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Old 05-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #11
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I'm going to see if I can find a range where I can rent one and test fire it. I think that would be the smartest thing.
Exactly!

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Oh, and I remembered something that I wanted to ask. What are your guys opinions of SA, SA/DA, or DAO? In general? For beginners?
I am personally a fan of either SAO or DAO/striker-fired. I just don't like to familiarize myself with two trigger pulls for the same gun.

I don't own an XD, but I have shot several, and they are fine guns. You wouldn't go a bit wrong with one of those.

If you do get a revolver, I recommend getting it in .357 magnum. You can still shoot .38 special out of it for cheaper practice. You might also decide that .38 special is plenty good for a defense round. Or you might like .38 special +p, or .357 magnum. The fact that there are so many loads available between .38 special and .357 magnum means that one revolver can give you a great deal of versatility. And you can move up from lighter ammunition to heavier ammunition without having to buy another gun.

If you have the budget and are planning to shoot regularly, I strongly recommend buying a .22, either before moving on to a "defense" caliber gun or at the same time. A .22 isn't a "newbie" gun, though it is an optimal learner's platform. It's great for practicing everything but recoil control, it's cheap to shoot, and it's fun!
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #12
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First off, you're on the right track. A Springfield XD9 fits the bill for a simple, reliable, low maintenance gun that's great for beginners. Most polymer options in the $400-600 range (Glock, S&W M&P, etc) would be equally fitting. XD has plenty of fans and you can count me among them. If you like the feel, the XD will keep you plenty happy.

The other two options (for centerfires, as you mention something with a little "power") are steel/metal framed semi-autos and revolvers. Here's some beginner recommendations in those categories that won't break the bank:

Steel SA: CZ 75b 9mm ($550 new). A nicer shooter IMO than any polymer. Heavier and slighly higher maintenance than poly, but not complicated. Thumb safety or decocker.

Aluminum Alloy SA: Sig P226, 228, 229 9mm ($500-700, excellent/used). Great guns, very simply to operate and break down...takedown nearly identical to XD. Decocker, no safety.

Revolver: Ruger GP100 3-4" 357m/38sp (under $600 new). Great simple revolver, built like a tank, quite heavy.

But as mentioned, if polymer is your primary interest, you're already on the right track.

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Old 05-06-2011, 02:00 AM   #13
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My first was an XD-9 and I still have it. It is a fine gun and I have put countless rounds through it without a hiccup.

These days I usually tell people to check out the Glock 19 for a first handgun. Everything about it is great for a first gun in my opinion. You can use the larger capacity magazines from the other models, there are a ton of accessories for it and every other Glock, and you can do some mods such as aftermarket triggers yourself easily.

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Old 05-06-2011, 03:20 AM   #14
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I have always and continue to recommend a Revolver for a first gun. Once you learn to handle the Revolver Basics then the transition to the Semi Autos will become much easier. Start with the Revolver and you will never regret it.

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Old 05-06-2011, 04:20 AM   #15
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Yup, 100 different answers. So I'll say this: try as many different pistols as you can. See which ones fit you to narrow the search. For me, the XD didn't fit my hand as well as the M&P. You might find something that fits better than the XD, or you might not.

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Old 05-06-2011, 10:47 AM   #16
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As always, my take is this.......

This is strictly my opinion, and has worked in many years of firearms training, and for men and ladies alike. Buy a handgun just like you would buy a pair of shoes. If Ol' Joe over here says he likes Charlie China tennis shoes, and you're looking for a new pair of shoes, do you run out and buy Joe's pick, just because HE likes 'em? Probably not. If a new shooter is asking what to buy for a carry gun, it doesn't matter what works for me, or anyone else. I suggest telling that new shooter to go to many gun shops, and/or gun shows, and handle all the guns they can get hold of. Just like they would try on shoes. Before long they'll be able to make a list of guns that feel ok, pretty good, real good, and "that really feels great in my hands". The last two are the ones to pursue, and here's why I say that....
If a given handgun doesn't feel "right" in your hands, you'll not shoot it enough to become proficient with it, because it's not comfortable, and you won't like shooting it. Just like you rarely wear shoes that are UNcomfortable. If you're not gonna become proficient with it, save your money, and buy a ball bat to carry. With proper fundamentals, he/she can learn to shoot almost any handgun, or any caliber. Very few folks can re-train their hands to make just any handgun feel comfortable. The last suggestion.........proper shooting techinques, practiced slowly, but proficiently, will breed speed. Do it slowly, and do it the right way, every time.......If you practice speed first, and introduce less efficient techniques into your training, you'll have to do it all over again to get it right.

By the way..... anyone who introduces a new shooter to our pastime by having them start with a large-caliber handgun, makes a very poor decision. Yes, some folks do ok starting out with large calibers, but the vast majority will not continue to shoot if their very 1st experience is with .50 S&W. Start with a .22 caliber something, and as your technique/accuracy improves, work up from there.

Again, just my ramblings.... but they work for me...

Having said all that, you're only about 2.5 hours north of me. If you should be interested in shooting a variety of handguns, and perhaps finding one you really like. Just let me know. All it would cost you is time, and gas.

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Old 05-09-2011, 03:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay View Post
As always, my take is this.......

This is strictly my opinion, and has worked in many years of firearms training, and for men and ladies alike. Buy a handgun just like you would buy a pair of shoes. If Ol' Joe over here says he likes Charlie China tennis shoes, and you're looking for a new pair of shoes, do you run out and buy Joe's pick, just because HE likes 'em? Probably not. If a new shooter is asking what to buy for a carry gun, it doesn't matter what works for me, or anyone else. I suggest telling that new shooter to go to many gun shops, and/or gun shows, and handle all the guns they can get hold of. Just like they would try on shoes. Before long they'll be able to make a list of guns that feel ok, pretty good, real good, and "that really feels great in my hands". The last two are the ones to pursue, and here's why I say that....
If a given handgun doesn't feel "right" in your hands, you'll not shoot it enough to become proficient with it, because it's not comfortable, and you won't like shooting it. Just like you rarely wear shoes that are UNcomfortable. If you're not gonna become proficient with it, save your money, and buy a ball bat to carry. With proper fundamentals, he/she can learn to shoot almost any handgun, or any caliber. Very few folks can re-train their hands to make just any handgun feel comfortable. The last suggestion.........proper shooting techinques, practiced slowly, but proficiently, will breed speed. Do it slowly, and do it the right way, every time.......If you practice speed first, and introduce less efficient techniques into your training, you'll have to do it all over again to get it right.

By the way..... anyone who introduces a new shooter to our pastime by having them start with a large-caliber handgun, makes a very poor decision. Yes, some folks do ok starting out with large calibers, but the vast majority will not continue to shoot if their very 1st experience is with .50 S&W. Start with a .22 caliber something, and as your technique/accuracy improves, work up from there.

Again, just my ramblings.... but they work for me...

Having said all that, you're only about 2.5 hours north of me. If you should be interested in shooting a variety of handguns, and perhaps finding one you really like. Just let me know. All it would cost you is time, and gas.
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