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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

So you don't have to read all the boring stuff (that might be helpful) below, let me go ahead and ask the forum members this basic question: If you were going to an indoor gun range for the 1st time, and were going to rent a semi-auto to see what would be a good fit for you, what would you start with?

Here's the additional (potentially boring) info: I have never owned a handgun, but have shot a few years ago. I do own rifles and shotguns, but I'm looking to get a semi-auto for home defense with potential for concealed carry if I go that route. In looking online, guns that have piqued my interest most are the Glock 19 and 23, Walther PPQ, S&W MP, etc. I've read a lot of stuff and watched a lot of videos of varying and conflicting opinions on manufacturers of guns, ammo, best caliber, etc. I've read the FBI study on 9mm, and listened to valid arguments (and some invalid) about everything under the sun. This is why I'm going to go and rent; to see what would be the best fit for me. I know I'll need to get specific training for safety, try various guns, etc. But my wife is taking me for my birthday to the gun range for a 30 minute session, and I wanted to at least try to "make it count" for the time alotted. So, what would you recommend? If it matters, I'm 54, 6'2 and 280 lbs. I only add this because I don't anticipate the added recoil from a 40 S&W or 45 being as significant as it may be to someone smaller, but I don't want to assume anything either. Anyway, any suggestions/recommendations would be appreciated, or if this subject is addressed elsewhere in the forum, please direct me. Thanks so much!
 

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Given your size and general experience, I would start with a 1911 GI size .45 auto. You would find that the gun does not produce a sharp recoil; it's more like a push. No discomfort involved, as long as you are gripping the gun like a firm handshake. This is not to say that you will finally decide on a 1911 .45 auto, it's just that you need to get it done, so the bs doesn't overwhelm your common sense.
 

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It looks like you have done your homework some and you are looking at compact sized handguns.
You are also looking at all striker fired pistols, and any range that rents guns should have all 3 available.
Remember this is internet advice and worth as much as you paid for it.
Start with 9mm, .40 short & weak and .45 acp are ALOT of fun but you can pickup 9mm ammunition for about half the cost.

The Block 19 is really popular, there are still a few gen 3's on armslist for a little over $500. if you don't like it
you should be able to get most of your money back if you sold it.

1911's make you look younger, slimmer, and richer and you will start to hang out in places like this.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...QQvR-8MtiTY6IgS5w&sig2=BX1Yewpgb1OV_EoObvYdXA

Last, tell your wife thanks for the birthday present.
 

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Don't get the idea in your head that 40 or 45 is more manly because BIGGER! I figured I should get a 40 cal because GRRR! and I think I should have stuck with 9mm. 9mm is cheaper, more flexible, you fit more in the gun, etc.

If you might be carrying this, a 1911 is a poor choice. Not terrible, not 'wrong,' 1911 fiends please don't kill me! Just not a great choice for a first gun. There are a bunch of $500-600 polymer guns that might fit so just try as many as you can. You are almost in a can't-go-wrong situation if you stick to a major brand midsize 9mm. My personal suggestion is a CZ P-07 Duty. I find the CZ brand makes excellent guns and I am a big fan.

Oh, and Glocks suck. Only pinko commie Libtards use Glocks.

:) Kidding!

-Gruesome
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses, I really do appreciate your advice. I do like the idea of having a less expensive ammo. I've also seen a lot of videos dealing with conversions, such as the Glock 23 and converting to 9mm. It sounds nice, but I'm uncertain as to how reliable this would be over time. (I'm a lab tech, and I'm all about reliability and reproducible results) I just wonder how well the 40 S&W frame ejects 9mm from an "aftermarket" barrel, consistently over time. I have no concern about feeling the need to have a bigger gun/caliber because I'm a big guy. My main concern is reliability with the firearm to effectively protect me and my family, my capacity to use whatever is best for me, and the enjoyment of just shooting it. If 9mm does that, then I'll be satisfied. Bottom line is I'm excited to get to the range and just learn whatever I can. Thanks again to everyone!
 

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...converting to 9mm...
...da HELL you talkin' bout? I know 2 things about Glocks: they are dull as hell, and they are reliable as hell. Wait, three things: they all look alike. Why would you consider a 23 and then changing it to 9mm? isn't there a 9mm variant of the 23? Hey, Google works again! The 23 is the 40 cal. variant of the 19. Just get a 19 and proceed to put 10,000 rounds through it without a hiccup.

-Gruesome
 

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I'd recommend trying as many as you can, and it sounds like you have a good "starter list" going.

I'd also recommend not being quite so concerned about how the gun "feels" in your hand, but rather how it behaves when you fire it. I've shot many pistols and revolvers that "felt" really nice; right up until the first shot, when the grip suddenly wasn't so comfortable at all, or the gun was bouncing/whipping around during recoil because the barrel was situated so high over the hand/arm. If the gun behaves and shoots well, you can get used to the "feel", as long as it isn't actually cramping your hand because it's too small or something basic like that. No one is born with a gun in their hand, so there is really no such thing as a "natural" grip; we are all programmed/pre-programmed to like or dislike certain grips and grip angles as we gain more experience with various toys, tools, and other household items. Knowing this, you can re-program yourself to "like" any grip you want if the pistol is a solid performer, so don't get too locked-in on how the gun feels when you first pick it up.

I'll say up front that I'm a big Glock fan. When I first tried them, I was initially turned-off by the grip angle and how they felt in the hand. But after shooting several different models a bit, and with many different folks pointing out how well they handle recoil (minimal flip/bounce and a quick return to target), I rapidly programmed myself to prefer the Glock grip angle and accompanying low bore height, and the advantages of same. Nowadays, you can get this advantage from other autoloading pistols such as the S&W M&P series, and to a lesser extent the Springfield XD and HK striker-fired pistols (higher bore axis and slightly more flip). I've decided to stick with the Glocks due to the thousands of rounds I've shot through them, their reliability, their simplicity, how easy they are to work on or upgrade, and the cost/difficulty of reaching the same level of skill with a new/different pistol for very little gain. If I was starting anew today, it would be a much harder choice than it was back in the late 80s and early 90s when I got deep into the autoloaders.

Good luck, give everything you try an honest chance, and don't be too concerned with what other folks recommend; even though it works for them, something else might work better for you. When in doubt, test it "on the clock" for accuracy. If you can shoot it fast and accurately, and it's a reliable pistol with good parts and mag availability, then buy it, shoot it regularly, and don't look back.
 

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Say what you will about the 9mm, but it's a good round. Plentiful and relatively economical to boot. SD, target shooting, whatever, it gets the job done.

Start with one and go from there.
 

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I didn't start shooting till I was 62 (Now 65) I started with a Ruger SR40C and carried it for two years. Then my wife wanted to get into shooting. She liked her trainer's Glock G26. So with that I decided I wanted to switch over to Glock 9mm. I now Carry a G17 gen4 (I also have a G19 and of course wife has G26 ( And a Ruger LCR in 38) I suggest you shoot as many different firearms as you can. But you really can't go wrong with a Glock G19. Most importantly get some good training. About every other month i try to hook up with a personal trainer for a two hour session. Winchester NRA 5 Shots ten seconds x3.jpg
This was a hard but fun drill Five targets, Five shots each target in 10 seconds. Each target was shot at 3 times had to score 200 per target to advance.
 

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TheRandy I was in your shoes a few years ago, I owned rifles & shotguns, but never had owned a handgun; I was fortunate to have a LGS nearby that only charges $9 for unlimited time and $6.00 per handgun rented (plus, you don't have to buy ammo thru them to shoot their guns). I shot nearly 1,000 rounds of 9mm, over several trips that spanned 3-4 months, before I bought my first handgun (SR9c)...

Looking at your list of guns you've researched, if you can only shoot one, shoot the PPQ... Best trigger, by a long shot! (yes, I went there)


And yes, I still think the PPQ has a better trigger than the 9c, but the 9c's trigger is very good and the frame/grip fits my hand better
 

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Know/learn about the mechanics of the guns you test. I love the striker fired pistols, know it's sensitivity if you decide to carry a dao striker fired.
A safety on a striker fired gun IMO is useless, it could create a false sense of security. The holster is your best friend along with plenty of respect after learning the mechanics of the gun.

My recommendation would be a sig or Cz with a comparable double action and decocker
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Went to the indoor range today with wife and son, we shot a Glock and a Springfield in 9mm. Did pretty well for first time, surprised that my wife shot as much as she did! It's a good start, I felt pretty good with both, look forward to going back! The 9mm was a little more than my wife wanted to shoot, so a lady there showed her a Sig .380. She liked the idea of it, so she's going to go back to shoot it. The owner at the range was super nice and very helpful.
 

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I like the striker fired polymer guns for SD/HD.. try glock 19 vs Walther ppq vs H+K VP9-- also the sig p320 is a good choice. As you can see I prefer 9mm(fed HST defense ammo feeds without issues through all of these--YES I do mean all of them( I do own all of them too)

another way to go is buy a glock 23 for sd/hd and buy a lonewolf conversion barrel --use 9mm on the range it is cheaper and easier on your hands(for now

enjoy your present--lucky you
 

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Thanks for the responses, I really do appreciate your advice. I do like the idea of having a less expensive ammo. I've also seen a lot of videos dealing with conversions, such as the Glock 23 and converting to 9mm. It sounds nice, but I'm uncertain as to how reliable this would be over time. (I'm a lab tech, and I'm all about reliability and reproducible results) I just wonder how well the 40 S&W frame ejects 9mm from an "aftermarket" barrel, consistently over time. I have no concern about feeling the need to have a bigger gun/caliber because I'm a big guy. My main concern is reliability with the firearm to effectively protect me and my family, my capacity to use whatever is best for me, and the enjoyment of just shooting it. If 9mm does that, then I'll be satisfied. Bottom line is I'm excited to get to the range and just learn whatever I can. Thanks again to everyone!
although many would not trust a glock 23 with a 9mm barrel(lonewolf engineers their conversion barrels to fit perfectly and they work well) . We have put over 3000 rounds through such a set up--zero issues. I still have glock 19s for us for SD/hd BUT the glock 23 is a great back up/range gun. I would NOT ever hesitate using it for SD if needed. JMHO
 
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