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  1. #1
    handgunnewbie is offline Junior Member
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    need yur opinions

    I am new to the world of hand guns, hence the name. I am in the market for my first hand gun. I like the M&P, what is the best caliber to have? I would be using the gun for target shooting and personal protection.

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  3. #2
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    I personally think that as a newbie - 9mm is the way to go. There are some 40 cal fanatics - but I am not a fan of the load. I like 9mm and 45 ACP personally. Also, many new shooters jump on a caliber that is too powerful for them, and then they either get rid of the gun, or give up shooting it much.

    Plus, 9mm is almost 1/2 the price of a 40, and is 1/2 the price of 45 ACP. I went to all 9mm because the ammo is close to $5 a box. That way, I can afford to shoot 200 rounds every other weekend. I get a lot more practice than I did when I had a 45.

    U will undoubtedly get a whole spectrum of advice, however.

    Can U go someplace and rent a gun? U can try out different calibers that way - even if it isn't in the M&P.

    The M&P looks like a good gun - if I didn't already have 6 polymer guns, I might even buy one 1 day. But it is such a new design - I'd be hesitant to buy one for another year or two - let them work out the kinks...

  4. #3
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    The first thing to do, even before buying a pistol, is to take an NRA Basic Pistol class.

    I generally favor 9mm for new shooters. It recoils mildly and is less expensive to buy in quantity than .40 or .45. More shooting equals faster attainment of shooting skill.

    For the record, I am a pretty experienced shooter, and I prefer 9mm for myself.
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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  5. #4
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    I would also go with the 9mm as they are way cheap to shoot. Take Mikes advise and get in a NRA pistol course. They will have you up to speed in no time.

  6. #5
    handgunnewbie is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the info. I also heard I should buy the gun from a transfer dealer to save $. How would I go about finding one in my area.

  7. #6
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    I assume U mean by buying the gun from an online dealer or from an online place - and then have it transferred to your local dealer?

    Most dealers will do this for a $25 fee - although some won't do it if they sell the same gun in their own shop.

    As a new person to guns - I do not agree with this. I personally won't buy a gun I cannot see in person beforehand. I've planned to buy guns too many times that were NEW in the gunshop, only to change my mind because there is a flaw, or the gun is all scratched up already, or somet other issues (missing something).

    Being as this would be your first - I'd buy locally so U can look at it and have the dealer show U all the features and how to work it/disassemble it.

    EVen when I was looking for something specific - if I can't get my local store to order it, I don't buy it, even if I can get it online. Just my 2 cents....

  8. #7
    handgunnewbie is offline Junior Member
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    that makes sense, shipwreck. This guy I met at work told me about tranfer dealer, I did not know what that meant.

    what's the difference between .40 and .45 caliber. local Academy has the M&P in .40 for $499

    sighned up for beginner gun course with NRA class for next weekend.

  9. #8
    SigZagger's Avatar
    SigZagger is offline Member
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    My 2 cents:

    Only purchase a handgun that you can touch, feel, point and shoot (if you are able to rent the model at a gun range).

    9mm as recommended is an excellent choice.

    9mm FMJ (full metal jacket) target ammo is cheaper than .40 or .45 caliber.

    9mm has a lower recoil than the larger calibers listed.

    9mm if needed is also an excellent handgun for self defense and home security.

    Finally, remember...buying a cheap handgun is not necessarily the right thing to do. If you like S&W and the new M&P model, they have excellent customer service if and when a problem should arise.

  10. #9
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    the 40 cal bullet is a hot load. High pressure. 45 ACP travels a bit slower, but is a bigger round. 45 ACP is a very popular round, and has proven itself over the years.

    There are many instances with Kabooms (barrel exploding) in 40 cal guns - not just Glocks. It is a very high pressure round. Any gun can have a Kaboom, but ya rarely ever hear of a 9mm kaboom. Usually what happens with the 40 cal round is that people reload the brass, and with the increased pressure, the brass can't take as many reuses as other calibers can. So, at some point, that specific caliber is more likely to fail if the brass is reused too many times.

    Every once in a while, someone will post a pic of a kaboom with factor ammo. I've seen an occasional one in 45 ACP, but it could have been some dummy who put too much gun powder in the round too. I'd say 90-95% of these issues I have seen posted over the years always involve the 40 cal.

    If U like the M&P, get the 9mm one. I think they carry that one at Academy for the same price. The 45 ACP M&P will be coming out soon - probably early 2007. But, academy's price on 9mm CCI Blazer ammo for $5.69 is the cheapest ammo price around. Be aware that over time - shooting adds up. By the time U buy 200 rounds of ammo and pay the range fee - ask yourself if U can afford to do that EVERY week. Every two weeks? 1x a month? I can afford to go every other week with 9mm guns.

  11. #10
    handgunnewbie is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I will go with 9mm. I found a gun shop here locally that rents and has a shooting range. I will try different brands and different calibers. The 9mm will also be a good caliber for my wife or my son to shoot.

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