Newb Needs a First Handgun (scheduled for a defense tactics program)
I'm looking for my first handgun. It will be used to prepare myself for a defense tactics course. I'm considering the S&W M&P .40, and would like opinions on that weapon. http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...egory_rn=15711
The course is a opportunity associated with my job. It involves attending a 1 week defense tactics training session put on by a department of the federal government. The gun I would be issued if I were to successfully complete the training is the H&K USP40 compact. This is also what would be used during the training, but I do not obtain the firearm until my arrival. I have about 6 months to prepare.
I have no real handgun training or experience, having been a regular civilian my entire life. I feel like I need to practice and improve my marksmanship if I have any chance of completing the course successfully. I grew up around hunting rifles and shotguns, and currently just own a remington 870 & baretta extrema2 for hunting/HD. Recently a Police Officer friend of mine took me to the range and let me fire his Colt 1911-style .45 and an S&W M&P .40.
I took a liking to the S-W M&P .40, as I could get fairly accurate shots with it after a bit of coaching. I was wondering if this would be a good semi-auto for me to purchase in preperation for my course. I would also use it for home defense after it had served that purpose. I've also considered the springfiled XD line and Glock 22 based on reviews I've read online. I could also get an H&K USP40 of my own for $495.00 if I wanted.
I am leaning toward the S&W M&P because I actually have used it, it's made in the USA, .40 S&W seems like a good round, it seem to get good reviews from what I've read, and I think it looks good. Plus I'd like some variety if I'm going to get issued the H&K, it seems redundant to have two of the exact same weapon.
Opinions, thoughts, comments? Thanks in advance.
Shoot what you carry, drill, drill, drill . . . .
As a graduate of FLETC in Glynco, GA and Quantico while serving in the USMC, training FBI newbies years ago I am firmly of the opinion that you drill exhaustively with the weapon you carry. Make it part of you and make all actions with the weapon a natural extension of yourself. As part of my ongoing drill, I dry fire my Berettas with snap caps every evening without fail as well as clip change drill and clear the action drills. Many people will say the safety on the Beretta is not a natural action, it is for me. Keeping my finger out of the trigger guard is also a natural action handling the weapon, even, no, especially under stress. I shoot every week in a lighted range and they will turn the lights off for you if you shoot between 8:30 PM and 9:00 PM. This is useful as I have a LaserMax LMS-1441 in the 96 I carry CCW and as a Reserve Deputy. I own 10 handguns and shoot all occasionally, but mainly use the ones I don't carry conducting a weapons self defense course for women. The variety allows them to find the weapon that fits them best. From a S&W M&P40 to a Model 60. So after the diatribe, train like you fight and fight like you train. Debts you pay in sweat will keep you from paying in Blood. Shoot safe and shoot well.