Doubts about first handgun selection

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by Shintsu, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Shintsu

    Shintsu New Member

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    So I recently went to a local range and finally had the chance to shoot a Glock 26 after handling them in different shops. What I discovered was that the 26 is simply too small for me, and I couldn't get a comfortable grip on it. A grip extender might have helped, but then how is that any different from a 19? So I tried a 19 next and that was the ticket. Felt great in the hand, and I was doing much better on accuracy. So I pretty much had it settled, I want a Glock 19.

    Or so I thought. So I was doing some more pre-purchase research since I found the 19 that I wanted to buy online and was going to order a box of defensive ammunition with it as well since I have no handguns (What good is a Glock with no ammo?) and started wondering about the differences between the grain loads. It was here that I found in different places people reporting second-hand stories of people who have been shot with 9mm rounds and not being stopped. One person I recall was talking about how the guy shot the bad guy 10 times with a 9mm, only 2 rounds expanded inside him even though he was using JHP and one of the rounds actually went through and hit his friend but didn't penetrate much. This guy was not trying to speak of the downsides of the 9mm caliber itself, as he was commenting on which grain to select. But I made this connection and it has made me concerned about the effectiveness of the 9mm caliber.

    I don't even want to start any sort of 9mm vs. whatever caliber thread here, I know it's been hashed to death. What I would like to know however, is if a .40 Glock would perform any better. The range I was at had a decent deal on a new Gen 3 23 for around $485. At the time I was only interested in the 9mm variant, but now I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't consider the 23. I know the 23 can also be converted to 9mm, which gives it some versatility as well - but I probably wouldn't run out and buy the barrel right away. I know Glock is a polarizing brand, but personally I like the looks and feel. For whatever reason, I think they look good - something about the spartan square shape, over some other polymer pistols which have lots of ridges and angles that just don't look as good. I love a great looking 1911 too, so don't get me wrong - but I like the Glocks for more than just their reliability.

    But looks aside (a frivolous concern), I'm also wondering about a .45. If Glock made a compact .45, I'd probably be looking at it. The only options are the 21 (too big) or the 30 (too small). The 36 looks like it might work since it's only a tad smaller than the compact frame, but I don't know anything about it - or how Glock .45's perform since 9mm is their bread and butter.

    So I'm at an impasse here. Does anyone have any first, second, or third hand experience with the effectiveness of .40 over the 9mm? I'd strongly prefer to stay with a Glock, but I'm open to considering something else if it has a similar reliability record. I just like how Glocks can be serviced anywhere, simple field strip, and so on. I'd love to have a 1911 eventually, but I figured I would buy one of the nicer ones which means probably around $850-$1000 or more - and I really don't want to spend that much right now. This gun is going to eventually be a conceal carry, but for now it will just serve as home defense and range practice. I've set a standard for myself that I absolutely will not consider carrying until I am so familiar and comfortable with the gun that using it is second nature and I consistently have no misses at realistic ranges/sizes. I feel comfortable with the size of the 19/23, 1911's seem to be a bit bulkier to carry as I haven't had my hands on any of the commanders to see how they feel.

    The current price point I'd like to set is no higher than $550 new or used, if I need to consider other choices. Would anyone care to help me out with their opinions and thoughts? Would greatly appreciate the guidance!
     
  2. G30USMC

    G30USMC New Member Supporter

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    You can always get the G23 (.40 cal) and get a conversion barrel for 9mm...... Two handguns in one :D
     

  3. Shintsu

    Shintsu New Member

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    Hmm, so I thought about the .40 option - I agree it is nice to be able to shoot either the 9mm or .40, but shouldn't one practice with the .40 then? If you practice with the 9mm, wouldn't it leave you ill-prepared if all you regularly shoot is the 9mm? Using the 23 as a 9mm seems like a good option for someone who isn't sure which of the two calibers they prefer since it's cheaper than buying the 9mm and finding you want the .40 and having to go buy a .40 in addition.

    I want to tread these waters very carefully, but I guess what I'm wondering - are there any sub-$500 1911's or other poly guns that offer the same kind of reliability as a Glock, but in .45? No FTFs, no FTEs, just pretty much fire no matter what you put in them?
     
  4. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Yes. You bought the wrong gun. You bought a Glock. ;)
     
  5. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    That's OK, Scott, don't be sad, someday he'll have more than

    change for a nickel, and he'll be able to buy a real pistol...:cool:
     
  6. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    All handguns suck for stopping determined attackers. With GOOD modern defensive loads, the difference between a 9mm, a .40, or a .45 is not worth arguing endlessly about. Pick what you shoot best. Pick what you can practice with most. Pick what you will be able to score multiple hits with, as rapidly as you can. Pick a round that will get adequate penetration (all three of these are capable).
     
  7. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    And pay no attention to the Glock hate. Every brand has their fans and every brand has those that dislike them. Pick what you shoot well. Train with it so you understand how to safely employ it. You'll be fine.
     
  8. WillWork4Ammo

    WillWork4Ammo New Member

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    I carry the Glock 17 with a back up 17 round magazine under a coat in the winter.
    If the bad guy doesn't go down after getting blasted by 34 rounds of Hornady JHP,then he is either
    1.Superman
    2.A vampire
    3.A ghost
    As the case of the Glock 19,15 rounds and a back up 15 round magazine should do.Unless you are in a Hollywood style shootout.I honestly do not see anyone getting up and walking away after so many gun shots.
    I do not feel underpowered with a 9mm,but I also too have been looking into a Glock 22 or 23 for more stopping power.
    But in the end,carry what works for you and what you feel comfortable with.
    On a side note,many law enforcement agencies do carry the .40 S&W,like the FBI ,U.S. Marshall.It does have more recoil over the 9mm,but when I last fired a Glock 22,it wasn't too painful,but felt like it twists more than anything.:confused:
    I think you will be fine with either one.Heck,you can get Glock 23 GEN 2 LEO trade ins for very cheap,same with the Glock 22 if you don't mind the absence of a accessory rail.Get them both:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  9. 4sig

    4sig New Member

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    Navy Seals carry a 9mm sig 226. And those that they have killed haven't complained yet
     
  10. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    And a Glock 19 will accept Glock 17 mags if you wanted a bigger backup mag. A 26 will take the 19 or 17 mag as well. All if them will accept the 33 round Glock 18 mags if you really think you need some firepower.
     
  11. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    They use 9mm because its the most common caliber, and they don't use their pistols as primary weapons. They'll pick a rifle first.
     
  12. WillWork4Ammo

    WillWork4Ammo New Member

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    It's the cheapest too.
    When you can find it of course.:(
     
  13. shadecorp

    shadecorp Active Member Supporter

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    My suggestion,
    go to the range,
    shoot as many models as you can,
    pick one that feels GOOD in your hand,
    I prefer the .45.
    But
    bullet placement is the thing.
    A good hit with a 9,
    is better than a bad hit with a .45
    I have shot some models of the Glock that felt comfortable in the hand,
    and some felt very uncomfortable.
    You are the one that will have to be comfortable with the fit and feel.
    Good Luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  14. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    I meant most common military caliber. And the SEALs ammo supply isn't in question. I've watched them burn plenty of ammo in training with no concern about depleting their supply. They have a pretty generous ammo budget.
     
  15. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    I think the G23 is an excellent choice and 40 S&W certainly has been more available than 9mm this year. I got a Lone Wolf 40-9mm conversion barrel for my G23 and it also works in my G27. Having two popular calibers is an advantage, especially when one may be in short supply. Honestly, you can do your serious training with hot loads in either caliber and not notice a tremendous difference in recoil and controllability. I leave mine in their native caliber for carry and reserve 9mm for practice.
     
  16. Shintsu

    Shintsu New Member

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    Well, I haven't bought anything yet - but I'm very borderline. Probably will buy something in the next few days. I have shot a 19, and I did well with it. I have not shot a .40 Glock but I'm thinking about going back to the same range and trying the same thing with a 23 which is the same size, just different caliber. The 19 felt right in my hands, but TBH 1911's feel right in my hand too. Some that I've talked to at various gun stores liked 1911's but said they'd never carry them, personally I always thought it was because of their size since most 1911's are 5".

    But yes, based on the weather it sounds like one might be able to carry something bigger in a larger caliber in the winter when a bad guy would be more bundled up than in the summer where smaller calibers would have an even playing field with larger calibers. For me though, I'm pretty sure I could shoot a 9mm the same as a .40 or a .45 so it's really just about the effectiveness of the caliber and the costs. A personal factor for me is also the noise. In case of needing to fire without anything on my head, I'm hoping to minimize the damage done to my hearing. I know, I'm the silly person who thinks about how loud the gun would be if I had to fire it without protection...in that regard though, I thought .40 were supposed to be louder than 9mm? Anyone with first hand experience to say which they think sounds louder through the muffs?

    I'm kind of comparing prices here too from the following (prices after tax and any fees):

    Brand new gen 3 Glock 19 - $514
    Brand new gen 3 Glock 23 - $513
    Brand new Glock 36 - $592

    It's a shame the 36 costs that much more, and I'm not sure that either the 9mm or .40 wouldn't be just as effective and offer more rounds/versatility (especially with the 23). I don't really need it right away, but the 23 is local so I could have that one pretty much immediately, others would need to be shipped.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  17. Gonzilla

    Gonzilla New Member

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    Your first mistake was buying a Glock.
    The second was 9mm as a defensive round. (Unless it's all you can shoot)

    Pistols are primarily used to fight your way to a long gun. Yet, if a pistol is all you have - .45 - been putting the hurt on bad guys for over 100 yrs. If you only get 1-2 shots, make them count.

    If you are serious about noise, you shouldn't own a handgun in the first place. (Yes .40 > 9mm noise wise and it recoils more as well but you won't care about either if you need it.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  18. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    SSGN DOC is very correct. Handguns of any caliber are not dependable man stoppers. That is just a fact of ballistics. Find what ever you like learn to use it. When and if the need ever arises, just keep firing until the threat no longer exists.;)
     
  19. Shintsu

    Shintsu New Member

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    Ok I'll bite, if Glocks are bad what should I be buying in a handgun? I'm imagining that your suggestion costs more than my budget (and we're still talking handguns here), but I'd like to hear it whatever it is. Also, I'm quite aware handguns have shortcomings but I can't very well pack my Mosin with me every where I go. Even at that, my Mosin is a bad choice realistically - far too much power for my suburban area. I'd never use it in the home. I'm interested in buying something chambered in .223 or 5.56 NATO as a home defense rifle, but I'd like to start off with a handgun and descend into madness with a highly customizable rifle later.

    I'm starting to think for the Glock route that I should give the 23 a shot. Based on my experience there that will eliminate either the 23 or 19 from my consideration and leave it to be just that or the 36.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  20. WillWork4Ammo

    WillWork4Ammo New Member

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    Glocks are fine.But you can always look at other options like FNH,S&W,HK,Sig,Beretta.And you can also try different guns that are not striker fired like dual action/single action,single action or dual action only .I'm not what your budget is though since HKs ,FNH,and Sigs can be pricey.
    Here is a very helpful video on the difference between DA/SA.SAO,DAO,and Striker.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JltUR9zNJyM
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013