First handgun, not quite a noob
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:39 AM   #1
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Default First handgun, not quite a noob

I'm looking to purchase my first handgun early into the new year, and was looking for a bit of advice. From what I have read, it really comes down to what feels good, and what I can handle based on my experience. I guess a litte history would help.

I'm 22 and have been handling guns for about the last 10 years. I'm right handed with an dominant right eye. The first gun I ever shot was a Single Action .22 revolver, and along with that I have shot numerous automatic .22s, .38 specials, and 9mm autos. As far as long rifles and Shotguns, I've shot everything from .22s to .338 and 45-70s. 12 and 20 guages, overunders, pumps, ect...

This gun will serve as personal/home defense, CCW, and weekend range use. Price is not a huge deal, but for the sake of suggestion, I'd like to keep it under $1000-$1200. I want a gun thats good from the factory, as I do not plan to "mod" it too much. Ammo cost is not a big deal either. I know .22 are cheap to shoot, and great for maintaining skill, but my friend's have more than enough .22s to warm up on, and I'm already a decent shot.

As for my experience, the gun that felt best in my hands of all that I have shot in the past was my friend's Springfield XD 9mm sub-compact. It dosn't have to be a sub-compact, but the more concealable, the better. I'm itching to get my hands on a .40 and .45 to try out (Hopefully halloween weekend) to see how I like them.

I have had the chance to hold the almightly m1911, and I must say I like it a lot, but it may be a little bigger (size wise) than I'm looking for, but I always open to suggestions.

Let this noob have it guys, I wanna learn!

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Old 10-21-2008, 05:05 AM   #2
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mateo, 10/21/08

You're in for a good time looking for your first pistol.

First you have to decide which action type you like best (meaning how the trigger works). The Springfield XD (along with a lot of other quality pistols like Glock, SW M&P, Sig DAK, HK-LEM) generally is thought of as a double-action-only (DAO) gun. The trigger pull is fairly constant for the first and subsequent trigger pulls. This makes it much easier to learn. Other action types are single-action-only (SAO-like most 1911's) where the hammer is already cocked and the trigger pull is short and lighter than a DAO gun, and almost always has a manual safety to release before shooting. Then there is a combination called TDA or DA/SA (traditional double action or double-action/single-action) where the first shot involves a longer, heavier trigger pull like the DAO's, and the subsequent shots are all single action. You need to shoot the different action types and this will direct you towards a specific pistol. This means finding a range that rents guns or a friend who has different pistols for you to try out.

If you are looking for a house/range gun then it doesn't need to be as small as one used for carry. I'd look for a gun with a barrel length of 4-4.5 inches. A 9mm pistol is a great first gun as it is easy to shoot and the ammo is reasonably priced so you can practice more. A 9mm with the proper bullet and velocity is fine for self defense.

So if I was to make a list of quality pistols that you might look at it would be as follows:
1. Beretta- I like the model-92 but they also have some new polymer offerings that are pretty good
2. CZ- an excellent pistol, look for the CZ-75B or PCR.
3. Sig- I like the 226 and 229(or a used 228)- all are quality pistols out of the box.
4. SW- They have stopped making most of their quality 3rd generation pistols (ie- SW 5903 or 5906 would work for you) but they are available used for good prices. Their polymer M&P's get good reviews.
5. HK- the USP full size or compacts can be had for good prices since they have introduced their new line of pistols, but parts availability and service have been issues.

I have had problems with Taurus (poor customer service after internal parts breakage) and EAA (known for the worst customer service in the industry).

So try out the different offerings and then go shopping (you can usually pick up a good deal on new pistols through internet suppliers-ie Buds gun shop, Sportingarms.com, etc. Or used pistols at www.gunbroker.com or www.auctionarms.com).

best wishes- oldandslow

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Old 10-21-2008, 06:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.8Mateo View Post
I'm looking to purchase my first handgun early into the new year, and was looking for a bit of advice. From what I have read, it really comes down to what feels good, and what I can handle based on my experience. I guess a litte history would help.

I'm 22 and have been handling guns for about the last 10 years. I'm right handed with an dominant right eye. The first gun I ever shot was a Single Action .22 revolver, and along with that I have shot numerous automatic .22s, .38 specials, and 9mm autos. As far as long rifles and Shotguns, I've shot everything from .22s to .338 and 45-70s. 12 and 20 guages, overunders, pumps, ect...

This gun will serve as personal/home defense, CCW, and weekend range use. Price is not a huge deal, but for the sake of suggestion, I'd like to keep it under $1000-$1200. I want a gun thats good from the factory, as I do not plan to "mod" it too much. Ammo cost is not a big deal either. I know .22 are cheap to shoot, and great for maintaining skill, but my friend's have more than enough .22s to warm up on, and I'm already a decent shot.

As for my experience, the gun that felt best in my hands of all that I have shot in the past was my friend's Springfield XD 9mm sub-compact. It dosn't have to be a sub-compact, but the more concealable, the better. I'm itching to get my hands on a .40 and .45 to try out (Hopefully halloween weekend) to see how I like them.

I have had the chance to hold the almightly m1911, and I must say I like it a lot, but it may be a little bigger (size wise) than I'm looking for, but I always open to suggestions.

Let this noob have it guys, I wanna learn!
This is my Kimber Compact II:





I really like the size of it. It conceals easily but isn't so small that you're afraid that you're going to lose it. On my 17" LCD, the pistols is almost the same size in real life as it is in the pictures.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:32 AM   #4
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When I am down in Tucson over Halloween weekend, I'm going to try to stop by the local indoor range. I believe that they rent guns there. And I just came onto a little bit of money from selling my guitar to my father. So I think that will be a good opportunity. Plus, I'll probably see my buddy (who has the XD9) and his dad who has a stock of weapons. His dad is actually the reason I got to hold a m1911, beretta .40, and HK USP .45.

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Old 10-21-2008, 09:08 AM   #5
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With a budget of up to $1200, I assure you that you'll come away with a VERY NICE handgun. Maybe even two!

Since concealability is important to you, and you like your friend's XD subcompact, it should definitely be near the top of your list. You won't go wrong with an XD.

If the 1911 you handled seemed too big, I'm betting it was a full-sized steel model with 5" barrel. However, several manufacturers make compact and subcompact models with 4" and 3" barrels, with lightweight aluminum frames and shortened grip frames. You won't find them too large at all.

Some pistols you should definitely check out:

Kimber Pro CDP II (1911, .45 ACP)
http://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/cdp/pro_cdp_II/

Kimber Compact CDP II (1911, .45 ACP)
http://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/cdp/compact_cdp_II/

Kimber Ultra CDP II (1911, .45 ACP)
http://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/cdp/ultra_cdp_II/

Springfield XD Compact (.45 ACP)
http://www.springfield-armory.com/xd.php?version=111

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Old 10-21-2008, 10:38 AM   #6
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Those are excellent choices, but fairly costly.

Here are some more affordable options if needed:

Ruger P345 & P90

http://www.gundealeronline.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=RUGERP345KP345PR

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=83597

TAURUS

http://www.taurususa.com/products/products-pistols.cfm

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Old 10-21-2008, 12:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Those are excellent choices, but fairly costly.

Here are some more affordable options if needed:
The OP stated he had a budget of up to 1200.00. All the guns I mentioned fall within that parameter.

The OP also stated that he wanted a gun that he wouldn't have to "mod" much. Since the Kimber CDP is a semi-custom pistol that already has numerous custom features included right out of the box, it would never have to be modified at all.

Also, the Springfield XD Compact I listed is quite affordable, with a street price of only about $550.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:59 PM   #8
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3.8Mateo with a budget like that you could go with one or even two very nice weapons and have more choices than you have fingers and toes .

Here is a Springfield Loaded Champion "a 1911 with a 4 inch barrel"

That would make an ideal gun for your needs

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=113200311

Sig's are often available on a factory recondition program that come with warranty's , Police trade in Smith & Wesson's are all over as are Glocks these days .

Since you're in a rather warmer part of the country you will want to think small for a CCW piece as you don't get a whole lot of "Jacket weather" down there .

Kahr makes some very nice Pieces for CCW that have excellent reputations .

I would suggest avoiding the 40 S&W round in such a small package though as I have run into more than one local copper trading in their 40 for a 9mm Kahr due to the snappy recoil .

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=113881051

As you can see they can be had new for under $400 leaving you enough for a larger more comfortable to shoot range-home gun like a 1911 .

You could pick up that Kahr and this

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=113606447 or this

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=113893408

and have enough left over to even consider looking into a starter Reloading setup out of your $1,200 .

With the exception of a Truly Custom 1911 like a Wilson or a NightHawk and others your choices really are mind boggling .

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Old 10-21-2008, 08:02 PM   #9
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Awesome feedback guys, thanks so much.

I've been all over the internet today looking at all the different makes and models you all have suggested. My head is spinning at all the choices!

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Old 10-21-2008, 11:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defender View Post
The OP stated he had a budget of up to 1200.00. All the guns I mentioned fall within that parameter.

The OP also stated that he wanted a gun that he wouldn't have to "mod" much. Since the Kimber CDP is a semi-custom pistol that already has numerous custom features included right out of the box, it would never have to be modified at all.

Also, the Springfield XD Compact I listed is quite affordable, with a street price of only about $550.
I said IF NEEDED... It certainly doesn't hurt to look at all options.
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