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Thread: New guy from Alabama need suggestions for first handgun

  1. #1
    TRADARCHER is offline Junior Member
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    New guy from Alabama need suggestions for first handgun

    Hey everyone I'm new here I'm looking for my first handgun. I need a great all around gun. I want one I can carry concealed when I'm out in public and I also hunt alot on national forest lands so I need one that can handle being rained on and dirtied up without effecting performance. I have been looking a the ruger lc9, beretta px4 compact or something from glock. Any and all suggestions are welcome even if not these three I've been reviewing. I've got around $600 to spend Thanks guys

  2. #2
    denner's Avatar
    denner is online now Senior Member
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    The Beretta px4 compact gets my vote, easy decision. It's a very good one but it will come down to what feels and shoots good for you. You won't go wrong with a PX4 for sure.

  3. #3
    GCBHM is online now Senior Member
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    Welcome from Central Alabama! I would ask a few questions first. What is your experience with handguns? How many have you handled/shot? What is your comfort level with caliber (9mm, .40, .45, etc.)?

    First, I will tell you that the Ruger, although a nice little piece, isn't in the same category as the Glock. It would work well for a CCW, but it really isn't what is considered to be "top shelf" when compared to the Glock. There is nothing wrong with it. It just isn't quite up to par with the top tier offerings.

    Personally, I carry the Glock 19 Gen4. I also have the Glock 17 Gen4 as well as the Glock 42. I also have (and have been carrying the last few weeks) the new HK VP9, all of which are polymer frame striker fire pistols. I have also a CZ-75B Omega, which is an all steel hammer fire pistol with a DA/SA (double action & single action) trigger. The reason I carry the Glock (or a striker fire) pistol is b/c I like the constant trigger pull, it has no external safeties to fool with, they are well within your budget, safe, reliable and accurate. Glocks are also a little more compact than their respective competition. There are several I can recommend that would fit your budget. Glock & S&W M&P offer something in just about ever caliber. The new Sig P320 & the HK VP9 are nice pistols, but currently only come in 9mm. These may be a better option since most will come in your budget.

    As far as an all steel, DA/SA pistol, you can't buy a better gun for the money than the CZ. Mine was brand new at under $500, and it shoots and feels as good as any pistol I've ever owned. Now when you want to bump up to the more expensive offerings, then have a look at Sig Sauer & HK. Beretta makes a nice pistol, and the 92fs is a fine shooting pistol. It has been the official sidearm issued for the military for the last 25 years and has served with distinction. As far as the Storm goes, well you will find some people who love them and swear by them, but it just isn't for me. I think the thing is the ugliest pistol available in the top tier line. I hate the way it looks and feels, but I'm told they are sweet to shoot. I have never shot one b/c I will never own one. You may like it!

    The best advice I can give you is to get to a range, rent as many as you can to see what you like best. You can't go wrong with any that I've mentioned here, but you really need to pick what is best for you. If you're not stuck on having to have a .40 or .45, then I would definitely encourage you to shoot the HK VP9. It is the best shooting striker fire pistol I've ever shot, and I own three Glocks if that tells you anything. I absolutely love that gun! You can find them from $599-$650, so if you can't locate one in your local dealer, look on-line. But with you being in Alabama, I can tell you right now where to find one for $599. It is a full size pistol, but it carries well. Like I said, I've carried it every day for the last few weeks, and it isn't much different than carrying my Glock 19.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Funeralguy is online now Junior Member
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    Hi TRADARCHER,
    I'm new here myself. I'm a big fan of the Springfield X-D. I have the 9mm and the .45 ACP. To be clear they are both the full size versions. (I live in CA and my chances of getting a CCW are slim to beyond none.) I got the .45 around 2 years ago and spent around $650, but prices are high in CA due to all the hoops the state makes manufacturers go through to sell here. I can attest that with my full size versions they are extremely reliable even with my hand loads I can't remember having a jam or a hiccup. I have a friend that does have the compact 9mm and he loves it. I believe it comes with a flat mag and an extended mag. You can check them out at Springfield's website. Hope you find something that suits you.

  5. #5
    GCBHM is online now Senior Member
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    I forgot to mention the Springfield XD. Nice pistols also!

  6. #6
    TRADARCHER is offline Junior Member
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    I don't have alot of experience with handguns. I've shot a few that some friends had purchase but that was the extent of it.

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    jeager106 is offline Junior Member
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    Howdy. I'm new here also but if people knew me well they'd say I was very experienced.
    It's a good idea to find a shop/range that rents guns. That way you could shoot several and see how they feel, how well you can handle the different calibers, etc.
    I have only 2 Glocks at this time, probably won't get another as I have wayyyyyy to many
    handguns now. I have the G-23, & G-27, compact and subcompact, both are .40s, both work very well, never had a jam or any operating failure. Of those two I'd recommend the G-23.
    It conceals well, is easier to handle, both are way more accurate than they need to be.
    I'm not promoting Glocks either. Springfield, Beretta, Kimber, & many others make fine carry weapons.
    I doubt there is much on a Glock that can rust tho. The thing is half plastic and the metal is Tennifer-a treatment that makes them corrosion resistant to the max.

  8. #8
    jeager106 is offline Junior Member
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    TRADARCHER: That's a pretty good handle pal.
    You're a traditional Archer are ya? Me too. Just got my 15 year old into shooting hsi first recurve a week ago & he LOVES it.
    But this is a handgun forum so I'll keep on track by saying my 15 year old has his own handguns also and is well trained by dad.
    He has an R.I.A. (1911) and Smith M&P both 9mm, his own M-4, (an AR) and a Ruger Single Six he covets. Smith M&P handguns have a great reputation. Mine is a .40.
    I have 4 Kimbers in .45 a.c.p. but those a full size 1911's and difficult to conceal easily.

  9. #9
    Cait43's Avatar
    Cait43 is online now Member
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    If you’re planning on buying your first handgun, you should try to put your hands on as many handguns as possible and shoot as many as possible. Everyone has different hand shapes, sizes and find different types of sights and calibers easier to use. The best first gun is the one that you can shoot most accurately. Once you find that, then you can start fine tuning your decision based on weight, concealability, caliber, etc.

    There are gun shops that rent handguns to try before buying..... Hopefully there are some in your area......

    How To Make Sure Your Handgun Fits You



  10. #10
    Funeralguy is online now Junior Member
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    I had another suggestion for you TRADARCHER if you're going to be trying out different compacts you might want to try a Smith & Wesson M & P Shield. It's definitely in your price range. My range had them for sale for $429 over Memorial Day but they sold out before I could get one so I ended up paying $479. I got the 9mm, but they also come in .40. It comes with 2 mags (1 flush w/ 7 rds, 1 extended w/8 rds). This pistol is just under an inch wide. I was expecting it to bite pretty hard considering its size, but it's a surprisingly soft shooter. It did require a break-in. In the first hundred rounds I had maybe three jams, but it seemed to smooth out after that. At least you'll have another one to put on your try-out list.

  11. #11
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Maybe the best thing for you to do, before ever going out into the world armed, is to get some instruction on concealed carry, save-your-life shooting technique, and all of the many legal issues involved.
    Many good instructors will have a variety of pistols for you to try, so you can find out what fits your hands and style. Failing that, there are gun ranges and gun shops which rent time on different pistols, in a try-before-you-buy kind of deal.

    Hunting and concealed carry are not related activities, really. One gun will not properly suit both tasks.
    You need to think carefully about your priorities, and base your gun-buying decision on that train of thought.

    In truth, nobody here can tell you what gun to buy.
    Think a lot first, get some instruction, try as many pistols as you can, and then make up your own mind.

  12. #12
    NGIB is online now Junior Member
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    One of my long time general purpose guns has been a Ruger SR9c. With the 10 round mags it is a good carry and with the 17 round mags it handles like a full size gun. Mine has thousands of rounds through it and nary a problem at all. It ain't pretty but they're cheap on the used market and it's a great gun...


  13. #13
    GCBHM is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRADARCHER View Post
    I don't have alot of experience with handguns. I've shot a few that some friends had purchase but that was the extent of it.
    OK, I definitely recommend going to a range where you can rent and shoot. It's always good to get some instruction, as it has been suggested. Many ranges will also provide some courses for all level of shooters, and most experienced shooters love helping new shooters out. Good luck with your search.

  14. #14
    denner's Avatar
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    Ahh, the open ended question, " of which first handgun should I choose" will get you a bevy of personal preferences and some solid advice hopefully mixed in. Ahh, grasshopper, you must now learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. The problem is that there are so many very good handguns on the market it may take three weeks or the rest of your life to really find the one, the ten, the twenty......etc, it's a very fun endeavor none the less.

  15. #15
    TRADARCHER is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the help guys. I will look around for a place to rent guns.

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    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is online now Senior Member
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    First get training, second try out as many as possible to see how they work and feel. Don't leave out revolvers. there are several good revolvers out there that could be closest to doing both. The reason I mention revolvers they are easier to learn the manual of arms for, the .357 mag. handgun is the most versatile because you have the widest selection of ammo to use. Don't rush to get "something" take the time to find what works for you. Now if were me a good 1911a1 in 45 acp would be what I would get (expected suggestion) but that is just me. Take your time, enjoy the search, learn from those who know how to use safely.

  17. #17
    Niland is online now Junior Member
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    Welcome and best wishes with your decision. I'd start by deciding more specifically how you want the gun to perform in its expected role. For me I wanted a minimum of opportunities to screw up under pressure but something safe to EDC, so I knew a good DAO trigger was required. Past that, it was simple simply simple. So I needed few moving parts and easy maintenance. I found that the Sig P250 compact fit the bill well. No safety, DAO, simple mechanism, easy swap parts. Ideal.

  18. #18
    NickAcker23's Avatar
    NickAcker23 is online now Junior Member
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    My first handgun was a Springfield XD40 I love the XD line of pistols and strongly recommend them as of now all of my handguns are 9mm though.

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