Buying my first pistol

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by chevyguy423, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. chevyguy423

    chevyguy423 New Member

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    So I am buying my first handgun and can't decide what to get. First off my primary reason for purchasing is home defense. I will eventually get a concealed carry permit but for now main concern is home defense. Of all the firearms I have looked at the Beretta 90-two .40 is my favorite and Walther PK380 comes in a close second. I am aware these are two completely different firearms. I love the reputation of both handguns, I like the style of the beretta a little more plus I know a .40 has a lot more stopping power than the 380. However the 380 is more compact and has lower price tag by about $200. Is there something in the middle of the road I should be aware of? I'm not big on plastic looking guns like glocks.
     
  2. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    There goes my suggestion of the springfield XDM9-compact :)

    Find a range that rents firearms and try a bunch of different ones. In my case, the springfield felt just right :)

    .380, especially in a smaller package is a "sharp" recoil. Surprisingly, SWMBO likes it more than I do... ymmv
     

  3. DustyDawg48

    DustyDawg48 New Member

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    As partdeux suggested, see if you can find a shop that rents or a range where you are able to try several guns in several calibers. .40 S&W is the love it or hate it caliber so I'd be sure to shoot one if you haven't already. I'm not a fan of it myself; I'd rather have something in 9mm or .45 but you'll find many shooters that can't get enough of it.

    Other things to look at when choosing a sidearm is the availability of ammo in your chosen caliber and it's cost. A gun in .380 may be inexpensive but .380 is one of the most expensive pistol rounds to buy.There is a reason why so many shoot 9mm and one of them is the cost of practice and self-defense ammo. Another thing to take into consideration is how much will extras like a holster, extra magazines and goodies like that run you plus just how plentiful are they in your area. Again, a Beretta 90-two is a fine weapon but if you have to pay 3 times the price for 2 extra mags and a holster from an online store it may not be worth it. That is the beauty of the Glock; just about every gun store in America will have extra magazines and holsters to fit them.

    If you like the Beretta, take a look at the CZ75 pistol. Probably one of the few remaining 'best kept secrets' of the shooting world, the CZ75 is a phenomenal pistol. I'm also very partial to the S&W M&P family of autos and own/carry either my M&P9 Pro or my M&P45 daily; I know you wanted to stay away from plastic looking pistols but there are some fine examples out there if the Glock isn't your thing.
     
  4. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    Wow...one pistol to choose. That is how I started, and then 4 years later I've got 10 firearms. That is because there are so many important uses for guns and each use is best fulfilled by a very different gun.

    A gun best for carry is not the gun best for home defense, so which is more important to fulfill first? Shotguns are awesome for home defense, but not so good for carry. A little 9mm is great for concealment, but not the best for repelling a gang bursting through your door.

    I think you should go with a full-size semi-auto handgun in a major caliber (9mm or .45acp) and then plan to quickly buy a 12-gauge shotgun and a smaller carry gun in the same caliber as your larger pistol.

    I would suggest the Springfield Armory XD(m) 9mm 4.5".
     
  5. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    10 in 4 years, hell, I've bought 6 in 4 months :) And then stole two from a relative (yes stole :) )

    I'm kinda partial to the XD(m) compact, it's a nice carryable package.
     
  6. TekST165

    TekST165 New Member

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    +1

    My choice came down to ergonomics. I like the xd's look and feel, but they didnt fit my hand right. I love the modularity and aftermarket support for the glock's. Like i said before though, i chose based on ergonomics. I picked up a Walther PPQ in 40s&w and i dont regret it(except when im trying to find magazines...lol)
     
  7. Sonic82

    Sonic82 New Member

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    The Beretta 90 two is a beast for CC. The XDm compact is a great first gun, it's very verstile. Take a look at one...it's a polymer handgun but you shouldn't let that bother you. However, I do understand the appeal of an all metal handgiun.
     
  8. InDefenseofLiberty

    InDefenseofLiberty New Member

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    I used to be an all metal handgun guy also. However it is my belief that everyone should own a polymer if for nothing else to be able to toss it in a bug out bag. A high cap pistol of one form or another should make its way into every arsenal. That being said I used to CC my sig 220 and the hammer and firing pin area would fill with lint after a week. The XDm I carry now does not have that problem its a striker fired weapon.
    I carry my 3.8 XDm .40 in a Galco King Tuk IWB holster. Makes for an easy all day wear without pushing into the siatic nerve. Oh yeah, I shoot it better than my sig also. Buy what you naturally shoot well and then train like crazy and you will be on par with most good shooters. Buy something that you have to fight to shoot well and you will be frustrated no matter how much you train.
     
  9. Bear304inc

    Bear304inc New Member

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    I'm suprised that I haven't seen very many mentions of HK. Yes they are a bit pricey but very reliable. Carry a usp 40( full szed) and have put it through some pretty extreme conditions, over 2000 rounds later, still a nail driver. All steel frames do have a nice, solid feel. But don't overlook the polymers. USP. 40 by Hk is my "every day driver"....
     
  10. Cattledog

    Cattledog New Member

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    A great little carry pistol is the Ruger SR9c 9mm. Very accurate, concealable and pretty affordable. The ammo's cheap and it comes with a 10rd mag for carry and an extended 17rd mag for home defense (my buddy still caries his with the 17rd anyway). There's also the SR940c too if your set on the .40 cal. In any case, shoot some rental guns if you can especially if your talking about a .40 cal. Dusty had it right about the .40 being a love it or hate it. Its one of those odd rounds that somehow makes more of a difference in feel depending on what its shot out of.
     
  11. Mdrums

    Mdrums New Member

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    Being new to all this and everyone telling me it's personal preference I don't know enough to even have a personal preference, especially when it came to me picking what caliber I wanted. I know it's all about shot placement too.

    I rented a few different guns, shot the Glocks and Springfield XDM the best. Calibers didn't make much difference with me hitting the target. I had my mind almost made up to get. Glock 30 which is a small .45 subcompact. However the G30 is thick and harder to conceal so I stepped it down to the G27 .40 cal.

    I liked the thin Walther and some Ruggers but those where not for rent but I might just buy one just to see...can't be all that bad.

    Suggestions?
     
  12. TimKS

    TimKS Member Lifetime Supporter

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    If you miss the weight of REAL guns, just carry a Glock and a pound or two of rocks with you. :D

    380's are the bare minimum for stopping power in a carry gun. The 9mm, 40's, 357 mag or 45 are a better choice.
     
  13. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    The .40 is NOT one of my favored rounds (look...it's not on my list). However, the only gun out of which the .40 felt good for me was a Beretta Px4 Storm. Funky, weird-looking pistol, but it was a GREAT platform for the .40. That said, don't buy one! They just twist too much for my taste. I guess I'm in the hate-it camp.
     
  14. Mdrums

    Mdrums New Member

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    Why are so many LEO's using .40
     
  15. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    Mdrums, since we don't know each other, I just want to make sure I understand. Is your question sarcastic, like, "If LEO's use .40, how can you be so stupid to not like it, yourself?" Or are you actually asking, "Why do LE agencies prefer .40 so often?"

    Two very different answers. And I'm a nice guy...I really hope it is an honest question. Cuz there are really good answers.

    I'll assume the best...

    I'm no expert, but here is the (very) layman's answer. 9mm wasn't proving effective enough in getting through barriers like auto glass and still be effective in stopping threats. 45acp was a little too large to be able to carry enough rounds. And 10mm (a more powerful .40 that was created before the .40S&W) was a little too powerful in the hand, as well as having cases a little too long for handguns that fit well. The .40S&W was basically invented as a good mix of the benefits of the 9mm and 45acp.

    Those that know the long and TRUE story...how did I do in 100 words or less?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  16. Mdrums

    Mdrums New Member

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    Nope just asking ...I'm new at this....rented a bunch of guns at my local range....really liked the G30 .45 but it's a little thick to conceal so I went with a G27 .40 cal. It seems a little more snappy but I shot it fine. This won't be my last gun as I'm enjoying this new hobby. Just looking for people's opinions...cool? Thanks for the quick reply...I'm on a plane flying to west coast enjoying the wifi
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  17. TimKS

    TimKS Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I hope you're not carrying a gun to Commiefornia..... ;)
     
  18. Mdrums

    Mdrums New Member

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    LOL nope...I just took my CCW class waiting for license.
     
  19. DustyDawg48

    DustyDawg48 New Member

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    I conceal carry a Glocks 21 or an M&P45 just about every day and to be totally honest, proper concealment is as much about the gun you carry as how you carry yourself when packing. A quality belt made for bearing a load and a quality holster that holds the gun in tight against the body is a must. Altering you wardrobe helps a great deal as well. The biggest thing in concealed carry is to carry and not fidget or fuss with the gun; basically there are 'tells' just like in poker where you somebody can read your body language and sense that your are nervous or under stress... You act like you are doing wrong and people notice. You could CC a bazooka in a Walmart and 99% of the people there are too engrossed on their own thing to notice what you are doing. Don't be too quick to dismiss the G30, it can be carried all day with the right gear and it is an awesome gun!

    Sent from my iPad using FirearmsTalk
     
  20. MrWray

    MrWray New Member

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    I prefer a nice .45 myself, but if you like the .40,go with it. The .40 has a big variety of bullet weights to accomodate what you are wanting and they are effective.maybe check out the S&W M&P too.

    And its heard that the feds had some say so that contributed to the creation of the .40..something like......."waaaaaaaa! We dont like the 9mm but this 10mm kicks to hard making our vaginas hurt"
    It may actually be word for word what was said,pretty close though. :)