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Thread: First handgun?

  1. #1
    GXR66's Avatar
    GXR66 is offline Junior Member
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    First handgun?

    As I await my firearms permit I have been researching what my first firearm purchase is going to be. I know I want a handgun to start as my desire is for protection and defense for my spouse and me. I have 2 types narrowed down between a revolver and a semi-automatic.

    REVOLVER
    Smith & Wesson
    686 Plus line (.357)

    SEMI-AUTOMATIC
    Beretta
    92 Series (9mm)

    Any thoughts earnestly welcomed!

  2. #2
    cougartex's Avatar
    cougartex is offline Senior Member
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    The Beretta 92FS is a great choice.

  3. #3
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Actually, both are excellent firearms. It's just a matter of personal choice.

    If you go with a revolver, what length barrel are you thinking of? A 4" bbl. tends to be the most versatile.

  4. #4
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    I think that they are both good choices, not too good for conceal carry, but excellent firearms....

  5. #5
    beretta9mm's Avatar
    beretta9mm is offline Member
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    I also waiting on my pemit and my beretta 92fs

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    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    Take a serious look at a Sig SP2022....low cost, lifetime warranty, S&W has a lifetime warranty as well......JJ

  7. #7
    denner's Avatar
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    You will not go wrong with the 92, an extremely tested battle pistol. I've owned one since 1993 and it's as good today as when I bought it. Exceptionally reliable, extremely accurate, w/a single action trigger in line w/ a target pistol.
    Last edited by denner; 03-07-2012 at 04:41 PM.

  8. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    You are comparing apples and oranges, and you're asking us to do the same.

    One's a revolver, the other a traditional-double-action (TDA) semi-auto.
    There's no comparison. They're too different.

    I suggest that you need to review your reasons for wanting either one, and then to settle on one type or the other.

    If you are a beginner, then I suggest that a TDA semi-auto is a very poor choice with which to learn pistol shooting. The transition from a double-action first shot to single-action subsequent shots will make learning trigger control extremely difficult, if not impossible.
    On the other hand, a revolver can be used as if it were a double-action-only (DAO) pistol. I suggest that the DA trigger action will be difficult to learn to control, but at least it will be consistent from shot to shot.

    If you opt for the revolver, do not try to use it with .357 Magnum cartridges, or even with .38 Special +P loads. Stick to just plain vanilla, .38 Special cartridges, preferably using a heavy bullet at low velocities. These will present the least, most manageable recoil to the beginner's hands.

    If such is available to you, some gun shops include pistol ranges, and rent range-time on various in-stock guns. Go to one of these places, and actually try out the guns in which you are interested. Try out every gun in the shop, if you can.
    Don't think about accuracy, since all of them will be more accurate than you are. Consider only comfort, and how the gun fits your hands. Be particularly sensitive to any choice in the woman's hands, since she is likely to have the most difficulty learning to shoot. Racking a semi-auto's slide is difficult for many women, my wife included.

    You may find your range of choices changing.

  9. #9
    chacho92's Avatar
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    I just picked up my first handgun last week. It's a S&W 686 with a 6 inch barrel. It is a pretty heavy gun. But - I LOVE it! I went to the range the other day. I shot about 50 38 sp rounds to begin with. Then I shot some 357 rounds. Altogether I went through 150 rounds. 50 of those were 357. The difference in recoil was noticeable, but it's not unbearable. You just have adjust. I love the fact that I can shoot 38 rounds or 357 rounds if I choose. It's a solid gun. Perfect for the range and home defense.

  10. #10
    ronmail65 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GXR66 View Post
    As I await my firearms permit I have been researching what my first firearm purchase is going to be. I know I want a handgun to start as my desire is for protection and defense for my spouse and me. I have 2 types narrowed down between a revolver and a semi-automatic.

    REVOLVER
    Smith & Wesson
    686 Plus line (.357)

    SEMI-AUTOMATIC
    Beretta
    92 Series (9mm)

    Any thoughts earnestly welcomed!
    Like other posters have said, both are great choices AND both are very different guns. There are several different functioning formats and these 2 guns are very different. If you don't understand that, or the differences are not apparent - then I highly recommend some general handgun research and renting/shooting these guns at a range (plus others, just to make sure you're comfortable with your final decision).

    The only other piece of advice I would offer is to look at the Ruger GP100 .357. It is extremely similar to the S&W 686 -- some will argue just as good or better. It will probably cost $200-$250 less than the S&W. Ruger is a great company and a great manufacturer. That's the route I took and I've been very happy the Ruger.

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