Another first handgun question

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by bluesnake, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. bluesnake

    bluesnake New Member

    I've been reading through many threads, reading many advices given to first time pistol buyers.

    Although I do have a wider knowledge and a limited budget, I am still confused. I read one and say to myself THIS but then see another model and hmmm..this seems to be better or???!!....

    I am opting for a 9mm pistol for target shooting/bulls-eye. I've been shooting with a rented CZ 75 and I am highly impressed with it's accuracy. Had nice groupings from 15 and 25 meters.

    However, been looking around at other CZ models, HKs and Glocks today.
    Well I liked the HK P30L and HK USP Custom Sports which SEEMS to be brilliant and quality guns however quite on the expensive side.

    RE Glock, the overall impression is nuetral to so and so, due to its flimsy cheap feel. Also heard that they've got a high recoil.

    RE CZ75 SP01, I am biasing towards this manfacturer however it is too early to buy (i think!). Which version would anyone suggest shadow, tactical, compact?.

    Also, what should I look for apart from hand grip?. Polymer vs stainless vs alloy vs...???What is nice to have and advisable to have...

    Where does SIG and STI brands fall in the Top 5 pistol list?.

    Adjustable sights?

    Decocking facility?

    Firing pin block?

    Any advise is appreciated.


    SGT-MILLER New Member

    What exactly is your spending cap?

    Do you plan on customizing for firearm later on, or leaving it "stock"?

    As you know, this will be a hard question for anyone on here to answer for you.

    I will say that you'd be hard pressed to find someone saying bad stuff about the CZ pistols.

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    I would say steer clear of HK for your first gun out of the gate. They do make a good pistol, but they are expense and their customer service is complete crap to be totally honest. I only have three times dealing with them for reference, once for myself and twice for shop customers, but HK doesn't seem to give two squirts once they have your money from what I have personally seen.

    I don't like Glocks. Period. It's just a personal thing. Nothing against the weapon itself.

    Polymer is going to be cheaper, alloy would be next and Stainless Steel is probably going to be the most expensive. But, the SS is probably going to last the longest and have the least amount of wear and tear on it. I personally don't suffer from Shiny Kit Syndrome, so I don't own any firearms in SS. :D

    What is the criteria of the list? I wouldn't put either company in my top 5, but that is because my top 5 would be all about the 1911.

    On a self defense, or a weekend range pistol, I have NEVER understood why you need adjustable sights unless you have an anomaly problem like being RH dominant and Left Eye dominant ( or vice versa ). If you are only getting adjustable sights to "adjust" for wind conditions or something like that - why would you bother? Adjustable sights are sharper, they are bulkier and they can get caught on everything from your holster to your shirt. I personally hate adjustable pistol sights....

    It's a nice feature, but I don't believe it is a required feature. The 1911 has been in production, and service, for over 100 years and it has never featured a manual decocker.

    I believe this does lead to a safer overall firearm. I don't believe it is required, but it is a very good and sound feature.

    Hope that helps - I am sure others will be along shortly to voice an opinion...

  4. Mark F

    Mark F Active Member Supporter

    For what it's worth, I am a very happy CZ75B owner. I don't have the decocking option and so far, I don't miss it. My CZ75 is the S&W .40 caliber. I prefer alloy frames over polymer, however I receintly purchased a P345 Ruger and the polymer frame is exceptional. 9mm is a good caliber as it's economic for target shooting and reasonably effective for self defence.


    Here is a photo of my CZ75B... This is on FINE Auto-loader! This is a no-frills handgun, no adjustable sights, no decocker, no transfer bar. Just POINT & SHOOT! I can keep a 1.125" group at 20 yards with it. AND, it's 12+1
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  5. Jay

    Jay New Member

    Shop for a handgun just like you do for shoes. TRY 'EM ON. Get yer hands on every handgun you can find. A few of them will "feel" pretty good with your eyes closed..... before too long, you'll find one that feels "just right". Pursue that one. Chances are, that particular frame is made in various calibers. If you buy a handgun that doesn't "feel right" in your hands, you'll never shoot it enough to become proficient with it...... and you may as well carry a ball bat.

    Would you buy shoes like mine, just because I like 'em, without trying them on first ?

    Just my two cents....... ;)
  6. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

    Well My first suggestion is for a place to buy your gun when you decide what you want .

    Go to Gunbroker and pull up their dealer finder and punch in your zip code .

    You could very well get lucky and find a FFL within a couple of miles from you that deals strictly from their home and do so with a minimum of markup on the guns .

    These guys never have an indoor range where you can test fire a gun but they often have a small inventory of perhaps a dozen or so weapons you may have never seen or considered before and these guy are usually old timers with tons of knowledge to help you .

    No idea where those makers or any other fall in a Top whatever list but I know I have read good things about both brands STI makes several models of the 1911 in calibers from 9mm ,40 S&W and 45 acp , a word of caution with STI though some of their models have squared trigger guards which will make it hard to find a holster for the gun so make sure it has a rounded guard if you get one .

    Their Spartan I believe is their entry level copy of the Government model in 45 acp only .

    If you're looking at a DA/SA weapon you might want to look at Taurus they have models in 9 , 40 , 357 sig and 45 , I have one of their PT 940's in 40 S&W and really like the gun I can carry it , hammer down safety off/on or in condition one like a 1911 hammer cocked safety on .

    Being an old 1911 man like JD I don't shoot it that great but my son picked it on a range outing asked when I bought it and if he could shoot it and then proceeded to hit 4 inch round swingers at about 15 yards with every shot .
  7. oldandslow

    oldandslow New Member

    bluesnake, 10/14/08

    First it is good that you have picked your caliber-9mm- which is a good caliber to learn on and cheaper than a lot of other calibers to practice with except .22. Next you have picked the purpose of your pistol- which is target and range use meaning you don't necessarily need a light or small pistol. So far so good.

    Next you need to pick what type of pistol action you want- DAO (double action only like the Glock, Springfield XD, SW M&P, HK-LEM, and Sig DAK), TDA (traditional double action with a double action first shot and single action shots thereafter) or a SAO (single action like most 1911's). The CZ 75 you rented is probably a TDA and is a great pistol. The HK's come in both TDA and DAO (LEM) and while they are fine pistols I think they are overpriced and the double action trigger pull is often terrible (I have the USP-compact .45). Parts availability is often slim to none. The Glock is a fine pistol in a DAO format and for your purposes I'd take a look at the Glock-34. Mine came with adjustable sights which are fine for your purposes (I'd recommend fixed sights if it was for carry or home-defense) and it is in 9mm and shoots great.

    Once you have decided on your action type you need to decide which frame type feels best in your hands- polymer, aluminum or steel. I like stainless frames for range guns- they soak up the recoil well. I like aluminum framed guns for carry- they are light. I don't like the polymer guns as well as the metal framed ones- just my preference.

    As for the firing-pin-blocking safety- it comes standard with most pistols today and for most applications it is a reasonable safety feature.

    A decocker is a nice addition if you want to carry your pistol with the hammer down on a loaded chamber for a TDA pistol. It simplifies dropping the hammer from its single-action position to the double-action position.

    As for the top five manufacturers, it may depend on your projected use. I own a number of different manufacturer's pistols and the following have been reliable and accurate- Springfield 1911's, Glock, HK, Sig, SW third generation metal pistols, Beretta and CZ. You need to try out the various offerings and then make a decision on what fits you best. Good luck.

    best wishes- oldandslow
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  8. Mark F

    Mark F Active Member Supporter


    It all boils down to what YOU like. We all have our preferences. I do think you need to go to the range and try out several guns before you spend your money.

    I bought a Smith & Wesson 410S 40 Caliber without trying one at the gun range. I spent big bucks on it, only to discover I hated that gun with a passion! Eventually, I traded it for my CZ75B.

    Here is a comparison of my Ruger Polymer frame .45, and my alloy frame CZ75B .40. The CZ weighs 1/2 pound more than the Ruger. But, the CZ holds 12+1 rounds of S&W 40 and the Ruger holds 8+1 rounds 45 ACP. Neither conceal great, but the Ruger is a little narrower and a little shorter. Both have about the same felt recoil, but the CZ has a little sharper crack to it, when fired. They both cost about the same to shoot, roughly $17.00 a box of 50 target ammo. That's only 3.00 more than 9mm and a whole lot more knock down power.


    I sort of favor the CZ, because that alloy frame with Hogue grips feels so good in my hand. Plus I like having the extra rounds. BUT, my Ruger is a 45 ACP and its more "expendable" than the CZ, so it stays in my vehicle.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  9. iloveguns

    iloveguns New Member

    Well I really like the Glocks because of the way they fit my hand and the way I can shoot them. But if I were you I would shoot as many guns as you can then decide. My glocks are kind of my beat to hell guns vs. my Kimber that is my baby. I shoot well with all of them but it really depends on what you are going to use it for. Go with your gut. Good luck.:cool:
  10. bluesnake

    bluesnake New Member


    Hi to all,
    I do appreciate your help and sharing your experience in this area. I took note of many points so far - most you don't find on books. IMO I do value more recommendations than reading a book about Glocks or other biased magazines full of marketing hype.

    The Top list I was referring to, was somewhat a categorization of overall best brands around or best value for money. Easy to say i know, as the variables are infinite however in general I would say a toyota car is better than peugeot or fiat considering the same class of cars. You know what I'm talking about :).

    For now, i believe the CZ Shadow is the No1 on my shopping list. I heard very good comments and my experience so far on the range with this brand is positive.

    These days, I'll go to have a look at Kimber Custom II. Esthetically on the net looks wow however look don't impress me much and my pocket.

    I might look however into SS frames for more stability and to absorb more recoil but depends on the $$$ again.

    Guess that's it for now. In the meantime i'll take your advise and i'll try other models on the range ad nausea....

    THANKS again for now to all comments..very helpful.

    Good luck,
  11. Mark F

    Mark F Active Member Supporter

    CZ75 SP-01 Shadow is an EXCELLENT CHOICE! VIDEO>[ame=""][/ame]

    It's a packable, light weight, accurate pistol. If you found one, GET IT! They are sort of hard to find.
  12. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    The main thing you need to do is go to a range that will let you rent/shoot as many differeny kinds of pistols as possible.
    One thing(among others) that I don't care for with polymer framed pistols is the fact that most of the weight is in the slide and barrel. What this means is the recoil,altho not bad at all,will feel sharper than with alloy or steel framed pistols because most of the mass weight is moving back quickly and then returning to battery.
    Without knowing your budget it's hard to really help you choose. One example is the excellent para ordnance lineup of 1911 type pistols. Altho it's not faithful to traditional 1911 single actions,the LDA line offers the best of both worlds-1911 AND dao. The trigger pull on these pistols is so smooth and light that the very first time I shot 1,I thought the darn thing was broke. Be forewarned however that they are a bit pricey when compared to other factory pistols(600-800$).
  13. bluesnake

    bluesnake New Member

    The budget allocated to my first firearm is around $900 - $1100.
    The CZ SP 01 i found it priced at $960 / 736 euros

    I am not very much aquanted with Paras and High Standard however I'm aware of these brands. Some argued the newer HS guns are of less quality than other ones.

    Is there a good link explaining SA/DA principles in depth. I know that in DA mode the trigger is harder to pull than in SA mode. This is a safetly precaution.
    Correct me guys if i'm saying bull*** :)

    Cheers again.

  14. Mark F

    Mark F Active Member Supporter

    It's not a safety precaution. In DA mode, you are having to pull back the hammer via the trigger all the way to sear release. This takes a lot more finger pull energy than simply releasing your hammer sear in SA mode.

    My CZ75B is DA/SA and it's very pleasant to shoot in DA, but after the first shot it's operating in SA mode. My Ruger P345 is exactly the same way. But the Ruger takes more pull than than the CZ for the first shot.