfortable to her as she will need to feel comfortable practicing with it.

    For what it is worth I will never get rid of my .40c, but am playing with the idea of trading my full sized. For what it is worth. On the other hand I love my wife's 9mm compact and am toying with the idea of buying one for me. M&p IMO is one of the best guns you can buy. Great feel, super reliable, decent price, with a good warranty. Here the M&P is cheaper than the Glock and XD.

  4. #4
    dondavis3's Avatar
    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum - your gonna like it here.

    If your not carrying - I'd go full size anything your gonna buy.

    Much easier to shoot well and probably easier for your wife to shoot - if she needs to.

    Whatever you decide to buy - practice / practice / practice.


  5. #5
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    Beretta full size.....my 2 cents....

  6. #6
    chessail77's Avatar
    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome, you might consider the M&P 9mm compact as it is not less accurate for home defense as it will be close range....it will only be slightly less accurate than a full size at the range and it will be small enough in case you change your mind and need to conceal carry. S&W has a lifetime warranty and excellent customer service, they pay to ship both ways, can save you a lot if you ever have repairs....JJ

  7. #7
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    Hey Chessail...how much does S&W pay you per month,maybe I could get in on some of it too??

    just kidding but you do sound like a S&W rep

  8. #8
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
    SouthernBoy is online now Senior Member
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    First off, the M&P comes in three basic sizes: compact, standard, and long barrel (the 'L'). The compact has a 3.5" barrel, the standard a 4.25" barrel, and the long barrel is 5". Most popular is probably the 4.25" version. I have three M&P's, one of which is an M&P 9 Pro Series with the 4.25" barrel. For the past five months I have been going through the process of re-evaluating my primary carry gun(s), pitting guns against each other and I have narrowed my final choice down to the aforementioned M&P 9 Pro. I bought this gun in August 2011 and have pitted it against my two gen3 Glock 23's, my gen3 Glock 19, and both of my other M&Ps (a .40 with the 4.25" barrel and a .45 with the 4" barrel). I shoot my M&P 9 Pro better than the rest of these guns, with my M&P 40 coming in second and my Glock 19 coming in third.

    The M&P platform is an excellent choice, carries well for both open and concealed (not deep concealed) use, and has excellent sights right out of the box. The front blade allows just the right amount of light around it for the rear notch with the 4.25" barrel. It is a natural pointer and the handling and feel of the gun is probably about as good as it gets. It just feels right in the hand, draws quick and with no having to re-adjust one's hold before firing. If you get this gun I seriously doubt you'll be sorry with your purchase.

  9. #9
    Maddog10 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all of the help so far guys...

    Well a day later, I'm still considering the M&P 9mm in both standard and compact, though probably leaning a little more towards the compact. However, as far as home defense goes I'm really liking the thought of the S&W .357 magnum revolver. I like the simplicity and reliability that comes with it, and know several people that really love this gun. My dad and one of my co-workers both have the S&W .357 mag, and after talking to each of them today they both agreed that of all the handguns they own, if they could only keep one to defend their home with it would be the .357 mag. Each of them had experienced jams and other issues with the pistols they own, though they agreed that it's rare. However, my dad said he has the most confidence in the .357, and that he feels like he could go out one day, shoot it, store it away without cleaning, pick it up 5 years later and without a doubt in his mind it would fire every round.

    Anyways, maybe they are over-hyping it some since it's their favorite gun, but I must say I do like the sound of it thus far. If anyone has any feedback regarding the S&W .357 or just any suggestions in general I'd love to hear them. As of now I'm thinking maybe the revolver as far as a home-defense gun and then when I get my CC permit I will look into the M&P compact or other compact pistols as my carry weapon.

  10. #10
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    i own a smith 586 now... have owned many others over the years..... you cant go wrong

  11. #11
    Bulldog is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    Hey Chessail...how much does S&W pay you per month,maybe I could get in on some of it too??

    just kidding but you do sound like a S&W rep
    You mean like berettabone

  12. #12
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
    SouthernBoy is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog10 View Post
    Thanks for all of the help so far guys...

    Well a day later, I'm still considering the M&P 9mm in both standard and compact, though probably leaning a little more towards the compact. However, as far as home defense goes I'm really liking the thought of the S&W .357 magnum revolver. I like the simplicity and reliability that comes with it, and know several people that really love this gun. My dad and one of my co-workers both have the S&W .357 mag, and after talking to each of them today they both agreed that of all the handguns they own, if they could only keep one to defend their home with it would be the .357 mag. Each of them had experienced jams and other issues with the pistols they own, though they agreed that it's rare. However, my dad said he has the most confidence in the .357, and that he feels like he could go out one day, shoot it, store it away without cleaning, pick it up 5 years later and without a doubt in his mind it would fire every round.

    Anyways, maybe they are over-hyping it some since it's their favorite gun, but I must say I do like the sound of it thus far. If anyone has any feedback regarding the S&W .357 or just any suggestions in general I'd love to hear them. As of now I'm thinking maybe the revolver as far as a home-defense gun and then when I get my CC permit I will look into the M&P compact or other compact pistols as my carry weapon.
    The venerated .357 Magnum has stood the test of time and still comes out as one of the best defensive calibers you can own and use. And you can load .38 Special if you are of a mind so it is a dual duty sidearm. And it is powerful enough to take game. I once killed a deer with a Ruger Blackhawk .367 with a 6 1/2" barrel.

    Since you are considering a .357 revolver, take a serious look at the Ruger GP100. This gun grew out of the Security Six (which I have) and with the 4" barrel is a fine choice. Strong as an ox and reliable as a gun can be, this is a gun you really should give serious consideration.

  13. #13
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    Sorry gents, I know I should be a little bit more " open minded".............

  14. #14
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    I guess you could say the same about the " Glock people", and the " XD people", and the " MP people".......I have owned S&W revolvers, Walthers, Ruger revolvers.......don't see anything wrong with having a favorite weapon or manufacturer...each to his own.....I would never rip anyone for any choice that they made for personal protection........

  15. #15
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by berettabone View Post
    I guess you could say the same about the " Glock people", and the " XD people", and the " MP people".......I have owned S&W revolvers, Walthers, Ruger revolvers.......don't see anything wrong with having a favorite weapon or manufacturer...each to his own.....I would never rip anyone for any choice that they made for personal protection........
    I wasnt ripping him and I hope he knows that, just joking...but he does get a little gung ho there at times....

  16. #16
    chessail77's Avatar
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    Scooter
    Actually I am a diehard Sigaphile/Sigophant got the Signess.....love them Sigs......love 3rd gen on S&Ws........S&W is a great value for striker fired and revolvers and if I believe it fits the need I step up and highly recommend em.......JJ

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