Advice first handgun [9mm]

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by honeybadger, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. honeybadger

    honeybadger New Member

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    Hi all,

    Brand new to the forum, but looking for some advice. I'm not well-versed in firearms at all, basically consider me a n00b.

    I'm looking for suggestions on what guns to try out for my first firearm. I want a 9mm and I'd really like to have a decock lever. Why do I want a decocker, you ask? Because I don't really want a safety and I like the "safety feature" of the decock lever. Yes I know my safety is my finger.

    I was told to look at Ruger p89 but I couldn't find any of those anywhere around me. What I did find was a Ruger p95 but.. it just didn't feel right in my hand. I had to completely change my grip to reach the magazine release with my thumb. I didn't like that feel, but I liked the gun. I don't think I have tiny hands, but I don't have bear paws either. I'm about 5'9".

    I know I need to go to a shop that rents them out and try out different ones, but I'd like to have an idea of what guns I should look at. Plus the only shop I've found around here doesn't have the greatest selection and honestly the rentals are pretty beat up and some don't fire where you want them to. It was hard for me to like something that wasn't working properly. I don't have the greatest aim, but I seem to be able to hit basically what I'm aiming at.

    I'm willing to take any advice you can offer :)

    Thanks.
     
  2. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    I have owned Sig Sauer pistols as well as a Beretta PX4 Storm....they had decocking levers.
     

  3. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    The biggest thing we need to know is your budget for this gun. The king of decocker guns is the Sig P series and in 9mm that would be the 226 or the 229 (add the P6, 225 and 228 if used is OK). If a Ruger P95 was a tad big for you, don't waste your time with a P89 as they are large and quite chunky - I had one for years. Another very nice choice is a CZ-P01 - very nice ergo's on this one. Here's a lousy picture of the P229 I picked up last night...
     

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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  4. honeybadger

    honeybadger New Member

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    budget is not.. really an issue. I mean I don't much want to spend more than 700 bucks or anything..
    like anything in this world, I'd like to keep cost to a minimum, but especially for this I'd not want to sacrifice quality
     
  5. Missileman

    Missileman New Member

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    A SIG Pro-9 (2022) is another choice--quite a bit cheaper than the 226/229, and it has replaceable backstraps to fit your hand size. It is polymer vs metal body, but otherwise a SIG. I like mine a lot and never any problems. The SIG 250 is also a choice, but I'm not as familiar with them.
     
  6. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I have owned a SigPro as well and agree that they are fine guns. At your $700 budget, almost all of the nice 9mm guns are within your grasp...
     
  7. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    Sig 226 & 229 (same guns, 229 being the compact version) are pretty great guns. They fit your description to a tee. Their MSRP is north of $800, but I've seen plenty of great ones for $600-$750. Even some brand new for around $700 now and then. If you won't be concealing it, the 226 is probably the better fit for most people.

    Personally I prefer a thumb safety (as found on a 1911 or CZ, controlled much like a decocker), but to each his own...
     
  8. ThorsHammer

    ThorsHammer New Member

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    Have you ever held a Beretta PX4 Storm? I checked the SIG's, and they didn't feel right in my hand, so I went with the PX4. It's performed flawlessly and I've put over 1,500 rounds through it at the range. Recoil is not an issue with this pistol since it has a rotating barrel. It was my first pistol as well, and I love the safety features. The decocker/safety was great when I first started learning about pistols. Now I am looking to buy a Kimber Pro Raptor II, which is a whole different beast altogether since it's a single action only pistol.
     
  9. honeybadger

    honeybadger New Member

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    sounds like the Sigs are leading the pack
    I've never fired a Baretta, I've only fired glocks and rugers in 9mm
    Fired some higher calibers, but they are irrelavent
     
  10. jimbobpissypants

    jimbobpissypants New Member

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    Since cost is not an obstacle, GET A SIG. They are fantastic guns. This is from a guy who considers himself a 1911 guy. Hurts to say it but, any of my Sigs are more reliable than any of my 1911s. Accurate as hell, and very user friendly.
    I recommend a 229 (double stack), or a 239 (single stack). Don't be afraid to buy a used Sig.
    Don't forget to buy quality leather, if you intend to cc.
    Good luck.
     
  11. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

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    Look around for a used Browining Hi-Power just in case you want to shoot the prince of 9 mike mike. Otherwise, you have been given some great advice. Let us know what you decide and post a range report when you can.
     
  12. CaptainSlow

    CaptainSlow New Member

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    I was in your shoes about six months ago. Looking for your first handgun can be difficult, aggravating, and fun all at the same time. The one thing that threw me for a loop was everyone telling me to just go a shoot a bunch of stuff and see what felt right in my hands. Being brand new to handguns, I wasn't sure what "right" was as far as feel. Heck - I had no idea. I only had maybe one or two comparison points in my life and even my grip was wrong.

    The Sigs are great guns and get great reviews. You can't go wrong there.

    Here's an alternative idea based upon what I did. At one point early on in my search I decided I wanted one, really nice gun, and got enamored with 1911s. But as I searched and searched, I got fed up with trying and renting and holding and fondling guns. And reading reviews in the interwebz was making me crazy. So rather than try to find one "perfect" gun, I decided to lower my price range a bit and get multiple guns. Maybe try a polymer gun like a Glock, Springfield XD, or S&W MP. Then try a SA/DA "metal" gun like a CZ or a Beretta (although I don't know if you can get a Beretta with a decocker or not?). If you're looking to carry, look at some subcompacts. For the price of that spiffy high end 1911 I wanted, I ended up with THREE guns. Admittedly, one of them was used, but that can be a great way to keep the price down, too. So as I'm learning and continuing to build my skills, now I've got a nice selection with which to go out and use. If in the future I decide I really don't like one of them, I can always sell it and put the funds towards something else. The main idea was to get out there and get shooting and build skills instead of agonizing for months and months looking for the one perfect solution.

    Anyway, best of luck in whatever you decide. Have fun and enjoy the process!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  13. ThorsHammer

    ThorsHammer New Member

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    The Beretta PX4 Storm 9mm comes in several different variants, Model F being the best one for a new shooter since it has a decocker/safety and you can field strip it in under 7 seconds even being new to the whole firearm. It has a polymer frame and a metal slide. So it's a bit of a hybrid. I've put upwards of 1,500 rounds through mine since I bought it in October of last year and I haven't had one single problem with it. It also sells for around $550 or so, but you can get it cheaper.

    Here's a link:

    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/18155

    It also comes in a sub compact which is supposed to be awesome, but since it's got a double-stack magazine I would personally avoid this for carry. Better go with a pistol with a somewhat more streamlined profile like a 1911 or similar. The rotating barrel system also takes a lot of the sting out of a S&W .40 recoil, making it feel close to that of a 9mm. So you could even up the caliber to a .40 if you wanted to.
     
  14. honeybadger

    honeybadger New Member

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    I appreciate all of the excellent advice. I've got a lot to think about. I like the idea of maybe getting a few cheaper (probably used) until I really know what I want, but I also like the idea of a sig.
    I'll definitely check out the barettas if I can find any.
     
  15. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    You may also want to look at the Stoeger Cougar. Stoeger secured the rights to build these from Beretta and they are very reasonably priced. While I have not owned one, I know folks that do and I've fired more than one in both 9mm and .40 calibers. Just another one to add to your list...
     
  16. ThorsHammer

    ThorsHammer New Member

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    Hey, that's a good idea! By the way, wasn't the Cougar the predecessor to the PX4 Storm platform?
     
  17. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Sure was. The Stoeger isn't quite as nicely finished as the Beretta - but that's the only difference...
     
  18. utf59

    utf59 New Member

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    And to add to your list, I'd say handle a couple of H&K models. They're on the expensive side, but they're fine guns. One advantage to the H&K is that at least some of them are set up so they can either be decocked or put on safe. Just in case you ever change your mind about how you'd like to carry it.

    May I ask why you're sold on 9mm? I'm not trying to steer you away from it. I've recommended the caliber to friends whose criteria were "good for self-defense and cheap to shoot."

    Something else to remember about the choices people have been offering you is that they are all very good guns that hold their value well. So if you do change your mind about what you want, you'll be able to recoup most of what you have invested into whatever you do get.

    Have fun shopping, and enjoy whatever you decide on!
     
  19. honeybadger

    honeybadger New Member

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    9mm seems cheap enough to shoot, and I really want to shoot it a lot once I get it. I don't want anything larger because I'm pretty sure I don't have the best habits in firing yet. People have suggested getting a 22 to ensure that I'm firing correctly and not anticipating the kick, and I'm still debating picking up a cheap 22 just for that reason.
     
  20. Missileman

    Missileman New Member

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    +1 on the HK if you have around $700 to spend--I think the USP has one of the best decocker/safeties made (Version 1), and their quality is second to none. The USP 9C would be a great choice, or the fullsize if it fits your hands OK.