View Poll Results: Best "First Gun" company

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  • S&W

    17 32.08%
  • Ruger

    16 30.19%
  • Bersa

    0 0%
  • Glock

    6 11.32%
  • Other

    14 26.42%
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  1. #1
    pilotdog68 is offline Junior Member
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    Advice on first gun

    I need some advice. I am currently in the process of getting my AZ CC permit. I have never owned a gun, I have never fired a semi-auto pistol, I have fired my father's .38 special revolver.

    I am not completely sure even if I want a revolver or semi-auto, but right now I am leaning toward semi-auto. I will use it primarily as a range gun to just get more comfortable with shooting and practice. Eventually it will probably become a "nightstand" gun, and there is a small possibility I would choose to carry it. I am 6'6" tall and 250lbs with fairly large hands (long fingers, but not super meaty). My girlfriend might also shoot the gun, and she is quite smaller, so I don't want a huge piece. I'm looking for a "Goldilocks" gun i guess.

    I have decided on either 9mm or .38 special because of their balance of ease of use, ammo prices, and cartridge variety and power. I'm looking for around $300-500. I have done extensive research online and have come up with my short list. I know that I need to go to gun stores "try them on" but so far everywhere I've been has only had Judge's in stock for revolvers, and every 9mm was sold out.

    So tell me what you think of my list here. Any I should avoid? Any that stand out? Any others I should consider? For some reason I just don't like the Glocks, I don't really know why but they just don't interest me.

    Semi-Auto
    Ruger SR9/SR9c
    S&W M+P 9mm
    Sig P250
    Bersa Thunder9 (my favorite right now)
    FN-P9
    Kahr CW9

    Revolvers
    Ruger LCR
    Ruger SP101
    S&W M638
    or some other used S&W

    Also, are there any dangers to buying online from impactguns or buds? Obviously I would find one in person first, but if the online price is cheaper should I go that route?

    Thanks

    ***EDIT: I should say that I have a decent amount of experience using rifles and shotguns for plinking and shooting clays, I just have never owned one. So I do know a fair amount about guns in general and safety practices.

  2. #2
    Sgt45's Avatar
    Sgt45 is offline Member
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    Just my opinion, but the Ruger SP 101 in .357 magnum would be a good place to start. It's a revolver and pretty simple to operate, get it with a 4" barrel or longer as the longer sight radius will make accurate shooting a little easier. It can be loaded with .38 special for target work and to get acclimated to the gun, or it can be used with .357 for more oomph if so desired. Malfunction drills are pretty simple, pull the trigger again. If you get to the point where you think you may want to carry concealed - then think about the autos, but with you height, a 4" revolver shouldn't be too bad to hide. Ruger is a well made revolver and will serve you well for many many years. I have broken S&W's (M19) using a lot of .357 loads, I have not broken my Ruger. After you get the gun, get instruction from someone competent (Gunsite is in Arizona, Front Sight is in Nevada), expensive but oh so very much worth it.

  3. #3
    TacticalPeace is offline Junior Member
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    The Ruger LCR was my very first gun and it really served a great purpose. Nothing is more simple than a revolver when first learning how to safely handle a firearm. As far as semi-autos are concerned, the M+P and FN are great choices. Good luck!

  4. #4
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    I would recomend a 357 also.They're simple,so no clearing drills are needed for a malfunction that autos can have.

  5. #5
    Smitty79's Avatar
    Smitty79 is online now Member
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    I bought a Ruger SR40 as my first ever pistol and love it. It's the 40 cal version of the SR9. It is an exceptional night stand gun. Could be carried. It is simpler than most automatics. They run in the low 40's. If you search for my forum name, you will see a long discussion of searching for the "one gun".

  6. #6
    pilotdog68 is offline Junior Member
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    I pick things up faster than average, I'm not really all that concerned about the semi-auto being too complicated. I just want something that is going to be reliable and, more importantly, predictable. Are semi-autos really as much more unreliable than revolvers as some people make them sound?

  7. #7
    Harryball's Avatar
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    Semi Auto: S&W M&P....

    Revolver: Ruger SP101 in .357 mag

    That being said, at this time I would get the S&W M&P. Take a training course, you should be able to find someone local that teaches a basic pistol class.

  8. #8
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    Yes and No,depends on the quality.Everyone has a bad one pop up from time to time in all facets of manufacturing,but some have poor quality from the start (like Jennings) and some have quality control issues occasionally or frequently (Kimber,Taurus).Some just make a damn good product from the start with very rare problems (HK).

  9. #9
    pilotdog68 is offline Junior Member
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    How does the S&W SD9VE compare to the M&P, primarily in terms of reliability/build quality?

  10. #10
    Charlie's Avatar
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    The Sig 250 is an excellent first gun if you go semi-auto (and you won't have to buy another to replace it down the road). A Ruger 101 or S&W J-Frame in .357 is also a good choice as both guns will shoot .38 Spl. also for breaking in an unfamiliar operator and plinking. After becoming comfortable with the .38, the transition to .357 would be smooth. Oh, the M&P is a much better choice and value, IMHO, than the SD9VE.

  11. #11
    pilotdog68 is offline Junior Member
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    Do you have a Sig 250? Does the modular-ness of it affect its solidity and durability at all? I really like the SR9 and the Thunder9, but the S&W warranty and part availability is a big plus

  12. #12
    Charlie's Avatar
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    I do not have a Sig 250. I was going on the reputation of Sig in general and what I've heard. I've owned Sigs previously and felt they were very well made guns. I think Sig makes a "non-modular" 9mm P938 if the modularity thing bothers you. I currently carry either a Colt Defender in .45 or a S&W 640 in .357.

    (you didn't fly a Bird Dog in '68, did ya'?)

  13. #13
    pilotdog68 is offline Junior Member
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    Since the grip/slide/barrel change kits for the 250 are around $230, I seriously doubt I would utilize that portion of it. I would be more confident with a more solid permanent construction.

    Sorry Charlie, in 1968 I was 22 years from being conceived. I just like airplanes, dogs, and the number 68

  14. #14
    FloridaGuy's Avatar
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    For my first 2 guns I picked up the S&W M&P 9MMFull Size and the M&P 9C. They are both very nice guns but I have discoveredthat I shoot Semi-Automatics very inaccurately. So then I went with 2 Rugersthe GP100 and the SP101 in .357 magnum. I am 100 percent more accurate with thetwo revolvers. But for a new shooter I would recommend either a Ruger GP100 ora SP101 in .357 magnum that way you can also shoot .38 Special rounds at therange for practice. I currently carry either the SP101 in .357 magnum or my S&W model 629 in .44 magnum depending on my dress.

  15. #15
    Sgt45's Avatar
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    Are revolvers more reliable than autos? That depends as earlier stated there are bad in both worlds. When an auto malfunctions, the operator can usually clear it quickly and continue the fight (if you don't get shot in the meantime, so it might be good to MOVE), when a revolver goes bad, it's usually a trip to the gunsmith. I have seen autos of all stripes malfunction and the operator clears them, I have had revolvers break (2 S&W M19's and the Taurus copy of it for a total of 3). When the broke they were expensive paper weights until the factory fixed them. I have seen (and fixed) another officer's M19 after it got mashed into beach sand during a fight. The gun had to be totally stripped, the internal lockwork cleaned and reassembled, the gun was in the officers holster at the time. He wound up drawing the gun and the fight stopped so he never had to shoot (he couldn't have anyway). Extremes, yes. I still think the Ruger 357 is a great way to start, if you still want to go the auto route, get up to a place like Gunsite and take their 250 pistol class.

  16. #16
    pic's Avatar
    pic
    pic is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    No doubt revolvers are certainly more reliable in the area of malfunctions. Revolvers may lack in areas of firepower ,speed and accuracy, concealment.. but the hard truth is the revolver is more reliable when it comes to mechanical malfunctions.
    Jams ,feeding issues ,magazine issues, finding the proper ammo , breaking in period.
    Revolvers don't have these issues unless something breaks

  17. #17
    ponzer04's Avatar
    ponzer04 is online now Member
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    Being so tall I think the Ruger SR9 is a good fit for you since it comes with a 10rd mag and a 17rd mag ( this should fill your hand a little better). I was gonna suggest that before I got that far into your description it is an awesome gun.

    Check out this site it may help you compare your prospects a little better Handgun Reviews

  18. #18
    plp
    plp is offline Junior Member
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    For brand, Ruger is the way to go for a first handgun. Great reliability, excellent after the sale service and priced affordably for pretty much every budget.

    The route my wife and I took when getting started was do your research. What is the purpose for the gun you chose to acquire, how much are you going to shoot it, what resources are you willing to commit past the initial purchase? What resources are available locally to help you become competent with your handgun?

    We have a range that rents handguns as well as sells them. They also have a 4 hour basic safety and shooting class, what we both found out was neither one of us were comfortable with larger caliber (yes, may have to turn in my mancard admitting I can't consistently shoot a 1911) so we have settled in right now as .22lr plinkers. We go to the range every week if not more, put several hundred rounds downrange at various distances and make it a point to keep pushing our skillsets until we can go to a larger caliber reliably.

    I have two .380 mouseguns, and can consistently hit paper at 25'. I couldn't do that 6 months ago, so I can see improvement. Whatever you get, invest in yourself and become the best marksman you can.

  19. #19
    JMessmer's Avatar
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    Get a cz-75 9mm. Best 9mm handgun under 600$. Glock 17 is not as good(also have that), hk usp is also great but it's about 600$, everyone loves the beretta m9, I hate my ruger p95, buy a ruger p89 used if you wanna ruger those are amazing, Taurus .357 magnum is a bad choice, s&w shield has great reviews though I don't own one, I'm a semiauto fan but revolvers are easier for beginners, and easier to clean, but I don't know much about revolvers so I cannot give to much insight, but a 9mm or .38 is what I would buy.

  20. #20
    Jonny_Cannon's Avatar
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    Knowing what I do now, I'd have never intitially purchased a .22. I hadn't fired handguns since I was in the Service, and once I got back into it, I went to the range with my buddy and fired his Beretta .22 NEOS, CZ-75 9mm, and his S&W .44 Magnum. I had no problems with any of them. I figured I'd need to get used to it, so I bought a .22 Browning URX. Granted, it's a lot of fun, and cheap to shoot. After that I bought a Desert Eagle .50, and an M&P 9mm. No problems shooting any of them. I'd rather have added the extra $$$ I spent on the .22 towards a higher-end 9mm.

    Of course, my gf may have something to say about that, because she shoots the .22 like crazy and loves it, so I guess it's tough luck me anyways, lol.

    Cannon

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