First Time Buying a Handgun Questions.

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Vistago, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Vistago

    Vistago New Member

    3
    2
    3
    Hello all I’m a 23yo male from WI who is interested in purchasing a Handgun. I have never fired or even held a (real) handgun but I have used other firearms (mostly rifles). So as a first time buyer I have afew questions thats Firearm sites cant answer. So here I go.

    Q1: What is a good “overall” handgun that comes to mind?

    Im looking for a handgun I can use for everything. From protection, hunting protection, maybe even hunt with, conseal and carry, keep with me in a car (for protection), shoot at targets, ect. Just a good all rounder, I’m NOT looking for a specefic field to use it in.

    Q2: Whats a good caliber that has good power but not alot of Recoil?

    I heard from others that have a Handgun that 9mm is a good “overall” caliber for my interests. But as I have not fired one I am unsure.

    Lastly:
    - I want a HG that has the safty on the side of the gun not in the trigger (as in no Glocks).
    - I want a Magazine fed HG no revolver types
    - If possable the trigger to be a slide trigger rather than a typical trigger you see on most guns. (Not sure the name of trigger types)

    Any other tips and info appreciated.
     
  2. towboater

    towboater Well-Known Member

    6,311
    3,230
    113
    Like the Glock type safety?
     

  3. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,170
    17,391
    113
    all i can say is hit the gun stores and look around and try out a bunch of handguns until you find something that fits you.

    personally, from what i have observed and experienced, no one pistol will usually fit as many roles as you would like one to fit, without huge compromises in one area or another. it's just not realistic. size and caliber are going to be some of the big factors as to why. 9mm is a great and popular caliber, but for most hunting or hunting protection types of usage, pretty poor performer IMO. a handgun suited for such purposes, usually isn't the best choice for concealed carry either. while a handgun can be used in multiple roles, at a compromise of of one or the other, the more roles you would like that handgun to fill, starts further compromising of that pistol.

    and some calibers would be more suited to hunting, or hunting protection, while those used for home defense, or carry purposes would be severely underpowered or lacking for such purposes.

    my advice? pick the primary role of the handgun, with a secondary role if needed. but trying to fit one handgun into so many roles, IMO is just unrealistic, and setting yourself up for huge disappointments with the handgun.
     
    Diesel3, bluez, boringoldfart and 6 others like this.
  4. 67stingray

    67stingray Active Member Supporter

    188
    235
    43
    I second what Dallas said, you said no revolvers but the .357 mag would be your best option for the uses you described, with the capability to fire .38 Special rounds it's really a do it all firearm.
     
  5. rock185

    rock185 Active Member

    156
    181
    43
    Handle as many handguns you think you might be interested in as possible. But your description of magazine fed, trigger and safety style desired, would suggest to me that a 1911 type pistol might satisfy your needs. You might look into 10MM caliber due to your mention of possible use for hunting. Recoil with the real 10MM ammo will be more than. 45 and some other calibers though. A steel framed 1911 is probably not what most would pick for concealed carry now days, but I carried one quite a lot. While I like the 9MM myself, it's not what I'd pick if hunting was a serious consideration. Sometimes tough to have one handgun that meets a wide variety of needs/wants, but you'll likely find one that does it well enough. Good hunting.
     
  6. Danoobie

    Danoobie Well-Known Member

    613
    493
    63
    9mm should be fine. The Beretta 92FS(or M9) works well, if you have large hands.
    You could try the CZ75, The Browning Hi-Power, FN- FNX9, or a 1911 model, in
    the 9mm caliber. S&W GEN IIIs are nice, if you can find one. Try to rent some, before you buy.
     
  7. Vistago

    Vistago New Member

    3
    2
    3
    Ok thanks
     
    headspace and sheriffjohn like this.
  8. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

    1,668
    3,016
    113
    If you can find a range that rents handguns, try different types. Local Gun Stores usually are operated by helpful folks who are familiar with guns and customers. Box stores (Bass Pro, etc.) often are not. Although prices vary, a cheaply made pistol will probably frustrate more than help. Purchase at least two magazines.
     
  9. Vistago

    Vistago New Member

    3
    2
    3
    Will do but the guy who runs the range/store is not a well liked person.
     
  10. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    1,852
    1,687
    113
    You're looking for a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none." What this means for you is that all-purpose handgun may not be a hunting legal caliber, practical for concealed carry, or easy to shoot well.

    A long barrel helps with practical accuracy, but hurts for concealability. Large calibers may be needed for hunting, but not so good for plinking.

    A revolver (mentioned above) gives you caliber flexibility. The tradeoff is capacity, trigger weight, and no external safety.

    You're young, you'll be happier in the long run with a good quality gun that meets its intended purpose well. You have hunting rifles, to achieve the hunting functionality, so park that for now. That lets you move to a less expensive to shoot round with less recoil.

    What you'll find out eventually is that the cost of ammo far outweighs the purchase price of the gun if you shoot in volume. There may be better rounds than the 9mm, but as far as "bang for your buck", it's an excellent choice.

    A handgun like a S&W Shield would be acceptable for concealed carry, decent for plinking/target shooting/practice, home defense, or carrying in the car. A Springfield XD mod 2 is worth a look too. The trigger and sights are nice. It may be on the large side for concealed carry.

    When I was younger and didnt have so much gun money, I carried a Hi-point 9mm. Even now, it still has a place/time (CC when out in mud and rain hunting and I dont want a nice gun messed up...)
     
  11. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    1,852
    1,687
    113
    To put some numbers to it, 1,000 rounds of 9mm is about $160. 1,000 rounds of 357 is about $260. 38 special $235. .40 S&W about $215 per 1,000. 22LR is $34. If you plan on shooting high volume, starting with a .22 pistol could make sense.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  12. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,170
    17,391
    113
    well are you planning on buying a gun, or marrying the guy?

    unless he's total jerk on the prices of his guns, or just real total jerk all around and can't be gotten along with, don't worry about it.
     
  13. microadventure

    microadventure Well-Known Member

    2,175
    2,982
    113
    My philosophy: buy your second gun first. More accurately, buy your secondary gun first. Meaning: my prime gun is a Ruger P90 single stack .45, which only leaves the ranch to go to the range and back. Too big to conceal in all weather, even on my Dan Blocker anatomy. If I bought that first, I might not have bought my secondary gun

    my carry gun, my secondary gun, which I bought first, is a Ruger LC9s, a compact 9 MM. Not what you would reach for first if 5 guys in orange jumpsuits with DOC on the back showed up on the ranch, but plenty for one twitchy twit in a dark parking lot.

    IMHO: Ruger, S&W, or Colt. No furrin guns for me, not even class acts like a Glock or a Beretta.
     
    boringoldfart likes this.
  14. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    13,552
    2,261
    113
    I would suggest that you spend a couple of dollars and first attend a Concealed Weapons Class (or see if there is a NRA instructor in your area). You may have the chance to see some weapons and possibly try them.

    Go to a gun range and look around. Shooters are normally friendly people and will let you try one of their firearms.

    Whatever you do, keep an open mind about what type of firearm you want. Some have suggested a revolver (and I am one of that group). Learn the basics first like sight alignment, breathing control, trigger actuation, and follow through. Try to stay away from the "spray and pray" syndrome.

    Youtube is a terrible teacher for the basics of shooting, and the TV is much worse. I hate having to retrain a person who has preconceived ideas.
     
  15. schnuffleupagus

    schnuffleupagus Well-Known Member

    1,919
    2,096
    113
  16. RJF22553

    RJF22553 Well-Known Member

    3,546
    5,432
    113
    Vitago, all good advice.

    Might I suggest the Bersa Thunder line: both .22LR and .380 ACP (they also have 9mm/.45 ACP/.40 S&W options in a larger frame). They are both reasonably small in size, but not so much as to be uncomfortable when firing. The .22LR and .380 models are virtually identical, so training yourself on the .22LR pays dividends on the .380.

    I have both. The .22LR is VERY picky on ammo: about the only ammo I have tried that works 100% is CCI MiniMags), but is a joy to shoot (and clean!). Both calibers are suitable for CC (9mm and .40SW are obviously better for power), and I wear my .380 Bersa daily as my CCW. Many will say 9mm is better, and it probably is, but having both calibers of Bersas, training for shot placement is easy on the wallet and the wrist (and fun as H3ll!). If it is uncomfortable to shoot, you'll tend to do less of it - which makes CC a problem. Caliber makes no difference if you miss... You can get both for less than $500 total. Extra mags can be expensive, but that falls into the category of "buy once, cry once"...Get the .22LR first to get used to shooting, then follow up with the .380.
    https://bersa.eagleimportsinc.com/bersa/firearms/thunder-series
    They are both traditional in function and form. The 9mm/.40SW/.45ACY models are of a different design...

    Note that the Bersas are not built to be in a display case, but - rather - in a back pocket. Finish is good, but not showcase quality after wearing them for a bit....

    Just some things to consider. Preferably handle/shoot before you buy...
     
    bluez, Dallas53 and Shopfox like this.
  17. Unclefudd

    Unclefudd Active Member Supporter

    140
    103
    43
    Vistago
    I have owned and operated my indoor range for more than 20 yrs and been a cert. instructor for LEO and civilian for 35 yrs.
    I have had your question(s) posed to me countless times and have been successful in helping others without fail (if they listened).
    First, there is no one gun that will even come close to filling your wants.
    So consider, and others here have already addressed some of this.
    If you want a home defense gun, eliminate handguns to start. Handguns are underpowered and horribly inaccurate. So get a decent shotgun in any bore with 18 or 20 inch barrel.
    If you want a true hunting handgun, you will more likely need a revolver with a minimum 6 in or 8 in barrel in no less than 357 and probably 41 or 44 mag is better.
    But you must accept from the getgo, handguns have recoil, period. Just some more than others.
    For carry, concealment, car carry etc, by your description, and as the others have pointed out get an auto. 380 acp is good but limited in frame size, 9mm is great but weak for SD although easier to control and less expensive to shoot than others. 40 S&W is great choice with different bullet weights and excellent choice of models and frames.
    Bottom line, get to a range, meet people, ask your questions where you can get answers and possibly handle some of the more popular firearms. And most important, SHOOT some. The same frame and cal that are comfortable to me or to your best friend will not fit you the same.
    Then, while you are gathering this info. get a ruger, 22 auto pistol and learn how to shoot a handgun. Find an instructor who will demo the proper grip, stance and sight picture.
    Now you are on your way to a pleasant experience with handguns.
    UF
     
  18. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    1,053
    1,240
    113
    Most excellent advice. I carry a 38 Super in 1911, but that is not a super common gun. I tend to like 9mm or bigger, but it is always a compromise when carrying a gun.
     
  19. Unclefudd

    Unclefudd Active Member Supporter

    140
    103
    43
    Fred
    the 38 super is probably the most unsung yet best caliber handgun ever made for self defense. Problems are trying to find ammo and orr reloading parts at reasonable prices.
    It is the only caliber that I don't have but I keep watching for a good deal on a 1911 style in 38 super.

    UF
     
    headspace and Fred_G like this.
  20. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,170
    17,391
    113
    think of the 38 Super as a 9mm Parabellum on steroids!
     
    headspace and Fred_G like this.