I need help selecting a Handgun.

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by brancher, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. brancher

    brancher New Member

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    Okay, so I am the quintessential renaissance man, with an education, appreciation for fine liberal fiction, eagle scout, etc, etc. But I have this nagging suspicion that I need to pick up some personal firearm protection. I mean more than the old Glenfield .22 bolt I have stashed after using it to spend most of my youth killing varmints - it's oer 35 years young, still shoots ON THE $$$ . (really it is a GREAT rifle, very accurate, great for small game and target stuff).

    Anyway, I have come to believe that the best I should do right now is to pick up a Beretta PX4 Storm 9mm auto, supplemented by a 9mm snubbie 5-rnd revolver. Same ammo, light weight gun as well as full size, etc, etc.

    I have shot the PX4 .40 s&w as well as the Bersa .380 and the Ruger LCP, and it the .40 is a very smooth, very fun, and very manageable pistol - so I'm thinking that the 9mm would be MORE smooth, etc.. But I'd like some opinions on this pistol as well as any other guns out there before I jump (after all, it IS money).

    Why 9mm? well, price of ammo, availability of ammo, etc. You get it.

    Thoughts?

    Br....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2010
  2. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    What are your purposes for this gun? Bedside table? Everyday carry (EDC)?

    There are so many great guns out there (and so little time) that purpose means everything.

    Only after knowing your purpose(s) can you decide on caliber. And then decide on platform.

    And I think I have come to the same realization as you concerning firearms. I'm perhaps a year ahead of you, but came from the same place. Best of luck. You found a great forum!
     

  3. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

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    IMHO if the firearm fits you and is of good quality, I believe that ultimately that's the one your going to be happy with. Your going to have people tell you to buy this or that, but it's your budget and taste.

    I've shot and sell PX4 Storms and I believe they are one of the many finer firearms produced today.
     
  4. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

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    Who makes the 9mm snubbie revolver? Those are a tad rare, no?
     
  5. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    The elegance of a semi-auto and a revolver, both of the same caliber, is enticing. In practice, however, it might be best to choose the "best" firearm within a platform (revolver, for instance), and then embrace the caliber designed for that platform (.38spl/.357 magnum, for example).

    I recently had the same thought and wiser people than I convinced me to embrace the inelegance of multiple calibers.
     
  6. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You can pick up a Taurus 905 for about $370. Shouldn't be to hard to find them.
     
  7. brancher

    brancher New Member

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    Ah, good point. The Storm is for home/car/training/etc, the revolver is for home/wife/self/carry. It's a Taurus 905 (or 905b). Well-thought-of tool. The only other very small platform I like for home is a hammerless snubbie, and it is a .38sp.

    I already have been convinced to forego the subcompact pistols in lieu of a full platform, and after having practiced a bit with the LCP, I agree. The small revolvers I've handled are good for in-house or carry. Simple, shootable, maintainable. On the other hand, after having also practiced with a Taurus Judge 3" packed with a .45 mag, well I'm thinking that's more than I really need or want. I liked the .40 S&W for its accuracy, stability, ease of use, and range, and a .380 Bersa Thunder I used is fun, pretty much foolproof, and more carryable (I guess). And even though around here the .380 and the .45 are the biggest sellers, I figured the 9mm is a good in-between round that can be had in diferent loads at not-too-expensive prices.

    Don't know a lot about stopping power of the 9mm compared to the .380, the .38 sp, or the .40, but I do know very good self defense rounds are readily available for all of them.

    But you are saying that perhaps I'm putting the cart before the horse?

    Please educate me ....... :confused:

    BTW, never shot a .38 sp, so I cannot comment on a lightweight gun with this load. Maybe somebody else can?

    Thanks.

    Br
     
  8. brancher

    brancher New Member

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    As far as fit, the Storms fit perfectly and feel the best to me so far. The Bersa is also a very good fit,. The LCP is a little squirrelly in my hand, and the little snubbies fit both me and my wife well. I am a little wary of the Glocks and some Sigs because of the safetys, so I haven't pursued them at all.
     
  9. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    Do you have a friend with a bunch of different firearms you could go to a range and try out? You could rent a few different guns at the range (I know the range fees could add up quickly, but as Canebrake has said in another thread "You are worth it").

    Without being judgmental at all, you really do seem at the very beginning of a long learning curve.

    Everyone here has an opinion, but you really need to begin to firm up what you want. And I don't mean, "I want a Taurus Judge in .45 long colt/.410 gauge with Crimson Trace and holstered in a Crossbreed Supertuck." I mean basic questions that at least give you a direction to do some reading. Size? Caliber? Steel vs. polymer?

    One decision it sounds like you have made is starting with a platform of a larger size (vs. some small gun appropriate for carry). I think that's a good idea.

    Get something full-size, and then shoot it a LOT at the range and take some training classes to ensure you're instilling good habits.

    I started with a Glock 9mm. Ultimately, I decided to sell it and buy a steel 1911 in .45acp. But that doesn't mean that's the right decision for you.
     
  10. brancher

    brancher New Member

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    Thanks, no offense taken about the learning curve, because you're right. I have lots of hunting experience over the years, and have shot probably a dozen or so handguns over the years, but as far as personal preferences, I really am at the beginning! Thanks all fo the advice, I will try as many as possible before jumping. (to the extent that I can around here - there are no ranges near here with rentals).
     
  11. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    One suggestion is to go to a shooting range and observe.
    You will find that normally there is one individual who is:
    Sure of themselves and not have a cocky attitude, and
    He is an accurate shot, and
    If you ask him/her a couple of questions, you will get straight answers, and
    (without your asking) he/she may offer to let you shoot a couple of rounds.

    I have no problem giving an impromptu lesson to someone on the range or let them shoot shoot a couple of rounds through my guns. Especially if I think they are new to firearms.
     
  12. brancher

    brancher New Member

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    I'm doing that now. The little range where I go usually has a couple of folks either shooting pistols (kinda rare), practicing for hunting season, or training for competition events. Good suggestions all. Sometimes, the shooter there wants to sell one of his, so that's always a factor.
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  13. superc

    superc Member

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    The .38 Special and the 9mm are about equal. A whole bunch of police and Federal agencies followed the US Military into 9mm land and learned fairly quickly things had not improved over the .38 Special. After a bunch of FBI Agents were shot to pieces in Miami the FBI led the push to do something about it and working with S&W 'developed' the .40 S&W (aka 10mm short). Everyone else then followed the FBI into this new territory. The concept is the short length of the cartridge allows .40 caliber pistols to be made of 9mm frames, and meanwhile the larger diameter (5 hundredths of an inch) brings the round closer to the stopping power of a .45, but without the kick. Amazingly, it does seem to be a slight improvement over both the standard .38 Specials and the 9mms.

    The .380 is the inferior stopping power cartridge. More potent than a .32 or a .25, it still lacks lots of energy compared to the .38 Special and the 9mm. The .380 advantages are, a smaller cartridge with less gunpowder can equal a much smaller, easier to make and often easier to hide gun. The .380 will kill, just not as quickly and not nearly as reliably. It sometimes takes 2 or 4 .380 bullets to do what one .38 Special or 9mm can do, and it sometimes takes 2 or 3 .38 Special/9mm bullets to do what one .45 bullet can do. Maybe 1.5 .40 caliber bullets to do what one .45 can do. Some call that a good compromise. :)
     
  14. brancher

    brancher New Member

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    Thanks, Superc, for the info on the characteristics and differences of the ammunition I listed. I've found a shop that I intend to go to this week, and I think I will try several weapons before I plunge - but hopefully b next weekend, I'll have made some kind of decision. But right now, I am leaning toward a 9mm, maybe a CZ-P07 or something in that neighborhood. Still, that Beretta .40 S&W is very sweet....

    Lots to consider.
     
  15. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    And I know the .40 S&W is popular to many right now, but I have little experience with it. I shoot 9mm and .45acp. Many people say that the snappier recoil of the .40 over .45 makes the .40 a bit harder to shoot (especially follow-up shots). So, I say, why not just stick with 9mm (for the smaller-size polymer pistols available for it) and .45acp (especially something with a steel frame like the 1911)?

    To me, the .40 S&W (and the short-lived 10mm) are an answer to a question that didn't need to be asked. Just my HO.
     
  16. brancher

    brancher New Member

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    Yeah, lots of folks love the .40 SW. And the only one i've shot is the PX4, but it does not kick too much - very stable, very good groupings - and I am not a handgun shooter (yet). I did better with that than the Bersa Thunder 380 initially, then I got the hang of the Bersa and it performed very well also. But I never did warm up to the LCP for some reason - maybe grip size or something. But all in all, I think I agree about the 9mm (at least for now...;)
     
  17. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    I have a Kahr PM9 and love it. 9mm has really good stopping power, and even the .45acp round isn't a slam dunk as better than the 9mm. Consider it much more strongly than the .380.

    Check out this article:

    9mm vs. .45
     
  18. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    The orginal Norma 10mm round was fun to shoot. Not at all like the watered down 10mm we have today.
     
  19. indyfan

    indyfan New Member

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    I'm a huge 9mm supporter, in fact out of the large shooting range group I'm in, I'm the only guy that owns a 9mm! (oddly)

    So yeah, 9mm is an excellent choice. Don't listen to the "9mm doesn't have enough stopping power" arguments. It has plenty of stopping power with the right hollowpoint.

    As for the PX4. I've held one, never fired one, but my friend owns one, he claims if not lubed properly the rotating barrel sticks and the gun will jam.

    Never seen it happen, but that's something he pointed out to me when I was thinking about getting one. Beretta makes excellent handguns though, I own a M92FS.
     
  20. iMagUdspEllr

    iMagUdspEllr New Member

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    I don't know how you figure that it takes 2 or 3 9mm bullets to do what one .45 will do. All common semi-auto pistol calibers pretty much suck at killing quickly (you die from blood loss more than anything). When you are trying to make someone stop with low velocity ammunition (pistol ammo) you pretty much want to put the bullets where it will make them bleed very quickly (heart) or shut them down entirely (brain). If the bullets hit those locations it won't matter if it was a .380 or a .45. However... if your weapon has a higher magazine capacity (smaller bullets) it gives you more chances to put rounds in those important spots. People have survived several shots of just about every pistol-round out there. I opt for putting several of whatever I have where it counts. I can do that better with more rounds.

    The only requirement I have for defensive ammunition is penetration. If I shoot you and your sternum or ribs prevents one of my bullets from hitting your heart... I feel that I have picked the wrong ammunition.

    Pistols to consider are:
    PX4 Storm 9mm
    FNX-9
    XD(M)-9 3.8" Barrel
    Ruger SR9C
    Glock 19

    If you can't find a place to shoot them. Find a place to at least pick them up and hold them.