Gotta start somewhere, right?
Hello hello! First time poster here and recent its-time-I-begin-carrying user. Not for any particular reason, but just going along the lines of having our first house now and battling the awful thought of how I would feel if I would be caught in a situation where I could not adequately protect my family. To say the least, I'm going to be getting my license to carry along with a handgun in the coming months (expenses are tight for now - home renovation and an upcoming wedding are rockin our savings right now).
Since I have learned an incredible amount from online forums and whatnot, from anything ranging from the brakes on my car to renovating my bathroom (just got done laying the tile floor), I figured I'd scope out a firearm forum and start reading and blabbing to see what can come about... so... here I am!
I've been to shooting ranges and had my fair share of firing off a few shots, but I can't seem to recall what in particular I was shooting. I'm planning on going to the range on a more frequent basis to try and get acquianted with as many pistols as possible prior to purchasing. I'm pretty certain that a 9mm of some sort would be a decent first choice (but if anybody has a different recommendation, I'd certainly welcome it). The problem is there are so many handgun manufacturers out there, and of course I don't want to snag some chinese plastic knockoff. There's little doubt that the 1911 is the most asthetically appealing firearm to me, but I'm not sure it's by any means a practical choice for me considering the size of the firearm as well as the typical price of a 1911. Of all of the reading I've done recently, the Ruger SR9 keeps coming up on my radar. Not to sound like a lamer, but the looks of the firearm appeal to me, and the reliability and accuracy factors seem to be extremely well thought of on the SR9. Considering I don't exactly want to drop a truckload of cash on my first firearm, this seems like a decent deal.
There have also been various Berettas and Glocks that jumped on the radar. Other than that my current list is quite short. Like I said, I'm trying to scout out 9mm firearms, but open to alternatives if anybody thinks there's a more practical option. With that said, can any 9 owners out there throw a recommendation on the table so I can do some more research in a more guided fashion?
Welcome to the forum. Your question is often asked, and my answer to it remains the same, and here it is.....
This is strictly my opinion, and has worked in many years of firearms training, and for men and ladies alike.
Get some basic training FIRST. At this point you need fundamentals, not run and gun, or force on force. Reputable instructors will provide a host of handguns and holsters for you to experience in class. That will give you some idea of where you're preferences might lead you in handgun selection. Then.....
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 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... again....get some training......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. Most gun shops have a box of used holsters that you can experiment with after you've chosen what gun works best for you. There are many options for concealed/open carry.
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.
If you're buying a handgun for home protection, and you choose to NOT have it on your person, you should consider where in your home you might be if someone kicks the door in. I don't see a person in a position to be able to ask an intruder to "hang on a sec, while I get my gun"
There always will be a trade-off..... light weight, more recoil...... shorter barrel, more recoil...I've known more than a few gents who didn't care for the recoil of what's often called a "ladies gun"... just sayin....
Again, just my ramblings.... but they work for me...
Welcome to the forum.
I disagree with some of that advice above. I do not find it necessary to start with a 22
9mm is mild enough in a larger gun. I have taken new shooters, including my 70 year old mother, out to the range for the first time. All started with a 9mm. Just don't get one of those micro 9mms for your first gun. A larger gun is easier to shoot, and has less recoil.
Buying a 9mm gives you a good gun to train on AND to also start with a gun to have for self defense. Plus, you do state that you have shot a gun before. You will be fine
All of my guns are 9mms. Berettas are my personal favorite. I have nine 92s, after a lifetime of buying and selling all sorts of makes and models. These are my fav now.
However, go rent some guns at a local range and see what you like first. Otherwise, you will end up with someone else's favorite gun instead of yours..
Try to find a range that rents and see if some of these are the answer for you, start with a 9mm and keep something else in mind when you do as a warranty is also important and you don't want to dump even more money into the firearm if you should have any problems down the road. S&W, Ruger and Sig all have a lifetime warranty and excellent customer service and products........might also check out the Sig SP2022......JJ
I find that researching handguns on the internet is more confusing then remodeling bathrooms. The internet has a lot of opinion that is disquised as fact. I agree with Shipwreck in that the need to begin witha .22 is not that big of a concern. Getting the right gun is more important then the right caliber in my opinion. Good luck, be safe
Originally Posted by Shipwreck
I'm glad your mom had no trouble with the 9mm.
I take new shooters to the range every week, and have for over 25 years. Starting with a .22 works better, more often than ANY larger caliber for a new shooter.
A larger handgun is easier to shoot... WITHIN THE SAME CALIBER.
A 9mm anything will have more recoil than any .22 LR
A larger gun is easier to shoot, and has less recoil.
Whatever works best for you is the way you should go.
I was referring to a larger 9mm versus a small 9mm.
People see these little guns, and even recommend them for new female shooters. My point was that micro 9mms DO have more recoil.
I just think that for someone buying a new/1st gun - and also to rely on it for self defense... Starting at 22 isn't really necessary.
Now, when my 5 year old gets old enough to bring to the range - HE will start with a 22. But, the circumstances are different there. And, I also have other guns to let him shoot once he gets confident and responsible enough with that 22 (which is still years away, as he is a hyper little nut )
Welcome. I was recently in the same boat (right down to the renovations) - been shooting for awhile but never owned. Now that I have my own house and a family, time to become an owner. The advice you've received so far is sound so I will try not to be redundant. Couple quick takes - 9mms are fine, don't get sucked into the caliber war machismo bull about 9s. If you like higher calibers, fine, but 9s are fine too. You will be able to practice alot more with a 9 on the same ammo budget than with 40s&w or 45acp. I bought a .22 pistol and loved it for about 3 months and now I only keep it to one day train my kids on and my wife likes it. For me though it was mostly a waste of money. I bought two 9mms - FNH's FNX-9 and CZ 75 SP-01. They are fine firearms, check them out. I like the shoe analogy, these are my comfortable, durable walking shoes. They are not necessarily better than others, just they are usually not on the typical short list when people begin the process. Nothing wrong with Ruger, S&W, Glock, Sig but why not expand your horizons, no? (btw, My next 9 will be a Beretta 92...love it...this will be my "smart casual" shoes).
I agree with you re your 5 yr-old. I also advocate the same chain of events for any new shooter. I have never been able to predict how a new shooter will react to the sound of a gun going off. If that person happens to be startled, or frightened by the report of a 9mm for the very first shot, their ability to quickly absorb the fundamentals may well be diminished. By starting with a .22, the noise level almost never causes much of a reaction at all, and the road to proficiency in fundamentals becomes much more easily traveled.
As you see fit for your new folks, sir. I'll continue to utilize what has proven to me to be the easiest and most successful process.
Appreciate the responses! Luckily I have some friends/family that have quite a few handguns with surprisingly very few repeats, so there's a lot I can put in my hand and see how they work out, but that won't be for quite some time yet. I hear you in regard to gun shopping on the internet being crazy cumbersome... what I'm afraid of is facing the same thing I faced recently when I installed a video surveillance system at my house. It's remarkable just how many cheap chinese made knock offs there are, which makes filtering them to find quality cameras a bit more difficult. That's kind of where my question stemmed from... it wasn't to sound like "hey guys what exact shoes should I get?" but moreso... are there any brands to avoid? Is there a "top 20 most common handguns for concealed carry?"... etc. I can Google all day but there's something about having an actual discussion with users who have far more expertise than I do that is far more comforting. If I have a few ideas on specific models that are common for concealed carry, or even specific ones that are best to avoid for whatever reason, it'll at least help me feel a little more "armed" with information so I can make the best first purchase possible.
I personally can't stand Taurus. Way too much inconsistency in quality from specimen to specimen. You can look at the sticky in the Taurus section for my opinion on Taurus. I'd skip Hi Point as well.
Truthfully - S&W (M&Ps), Glock, Beretta, Springfield, Colt, CZ, HK, Sig and Walther all make good guns.
If you narrow down the list to a few - feel free to ask us about specific models. Then we can point out some differences and things to think about.
Specific models for carry:
What immediately comes to mind is Smith&Wesson M&P series.
I happen to prefer the 45 compact however the M&P9compact is an excellent choice.
So called full size guns can also be carried but are a tad more difficult to hide.
Good luck in your search.
Obviously, I am biased
Aren't we all? Biased is not exclusive....
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