trying to pick first pistol

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by moron88, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. moron88

    moron88 New Member

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    hi. i've been around for a while but mostly stick to the .22 section as that's what i predominately have. i will be turning 21 in july 2014 and i plan to purchase a handgun on my birthday. i'm trying to figure out which gun to get. my total experence with shooting handguns to date has been shooting my uncle's heritage .22 revolver twice, some .22lr semi auto and a .380 auto each once. i was reasonably accurate with all three the first time i shot them (i shot the .22s when i was 13 or 14, it was the first time i had ever fired a firearm. the heritage was either the first or second i shot, the semi was 3rd. i shot the .380 a year or 2 ago; all shots where within 1 foot of a bottle floating in a drainage ditch at about 15-20 yards. it was a subcompact i believe).

    i'm about 5'8" and 225lbs. i'm reasonably strong (not super strong, but i can lift my gokart) and have a good grip. i can handle the recoil of my 20 gauge with high brass without whimpering much (6lbs break action with plastic butplate, no recoil pad).

    now, i do have an idea of what i want, but wasnt sure which would be best. a few that i like are the Springfield xdm, Beretta Px4 storm, 92fs and the sig 250. i'm leaning towards 9mm because it has the highest capacity and it's cheap. i plan to open carry until i finish the ccw classes. before anyone says i should take the classes first, i want to use my own gun to take the class. although, i may continue to open carry (i get the feeling that a gun in my waistband will be uncomfortable and my front pockets are occupied by my cell, wallet, lighter and pocket knives; i dont like the idea of sitting on a firearm). in case you are wondering, yes there is still a reason to get a ccw. here in michigan, any handgun in a vehicle that is accessible by a passenger is considered consealed. if you dont have a ccw, you have to keep your gun(s) in the trunk or locked case and it has to be unloaded.

    i want to know what you guys think of the guns i mentioned and if you have any other suggestions in the same price range, go ahead and suggest them. i'm not hard set on 9mm either, i just know it's the cheapest caliber that is recommended for self defense. the reason i'm asking now is so that i have sufficient time to save up. being 19, i dont have gobs of money laying around and we arent known for being fiscally responsible. i figure i could set aside 20-50 bucks a month plus the odd 5 and what ever is in my change bucket, which could mean as little as $300 or as much as $1500. quite the spread, i know, but worst case scenario, i get a bersa or something used.

    any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. john2005

    john2005 New Member

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    If I was you I would go to a gun show where you could handle all four. I would go with whatever fits your hand the best. I just bought my first semi auto. I went with the smith and wesson m&p40. Its deadly accurate easy to clean and prices very reasonable. I also have a cz sp01 phantom .9mm that I am getting used to. Good luck finding the gun for you
     

  3. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    With that much time before you buy, yes, hit gun shows. Don't be afraid to be that nerd with a note pad and pen, writing down pros and cons. And get outside your comfort zone. Don't keep your heart set on one of those 4, handle EVERYTHING, consider EVERYTHING. Personally, I drink the 1911 KoolAid, and dammit, it's good (available in almost all the most popular calibers, including .357 magnum), but I'm semi purist so only .45 ACP for me.

    You may also consider DA revolvers as your first carry gun. I've always loved them myself.
     
  4. marc29th

    marc29th New Member

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    You may want to take into consideration the ammo supply right now... 9mm, 45ACP are very hard to find and 40 is almost as bad. Might want to think about a revolver in either 38spl+p or 357 magnum. As ammo is more available at this time, just something to think about.
     
  5. steadyshot

    steadyshot New Member

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    I would suggest going to a gun range that rents firearms. Rent and try the ones you are really interested in and then make your choice based on how the gun feels as you put a few rounds down range.
     
  6. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    all of the above is good advice, makes it harder for me to add more good advice. hehe. if you have friends, or family members that own pistols ask to see if they will take you shooting a little. you could even offer to buy the ammo to be used. this will give you a good knowledge base across the board as far as caliber, and action style you seem to prefer.

    generally, .22 is what we suggest the most as you can practice, and have a lot of fun for the lowest cost. however 22 ammo is hard to find right now.

    for the hole 9mm is the smallest gun to use for SD myth. its just that a myth. if you can only hit 3 of 10 shots with a 9mm. but can place 6 of 6 shots of 38 on target which do you think would be better for you? just because one cartridge is suppose to work better doesnt always mean its the best choice for you. and this goes all the way down to .22. 10 hits with a .22 is better than no hits with a .45.
     
  7. ajhaag19

    ajhaag19 New Member

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    Like everyone else said. It's completely on you. Handguns are all about what fits you Everyone has their opinions of coarse. Test out different pistols or even revolvers. Some people will go all out on revolvers. Me personally. Not a fan of them. Just bad couple experiences. But doesn't mean you shouldn't try them
    I personally own a beretta m9 and xdm 5.25. Love them both. Mps are great.
    Also can't beat a 1911. In years your gonna want one anyways.
     
  8. perc71

    perc71 New Member

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    Try going to the range and rent out the top 3 guns of your
    Preference. Handle, aim and fire them. You would know which
    Fits your hand comfortably and you would know which gun makes you
    an accurate shooter. That's how I picked my first of 8 pistols. The CZ
    75 sp 01 .
     
  9. locutus

    locutus New Member

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    The Beretta 92 is damn hard to beat. good enough for many thousands of US police and our Military.
     
  10. MattMika

    MattMika New Member

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    Although my first pistol was an M9, it's far from my favorite. Keep in mind that police and military who carry this weapon don't usually get a choice in the matter. A small group of brass chose it, not every soldier and officer who carries it in the line of duty. I surely wouldn't use the fact that they carry it as their implied support for choosing it.
     
  11. moron88

    moron88 New Member

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    thank you all for the help. i will see what my uncle and grandpa have and see if i can get out and shoot some. renting isnt an option because there are only club and private ranges around here and i cant justify the cost of joining for as often as i would use them (i shoot in my back yard).

    i was kind of looking for personal experiences with these guns. i want to know what quirks they have, which one people that have shot 2 or more of those i listed found more accurate and/or reliable, perhaps what people ended up getting after looking at the same or similar models i am (even if it wasnt one of these) and what they are like to actually carry everyday.

    also, i probably should have mentioned, i'm a southpaw. so left hand controls would be nice to have, but i'm adaptable. i intend to carry in a leg holster until i get my cpl. have any of you done this? any suggestions for holsters? other open carry locations? i like the idea of it being right at hand level but i'm also slightly concerned it might get caught on something.

    i'm not apposed to revolvers but i've heard and read things about the cheaper ones losing cylinder-barrel alignment over time and that scares me. the solution for me would be to get a smith and wesson, but i dont know for a fact i'll have the $750+ they seem to demand.

    my one issue with going to a gun show is that i'll be broke walking in and poor walking out :D that and getting a ride may prove difficult (no license yet; ran a stop sign when i took the road test).
    thanks again for all the help.
     
  12. kiabe1

    kiabe1 New Member

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    The beretta px4 is nice but u might like a cz75 or one of its variants they are excellent reliable and accurate as a whole so u might give them a look. A few brands are the eaa witness the canik 55 the jericho 941 all of which are good guns and worth a look
     
  13. shouldazagged

    shouldazagged New Member

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    There are lots of fine used Smith & Wesson revolvers out there. A good one, given reasonable care, will be one your grandchildren can enjoy shooting, and it'll cost you a hell of a lot less than the $750 figure you mentioned.

    I've owned more pistols than wheel guns, and liked some of them very well indeed. But I hope you won't rule out revolvers. A Smith K- or L-frame in .38 Special/.357 Magnum could be just what you like. I've come back to them myself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  14. InDefenseofLiberty

    InDefenseofLiberty New Member

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    I have 3 of the XDm's and enjoy them all. The trigger is much better than the others on your list. Capacity is awesome also at 19+1 in the regular mag and 13+1 in the short mag. Lots of fun, super reliable.

    92fs would be the second one on the list I would buy. Proven platform, accurate too. They are heavy also which helps with recoil.

    Sig 250? I like their other models but, not the 250. Trigger is grossly long pull, worse than some revolvers even.

    Not impressed with the storm line at all.
     
  15. moron88

    moron88 New Member

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    kiabe1, thanks for the suggestions. i kind of overlooked the cz because when i think of them, i think of their rifles and shotguns, which arent exactly cheap. i'll be adding that to the list of guns to handle. i've never heard of canik before and never thought much about eaa or iwi.

    shouldazagged, i know there are decent used s&w's out there, but i'm banking on new because i know i can get them. used is a bit more hit and miss. in the perfect world, i'd carry a 43c in an ankle holster. revolvers will always be on the table, but i already know what i want in that category. i'd actually go with an N frame in .44 mag and carry it with .44spl.

    InDefence, that's what actually drew me to the xdm. it was the highest capacity i could find a few months ago and i've been wanting one ever since. the fact that it comes with 2 mags, a speed loader, a case and a lock makes it even better. thanks for the feedback on the 250. i'm not apposed to long trigger pulls but i do prefer a single stage.
     
  16. jakewpns

    jakewpns New Member

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    For your first pistol I would suggest something easy to maintain and break down, yet very reliable. Glock, S&W M&P, Springfield XD/XDM/XDS, or FNH FNS/FNX series... all worth a look to see if its the right starter for you. Like everyone else said, whatever fits you best and whatever you shoot best is usually the way to go. As for the standard calibers being hard to get... they will be available if you are patient. Just find which caliber and style of handgun for you best.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  17. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    be sure to look at the ruger sr9 and sr9c. also great pistols.
     
  18. drvsafe

    drvsafe New Member

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    My first pistol was a beretta 84fs. Super reliable and mostly ambi. I am a lefty as well. That was more than 20 years ago. Today I carry a beretta Nano. Ambi mag release and NO OTHER EXTERNAL CONTROLS PERIOD. I like that. I also shoot a SIG P229 and love it even though the only ambi control is the mag release. I got used to decocking it with my left index finger and I never use a slide lock to release anyway. I love SIGs and never hesitate to recommend them.
    I would look at a Stoeger Cougar on top of the suggestions from other posters. It's very affordable, reliable and has great ergonomics for a lefty. 92s are great but not the easiest to CC. The cougar in my opinion is like a 92 compact.
     
  19. RunningCrane

    RunningCrane New Member

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    My first handgun was the Taurus PT1911 .45ACP. I've fired through more than 700 rounds through it.. it felt good in the hand, fairly easy to care for, and it was like candy for my eyes. But the ammo was kind of expensive, and the magazines only held 8 rounds per mag. I sold that in order to get a Browning Hi Power 9mm. It fits so much better than the 1911, its easier to care for and its like sex to my eyes. Plus, each magazine holds 14 bullets and the bullets aren't very expensive, and the recoil is so much better than the 1911. If you ever could, try out a Browning Hi Power (9mm or .40, whichever you prefer). It's very accurate as well.

    If you're more into the more modern guns, Springfields, Glocks, and Berettas will do nice, since they all have the option of 9mm.
     
  20. Colby

    Colby New Member

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    Don't know exactly what you mean by a "leg holster".

    Please don't dismiss Ruger revolvers... or Ruger anything, for that matter. Ruger makes fine guns that stack up against anything made today -and are better that a good many of those made today.