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  1. #1
    abngriz95's Avatar
    abngriz95 is offline Junior Member
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    Newbie - Intro and Question

    I have been a member of this forum for a short time. Up until now I have been just reading and learning from everyone. I decided today I would jump in and not just lurk. I am new to the world of recreational handgunning and wanted to get some opinions. I am in the military and do shoot handguns there but not on the frequency or level I want to take my recreational handgunning. I am getting ready to purchase my first personal handgun and I have it narrowed down to about 4 choices. The brand name is not what I need help with, it's choosing the caliber that right for me now. I am primarily looking at a home defense weapon with the ability to go CCW ( that will be one of my first tasks). I am also interested in IDPA to help me improve my skills and to have fun in a safe environment. I am trying to decide between 9mm and .45. I know both calibers are able to do all of the above and I also know that 9mm rounds are cheaper. Is there anything else I need to think about when it comes to caliber selection? If it helps the brands I am looking at are Springfield XDM, Glock, S&W M&P, and Sig. I plan on shooting all 4 to see which one fits best in the next couple weeks. Thanks in advance

    Jason

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  3. #2
    skullfr's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have your head on straight.I have no IDPA experience but one advantage 9mm has is a higher mag count than a .45 normally.You have some really good weapons you are looking at.Like you said,what fits me best.I would say the 9mm has better concealability than a 45 but that is no longer true.A colt 1911 is thinner than a full size glock or even a smaller model based on micrometer measurements.A steel frame has less muzzle rise than a polymer frame.Each platform has its own advantages.In my opion a 9mm,which is a proven caliber,loaded with quality ammo,would be a great choice and I am a huge 1911 fan.

  4. #3
    Clay is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by abngriz95 View Post
    I have been a member of this forum for a short time. Up until now I have been just reading and learning from everyone. I decided today I would jump in and not just lurk. I am new to the world of recreational handgunning and wanted to get some opinions. I am in the military and do shoot handguns there but not on the frequency or level I want to take my recreational handgunning. I am getting ready to purchase my first personal handgun and I have it narrowed down to about 4 choices. The brand name is not what I need help with, it's choosing the caliber that right for me now. I am primarily looking at a home defense weapon with the ability to go CCW ( that will be one of my first tasks). I am also interested in IDPA to help me improve my skills and to have fun in a safe environment. I am trying to decide between 9mm and .45. I know both calibers are able to do all of the above and I also know that 9mm rounds are cheaper. Is there anything else I need to think about when it comes to caliber selection? If it helps the brands I am looking at are Springfield XDM, Glock, S&W M&P, and Sig. I plan on shooting all 4 to see which one fits best in the next couple weeks. Thanks in advance

    Jason
    I am a hand gun beginner but I think you have it narrowed down to some good choices, as far as caliper, you may wnat to consider something in between a 9mm and 45 caliper- maybe a 10mm would be what you need

  5. #4
    berettatoter's Avatar
    berettatoter is offline Senior Member
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    The 9mm is a good first choice. Like you said, the ammo is cheaper than the .45 ACP, which will allow a bit more practice for the same amount of money. Besides, if your in the military, you might well go with the caliber that you will be using most of the time anyway. JMHO.

  6. #5
    Bisley's Avatar
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    I think you have it all figured out pretty well. 9mm is probably the most practical. I'm a .45 kind of guy, myself, but I shoot 9mm a lot, too. If you can afford the .45 ammo, I'd call it a toss-up, for all practical purposes.

  7. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    I suggest that you stay away from 10mm or .40 ammunition. It's not for beginners. (Like it or not, you're a beginner.)

    The advantages of 9mm are that it's available at lower prices, and that you can find 9mm pistols with large magazine capacities.

    The advantage of .45 ACP is that, in a full-size gun, it delivers "soft" recoil that makes learning easier.

    I "believe in" the .45 as the premier learning cartridge, but it's really almost a religious issue, since lots of other people "believe in" the 9mm.

  8. #7
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    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    Hi and welcome...some of the brands you mentioned offer a .22 cal conversion kit you can purchase later to cheapen your training costs...I would highly recommend starting with 9mm due to ammo costs....it will do all the jobs you outlined extremely well....make sure your choice in brand includes a lifetime warranty as you don't need to add repair costs to the price of ownership while still in military.......JJ

  9. #8
    abngriz95's Avatar
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    Okay guys thanks for the feedback. I research things to the Nth degree and sometimes I come to a point (like now) where something like caliber selection should be easy but there are so many pros and cons for each caliber. Cost per bullet may ultimately make up my mind at this stage. Besides I can always get another handgun in the other caliber, right?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    I suggest that you stay away from 10mm or .40 ammunition. It's not for beginners. (Like it or not, you're a beginner.)

    The advantages of 9mm are that it's available at lower prices, and that you can find 9mm pistols with large magazine capacities.

    The advantage of .45 ACP is that, in a full-size gun, it delivers "soft" recoil that makes learning easier.

    I "believe in" the .45 as the premier learning cartridge, but it's really almost a religious issue, since lots of other people "believe in" the 9mm.

    I have to agree with Steve on this one too.
    I don't know your level of experience, but with handguns recoil, noise, and other factors make a bigger difference (for some reason) than with long guns.
    For most of my life (got my first gun 50 years ago this month), I was a strict .45ACP man. I have owned several of them, and believe in them unquestionably.
    This year, I decided to expand a little and "allow" that the .44SPL may just have something of value for me, in a revolver configuration. This is my first experience with the .44SPL, so I don't have much to go on yet - but after firing my first box of ammo through the new revolver the other day, I am truly impressed with the entire package - so far.
    But yeah, there's this other factor I call FEAR that greatly affects everyone's ability to use handguns effectively.
    Example: I own a .44MAG, and it's a good one quality-wise, none better for what it was designed and built for. But, I (like many others) have this little problem with flinching when I pull the trigger because of the terrific KA-BOOOOOOOM that happens when I do!
    The bigger the rounds, the bigger the "ka-boom", and the greater the fear factor gets, and that decreases one's effectiveness.
    In a critical self defensive situation, "one's effectiveness" can make or break your entire day.

    Take the time to go through the stages! It's time well spent, and fun too!

    Just my thoughts and opinions. Opinions are subject to change if I change my mind!

    Cheers!

  11. #10
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abngriz95 View Post
    Okay guys thanks for the feedback. I research things to the Nth degree and sometimes I come to a point (like now) where something like caliber selection should be easy but there are so many pros and cons for each caliber. Cost per bullet may ultimately make up my mind at this stage. Besides I can always get another handgun in the other caliber, right?
    I, too, do quite a bit of research, both reading and viewing as well as handling, before I buy a firearm (there have been a few exceptions to this). You're doing the right thing by taking your time and doing your homework.

    If you're of a mind to do a lot of shooting and finances are a consideration, I see two choices for you with your candidate calibers. 1) The 9mm is considerably less than .45ACP. 2) Reloading. If you are not of a mind to reload, then 9mm gets quite an "up" on the .45 for price considerations. In the middle you have the .40S&W but that was not one of your choices. I shoot a fair amount every month (not huge).... around 200 to 300 rounds a month and most of that is 9mm, usually with my M&P Pro Series and sometimes with my gen3 Glock 19. On occasion, I mix in one of my .40S&W's with a .45 thrown in once in a while.

    Your four choices are good ones. Spend some time handling them and if at all possible, renting and shooting them or going to a range with friends who have copies of these guns. Of the ones you mentioned, I would favor Glock or M&P because I have both. I also have an XD40 but don't shoot it that much. I just bought it because it was prices so low ($419) and to have one in my collection.

    Now it comes to weighing the features of a gun that is to serve as a target/IDPA gun and a self defense gun. I would put SD on top and the other uses as secondary.... unless you can and will buy two or more guns. With SD, there can be few compromises. Reliability is king followed by your ability to consistently and confidently deliver rounds to target. As for caliber for a SD gun, pick the most powerful cartridge/load with which you CAN confidently, consistently, and accurately hit your target. If this happens to be a 9mm, then that is what you should employ. If a .40 or a .45, then so be it.

    Mix target shooting and IDPA are excellent training methodologies to use to fine tune your ability to use your gun effectively. If only one gun, choose carefully and practice with it until it becomes second nature.

  12. #11
    TheDuckCommandr's Avatar
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    Sig P229 if you go with a 9mm, for a 45 i'd choose a Sig P220. Check them out and shoot both, I think you'll find your gun choice to be a lot easier!

  13. #12
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    Cool Sigs

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDuckCommandr View Post
    Sig P229 if you go with a 9mm, for a 45 i'd choose a Sig P220. Check them out and shoot both, I think you'll find your gun choice to be a lot easier!
    Hello again,
    As of late, I've been looking at the Sig pistols as a possible brand to try out myself.
    From everything I've read about them, I'm leaning toward going with a Sig P220 for a future .45ACP.
    Never had one in my hand though. The Sig story and history is impressive and their manufacturing techniques and materials are equally so.

    Roll Tide

  14. #13
    abngriz95's Avatar
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    Okay well my two sons and I went to the range today and tested the Springfield XDm (9mm), the Glock 17 GEN 4 (9mm), and the S&W M&P (9mm) and they were all great! However, based on shooting them I rank them in this order (my personal preference): XDm, M&P and Glock. They are felt good and they all had their pros and cons. It came down to which one I handled better (based on bullet groupings) as well as which had a better pointing/recovery capability for me. I liked the smooth, light pull of the XDm, but I liked the seemingly lighter weight and recoil of the M&P. Although Glocks have a great reputation and it shot well for me today, I am not sure if I will be a Glock-guy, at least for now.

    On a positive note, my two sons just graduated high school and I told them that I would buy them each a handgun of their choice (within reason). As luck would have it, one preferred the Glock and the other the M&P. How does that benefit me? Guess who gets to secure them at home while they are away at their first semester of college! So it looks like I will sort of get to buy all three handguns. I'll try not to wear out their's before the end of the first semester!

    Thanks to those who provide insight and opinions. I look forward to continuing to be a part of these forums and in a few days, an active participant.

    Jason

  15. #14
    paratrooper is online now Senior Member
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    I've said it before and I'm going to say it again.

    The Beretta 92FS is a world-class handgun and is arguably one of the finest handguns in the world.

    New or used, it will serve you well and hold it's value as the years go by.

  16. #15
    abngriz95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    I've said it before and I'm going to say it again.

    The Beretta 92FS is a world-class handgun and is arguably one of the finest handguns in the world.

    New or used, it will serve you well and hold it's value as the years go by.
    This is essentially what I shoot in the Army and don't like shooting it. I shoot the Beretta very well and have friends who swear by the Beretta (as a personal weapon) as well, but I want to shoot the weapon I chose to own and not what the Army chose for me. If I was to buy an assault rifle I wouldn't buy what the Army gives me, I would buy something I chose (there are better weapons out there from a personal and professional stand point). I appreciate the input nonetheless. Thanks.

  17. #16
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abngriz95 View Post
    Okay well my two sons and I went to the range today and tested the Springfield XDm (9mm), the Glock 17 GEN 4 (9mm), and the S&W M&P (9mm) and they were all great! However, based on shooting them I rank them in this order (my personal preference): XDm, M&P and Glock. They are felt good and they all had their pros and cons. It came down to which one I handled better (based on bullet groupings) as well as which had a better pointing/recovery capability for me. I liked the smooth, light pull of the XDm, but I liked the seemingly lighter weight and recoil of the M&P. Although Glocks have a great reputation and it shot well for me today, I am not sure if I will be a Glock-guy, at least for now.

    On a positive note, my two sons just graduated high school and I told them that I would buy them each a handgun of their choice (within reason). As luck would have it, one preferred the Glock and the other the M&P. How does that benefit me? Guess who gets to secure them at home while they are away at their first semester of college! So it looks like I will sort of get to buy all three handguns. I'll try not to wear out their's before the end of the first semester!

    Thanks to those who provide insight and opinions. I look forward to continuing to be a part of these forums and in a few days, an active participant.

    Jason
    Both the Glock and the M&P respond very well to trigger improvements (think after market mods). I have done this to all but one of my Glocks and all of my M&P's and the difference is well worth the minor cost and effort.

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