New to Handguns

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by grizzlyohio, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. grizzlyohio

    grizzlyohio New Member

    Hello all,

    I am currently shopping around and researching different handguns for home defense and general range shooting. I do not intend to use this weapon as a concealed and carry firearm, more just for something to protect myself and my loved ones inside the home and on my property. The problem I'm facing is the overwhelming amount of firearms to choose from. I am new to handguns but not new to firearms (I own multiple rifles and a shotgun) and know there are some old standard names S&W, Colt, Ruger, etc., but am unsure of where to start. I'd like a reliable pistol for under $1000 and am not particular on wether it is a semi-automatic or a revolver. I understand there are pro's and cons to both. I also understand that there are pros and cons between the caliber choice as well. That being said I know this is a very loaded question and any advise would be very grateful. Thank you for the time.
  2. rifleman1

    rifleman1 New Member

    I would recommend going to your gun store and handling as many handguns as possible, narrow it down ATP a couple that suit your needs and if at all possible shoot the few you select.
    Let me also recommend a glock 19 that is just one of my personal favorites but is not the end all be all pistols.

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    my two top recomendations are the beretta M9 with 20 round mecgar mags or the springfield armory xdm in 9mm. 9mm is a great round to learn with.

    go wrap your mitts around a bunch of different types narrow it down to five and research from there
  4. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    As Jon suggested, 9MM is good choice to start with for a SD/HD handgun.

    If you later feel the need for a heavier caliber cartridge, you can trade up, but realize that ammunition for those calibers is more expensive and availability may be an issue. There are other issues as well, but I don't want this thread to be a caliber debate.

    As others here already know, I prefer striker fired pistols with minimal controls (no "safety", just like a revolver), but that's a personal choice (I favor simplicity in operation and design over connotations of "safety" that thumb levers provide). Glock, S&W, and others all make pistols that fit that description.

    No amount of money spent on gadgetry like competition triggers and such can make you a better shooter and I discourage modification or replacement of factory components with aftermarket parts that have not been subjected to the same testing as the factory components.
  5. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

    There are plenty of reliable designs for under $1000.

    If you have a place that rents guns, I would highly recommend trying some out. While this is going to add to your overall cost, it will give you a chance to find out what you truly like.

    Also, highly recommend 9mm like the others. It is a good starter round but is still a decent caliber for defense.
  6. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    Where to start-S&W alone makes a
    lot of good ones.
    You can get 1911 types in 9mm caliber.
    There's the Browning High Power,
    CZ75, Beretta 92, and many more.

    Try as many as you can before you buy.
  7. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

    You say you have rifles and a shotgun. Save yourself the money and use what you already own.
  8. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

    I keep all my rifles and shotguns locked up in the safe. I have one handgun in a drawer under my bed for unexpected, immediate defense. I have children in the house and neighbors within range. Must be careful of over penetration.

    No offense and none taken
  9. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    If you are set on a handgun and since it is not for concealed carry, stick with a full/service sized gun. They will have more capacity with less felt recoil and a longer sight radius. Try some guns and see what system you like best. If there are kids around, consider a quick open pistol safe. If your wife might have to use it, make sure it is something she can handle and gets proper training in the safety systems what ever they may be. My 70+ year old petite wife can rack a slide but some people just cant. Some slides are easier than others and revolvers dont have slides so consider that factor in choosing your handgun.
  10. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

    Caliber: In my opinion, 9mm would be option #1. It works great for defense and the range, allows for high capacity, quick handling, you can find a gun that fits any shooter, and the ammo bill is rather forgiving on the wallet. For survival/defense senarios, a hit with 9mm is about 90% as effective as the rounds many will tell you are dramatically superior, while being way quicker with follow-up shots. 45acp and (if revolvers work for you)357mag would finish a close second. 40sw, 357sig, 10mm, and 44mag are all fine enough options, but they can come with drawbacks depending on your budget, abilities, and expectations.

    Brand- I like CZ's 75b as the best range/HD for under $800 (they're $500-600). Great gun. Easy to be quick and accurate with, and a nice looking/feeling firearm for most tastes. I also like 1911 45acps, 9mm BHP, and Springfield's XD/XDm lineup.

    But those are just my tastes for my hands. If they fit you, I'd fully endorse several others. Example: There isn't much better range/HD pistol for under $1K (or even $3K) than an alloy Sig P220/226, provided they fit you right. If they fit me perfect, that'd be my choice.

    My best advice is that you test drive as many pistols as possible, and confine your search to the following brands:

    Sig Sauer

    *- also offers excellent revolvers
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  11. grizzlyohio

    grizzlyohio New Member

    Thank you all for your advice. And MisterMcCool and I are in the same boat all of my long arms are safely locked up and my home is small enough that I don't want to try to swing my bolt actions around if I have better options. But I'd rather take the weapon I have than the one I don't. Looks like I'll just have to spend some time on the range trying out many different systems. Thank you all again.
  12. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oh the horror :rolleyes:
    Enjoy every minute!

    No offense and none taken
  13. St8LineGunsmith

    St8LineGunsmith New Member

    i would suggest a taurus pt92 or beretta p9
    i have never had either of these weapons jam and they have a 15 round capacity and are very accurate,
    another suggestion would be a 1911 .45 ACP
    If you live in a rural area where Bears and other dangeroud wildlife may be lurking you might want to consider a .44 Mag revolver like a Ruger Red Hawk
  14. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    If you are interest in used as well I would suggest you look for a good used police turn in as they are some of the best values out there. There are MANY makes and models out there (the less you spend on the gun the more you can spend on ammo;)). As suggested above, try as many as you have access to prior to purchases. :)
    Welcome to the site!:D
  15. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

    You'll enjoy your journey.

    Ruger, Glock, S&W, Sig Sauer, CZ, Colt all make affordable, reliable side arms within your range. Take your time, I recommend starting with 9mm or .38 Special, then move to .40 S&W and .45 acp., the last two have a bit more oomph and recoil than the 1st two.
  16. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    semi's: i like the 2 most popular 9mm and 40 S&W.

    revolver: 357! real power, shoot 38's to plink, and you can combo with a lever gun in 357 one day.....didn't ya always want to be a cowboy? :D

    as for specific brands....research and fondle, baby! that's fun stuff!
  17. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    oh...and make sure you buy a pretty gun....every pretty gun i bought....i still have. the ugly ones tend to get used and traded away for other pretty ones (similar to my dating experience).

    and pretty guns, unlike women, don't get worn out with use! :D

    wow...this is the most offensive post i have made in awhile (pats own back for disregarding my urge to be PC. ;)
  18. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    I'll pile on.

    I also recommend a service pistol sized auto in 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. These offer good size for control, and aim, and recoil management. They offer good capacity and an ability to reload quickly (shouldn't be needed for HD, but...), the ability to mount night sights easily in most platforms, and most come in models that offer the ability to mount a light. Since CC is not on the agenda, the options offered by a service pistol make sense.

    My favorites include:
    Sig Sauer in the 220, and 226.
    Glock 17,23, or 21 (9mm, .40, .45)
    S&W M&P in 9mm, .40, or .45
    Beretta 92.
    1911 in .45

    For a pistol in the "home defense only" role, Glock, and S&W also make competition models that offer longer slides. This can help in recoil control, and adds sight radius for more precise aiming. The longer barrel may also reduce muzzle flash slightly with some defense loads that already use a low flash powder.
  19. LikeABoss

    LikeABoss Member Lifetime Supporter

    Nice budget, you'll do fine, flip a coin, all those names will work. Start with 9mm and work your way up.