Looking to purchase my first Handgun.

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by Fierdon, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. Fierdon

    Fierdon New Member

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    I've decided to purchase a handgun for personal safety and also to take to the firing range or when I go hunting. I really don't know where to start, but I do have some criteria. I'm hoping someone here will be able to make this search less painful to me

    Here's my problem though.. I'm right handed and left-eye dominant and from firing different pistols, I'm just a better shot left handed.

    Here's the criteria:

    1) Left-handed/ambidextrous
    2) I would prefer a metal gun over a polymer
    3) .45 preferred but may go with .40 S&W
    4) Accuracy
    5) Durability (I'm hoping to keep this gun for at least 5 years or more)
    6) Preferably top or left-side ejecting (I don't want shells flying in front of or at my face)
    7) I would like to stay under or around $800, being this would be my first Handgun purchase.

    Thanks for any and all input.
     
  2. hillbilly68

    hillbilly68 New Member

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    Congrats on the decision. Same "advice" for anyone, shoot as many different types as you can before you decide (rent, borrow etc).
    Number one is reputable manufacturer. Your price range will more than do the job for a quality firearm that is reliable and durable. Second, get what you can shoot well. There are a lot of arguments about caliber, but shot placement is the key. Would bottom rung at the 9mm though; but as you stated your preference is 40 or 45, so we are in the ball park.

    Finally whatever your choice, practice with it often and carry it (legally).
    SIG, Glock, Kimber, Springfield etc etc. Your personal choice. There is plenty of time to get another one down the road too, so don't look for the "perfect" solution. As with our comrades in this forum, you are kidding yourself if you think this will be your last pistol.;) Just remember that mods are cheaper when you buy them on the gun, aftermarket can eat you up in a hurry. Good luck with your choice!
    regards
     

  3. gnoll

    gnoll New Member

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    this post is so well informed it is not even funny




    ok well the best gun for you just as sed b4 is the gun you shoot the best not what we send you to but what is good for you
    so if i was you and i am left handed start looking at ruger than work from there in the more blue collier gunz
     
  4. Fierdon

    Fierdon New Member

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    I was thinking of a Springfield/Rock Island/Kimber 1911, Ruger P345, Beretta 96 (is the Taurus P100 series any good?). I like the way the slide is on the Beretta 96, but I haven't seen that type on anything but the Beretta..

    I'm still doing a bit of research to find the right look I want for the gun..

    I'm just concerned on some of them ejecting shells into my field of view or into my head, beings I shoot left-handed.. I had a gun do this before, can't remember what it was though..

    I held, but never shot, a Ruger P345 and I liked the feel of it.. But it being a Right-Side eject, I didn't know if I would have problems with it ejecting into my field of view or into my head like stated above..
     
  5. Zappa

    Zappa New Member

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    Lefty guns are about as rare as dinosaur eggs......
    A friend of mine has a Randall Portsider, which is a lefty 1911, but they don't make them anymore. He got his back in the early 80's when he was in the Marine Corp. He served as an MP stationed down in Panama. back then, the duty issue piece was the 1911A1, which he liked OK, but he's a lefty and wanted a left hand model. He bought the Randall and then got special permission from the base commander to carry it on duty. He proved that it was an exact mirror image of the duty issue piece and he could shoot better with it, so the CO gave his OK. Also, being stainless, it held up much better than bluing in the humidity of Panama.
    No, his isn't for sale, and if you can find one, they go for BIG bucks.
    However, I did read recently in one of the gun mags that there is someone making lefty 1911's again, but the name escapes me. So they are out there, but don't expect to find one for short money. Good Luck.
     
  6. rufusgooch

    rufusgooch New Member

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    I carry a Beretta 9000 compact. safetys/decock both sides. Im right handed and shoot left handed. Can shoot with either hand but left eye dominate, left handed feels more natural. I got mine in a 40s&w. wouldnt trade it for anything. I own 9mms, 380s, and 22s. Bet my life on my 40.
     
  7. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Go to rental ranges and fire everything. Buy whatever fits you best.
     
  8. alfsauve

    alfsauve New Member

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    Walther P99

    I like my recently purchased Walther P99

    The magazine release is ambi and the decoker easy to operate from either side. Only non-ambi feature is the slide hold open which is on the left side only.
     
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Dlask out of Canada is producing left hand 1911's. Don't know anything about the company I am afraid.

    Mile High Armory are producing left hand 1911's quite a bit lately. I've only seen one, it looked like a nice piece, but they are super pricey...
     
  10. rufusgooch

    rufusgooch New Member

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    Mile highs run 1500 and up. alot to pay for a gun you ma not like. As stated before, go to the rang and shoot rentals. once youfind the fit and feel by a used one. i recommend a medium cal for a first gun. Something light and cheap. Bersa makes a nice 380 and 9mm. They run about 250 new. I wouldnt use the 380 for a primary; but it makes a good gun for the range or a bug. Check the reviews online for the bersa, they are all good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2008
  11. rufusgooch

    rufusgooch New Member

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    Mile highs run 1500 and up. alot to pay for a gun you ma not like. As stated before, go to the rang and shoot rentals. once youfind the fit and feel by a used one. i recommend a medium cal for a first gun. Something light and cheap. Bersa makes a nice 380 and 9mm. They run about 250 new. I wouldnt use the 380 for a primary; but it makes a good gun for the range or a bug.[/QUOTE]
     
  12. Fierdon

    Fierdon New Member

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    When I first started looking at handguns that was my favorite for a long time.. But I'm just kinda skeptical about buying a plastic polymer gun.. That and I want something with good range and firepower, hence why I'm leaning towards a .45..
     
  13. alfsauve

    alfsauve New Member

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    Understand

    I think that's a good idea to stick with an all metal for your first one. If you at all think you might participate in practical/tactical competition, go see what models the top competitors use.

    I already have a 1911 in .45, so for me this was an adventure in both polymer frame and in .40S&W. I've been very pleased. I've retired the 1911 to the safe and the P99 is now the go-to gun around the house.
     
  14. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    M&p 40

    Try out a Smith and Wesson M&P 40. Its a perfect handgun for right or left hand. It has ambidextrous slide releases and the mag release is EASILY changed from right to left. Theres plenty of other features, and their website can tell you more than I can. I have one and LOVE it. It feels so comfortable and natural holding it. I went to the range with a local police officer and he let me compare a Glock 19 first and then his M&P 40 and it was like night and day. I've put about 2000 rounds through it so far, and Ive only had problems with cheap ammo not discharging (two rounds I think). I highly recommend researching it and trying it, and if you hurry you can still get the $50 rebate and two free mags.
     
  15. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Also, Im not sure if the M&P 45 is available to civilians yet. Id prefer a 40 over a 45 anyways. The 45 kicks more and the ballistics are almost identical.
     

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  16. SixthTry

    SixthTry New Member

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    I do most things left handed, though I do not have problems crossing over when it's better to use the right hand (some 1911 functions when I've dry fired them).

    The M & P polymer guns are attractive for the ambidextrous features, though I've not fired one yet. They do feel good in the hand, at least to me.

    Cost and availability of left-handed guns kept me away from even considering them. If there's a lower cost alternative, I'd look at it, but I don't want to compromise reliability or durability.
     
  17. Fierdon

    Fierdon New Member

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    I really love the design of the P99, the only thing that turned me off on it was that it was a polymer and only came in .9mm and .40S&W.. But it would be much more suitable for a carry-on gun as opposed to the 1911 I would think.. That and the P99 has come down in price.. It was $800 when I first started looking at them, they are now just above $600.. BTW, how does the gun feel? Does it have a cheap, light-weight feel to it? I don't like real light handguns, nor do I like the cheap feel (Which is why I was leaning towards a metal gun)

    Although I like Smith and Wesson, if I were to go with a .40S&W I decided on a Beretta 96 or Walther P99.. I like their designs..

    I read up on the differences between .40S&W and .45ACP, and from what I gather, you can get a higher grain .40S&W that will pack as much of a punch as a standard .45ACP load, but with greater accuracy.. Is this correct? I have also read that the maximum effective range is much greater for a .40S&W cartridge than a .45ACP.. Is that correct also?

    The few left-handed guns I've seen were not cheap at all.. So I figured that a Ambidextrous gun would be my best bet to stay in my budget.. I really wish there was a good gun range near me, there is only one and I don't know if they allow you to rent all these types of guns.. Or how much it would cost to rent them..
     
  18. alfsauve

    alfsauve New Member

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    RE: P99 Weight and Feel

    Like all polymers it is light and top heavy especially when empty. So yes there is, compared with my 1911, a light-weight feel. I wouldn't call it cheap. Just light weight. Different. Remember to many people, whose first and only encounter has been polymer, an all metal gun feels "clunky" and heavy to them.

    I really like the true SA+DA, hammerless with the decocker. Best of both worlds.