Newbie help: which pistol?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by malcolm-x-specs, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. malcolm-x-specs

    malcolm-x-specs New Member

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    Hey there, everyone. I'm a new kid on the block in the world of guns. A few weeks ago, I started to heavily consider picking up a handgun for home defense, and as a possible CCW. I've been looking around, and here is a list of the guns that have really caught my attention:

    CZ P01*
    CZ P07 DUTY
    HK 45c*
    HK USPc
    P99c*
    G39
    G30
    Steyr S-A1*
    P220 Compact OR Carry

    Obviously, these are almost all compacts. I'm not looking for anything that will make my dick bigger. Mostly, I just want a compact gun, that's reliable and effective.

    But I have a few other questions, if anyone's willing to answer them.

    What's the difference between a hammer fire and striker fire gun? Pros and Cons? (is that the right terminology?)

    Why carry .45 over 9mm? Vice versa?

    DA, SA, or DA/SA?

    Before anyone asks, I have not fired or held any of these yet. I'd like to get a reasonable shopping list before I start doing all that.

    If anyone has a suggestion for something I haven't listed, please let me know.

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    How about dropping by the introductions area and tell us a little about yourself?

    Not knowing your experience level could have you going down the wrong road. What I have for self-defense and CCW may not work for you. And would you ask us what car to buy?

    Try to find a range that rents firearms and shoot some. I don't want to be the one to say get Brand-X and you do not know how to shoot it and have your thumb ripped off.
     

  3. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You will have to choose what is right for you. I couldn't tell you what to get.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    Unlike Danf,
    I will be happy to tell you what to get. My pick is Kel-Tec
    if you like a 9mm, look at the P-11 or the PF-9
    for pocket ccw carry look at the P3AT or the P32
    They are all very affordable and well made by Kel-Tec, a company who also makes very close tolerance parts for NASA when they aren't making handguns.
     
  5. malcolm-x-specs

    malcolm-x-specs New Member

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    I'm not looking for someone to say, "Hm. Buy (this) gun." but more so to give opinions on them. If you own any of those, could you share your thoughts on it, concerning ergonomics, accuracy, reliability, etc. If someone says "I bought a USPc and a G39. The G39 jams everytime I use it, and the USP sights are hard to see" then that will help me narrow down my list. I don't want to search for and rent 10 different guns.
     
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Sorry, but the 1911a1 is the best IMHO. Others have their places (and I do have others). I believe that you should not rely on one firearm for everything. Different circumstances require different firearms.

    I like the easily repaired firearm, in a common caliber that is available where ever I go. The platform is one that I have considerable experience with.

    Now which do you think will meet your needs? A gun shop should have enough examples that you can pick and feel ergonomics. Start there and eliminate those that won't work. Look at how the trigger works. Does the trigger guard give you enough room. Is it of a caliber that will get the job done, or just p*ss someone off. Is it too heavy or too light? Is it comfortable in a holster? Will it feed hollowpoints or just ball ammo?

    Have you looked at the 1911a1?
     
  7. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    Oh I very much like 1911 style guns too, I just didn't know you were ready yet for the STI EDGE 2011. Mine is in .45acp and it shoots very accurately indeed. I did pay almost $2,000 for it tho...
     
  8. WDB

    WDB New Member

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    Find a range that rents and offers training. Shoot a few get some training it will focus your question better and let us help you more.
     
  9. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    Of the guns you listed, I know very little about the Steyr. Everything else has a fine rep, and the Steyr may be a great gun too for all I know.

    I'd avoid the Glock 39 for two reasons. First, it's a subcompact. So the grip is so tiny that it's got very little use beyond carry. It's also a 45GAP. This caliber performs fine, but I'd never choose it over the similar but far more acquireable 45acp.

    You probably want to start with a compact gun that can be carried, but handles and performs similar to a full-framed platform. That'll certainly work for carry in winter months in Utah. As the weather warms up and you better learn what you value in a carry gun, you can look for something smaller if needed.

    My carry gun is an XD 45c. But I'll probably switch to some sort of single stack 9mm when things warm up. Don't rule out 9mm for a second. It's a fine defense round, and a pretty darn good learning platform due to the cost and availability of ammo.

    If I were to recommend one gun based on your list (and what it infers about your budget, etc), I'd stray a little off script and mention a Sig P239. Big enough to handle well, and a very concealable single stack.
     
  10. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    Crap all over the 45 gap if you like Sweeper,
    But in truth it is still sitting on the shelves of many gun stores. Also like the 5.7x28 ammo it's prices never rose drastically like most all other ammo did
     
  11. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    Guess that probably just depends on where you live.

    I see a lot more options in weights, brands, and general availability with 45acp...so I'm not sure why it would make sense to choose GAP over ACP. How that amounts to crapping all over it, I don't know. Like I said, the round will perform fine.
     
  12. Missouribound

    Missouribound Active Member

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    Be picky

    Good luck with your purchase. Very often gun ranges will have several guns which you can "rent" for an hour of shooting at the range. Call around until you find one which has that capability. Then you may find one which you are comfortable with to shoot, which feel good in your hand and one you will be sure to practice with. As far as caliber, bigger guns make bigger holes and if aimed properly will do the job with just a shot or two. But (and it's a big but) if you carry a gun for it's sheer power, it's worthless to you if it hurts your hand when you practice with it.....so you will flinch when you shoot. It's far more important to find a gun you will practice with and get accurate with first. You can always purchase another gun when you get more experience and get more comfortable with your weapons.
    Just my opinion...............
     
  13. Logan2302

    Logan2302 New Member

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    Please read this link:

    Why Glock, Why 9mm? [2005] - 03DESIGNGROUP


    Quickly, hammer fired pistol is just what it sounds. The hammer drops and drives the pin into the primer. They tend to be a safer pistol.

    A striker fired has a long firing pin surrounded by a spring. Pulling the trigger gives the spring a final tension set and causes a release for striking the primer. These pistols tend to have NO safeties.

    Most people recommend revolvers for first time shooters!!!!!

    If you want concealability you may want to stay with a single stack magazine (1911) vs a double stack magazine (glock). As your shop to show you.

    Hope this helps for now,

    -------------------------------------------------

    Ask yourself exactly why you need or want a handgun. Like some of the guys have said, this answer is not as simple as we would think. Take several days, be sure of your answer.

    Then go through your mind all the different scenarios you can think of, for what ever the reason you come up with. If you decide on target practice, you'll have laws to learn, techniques to master, safety issues, etc, etc. If you decide on personal defense, you'll have the same issues to deal with, plus more. If you decide on concealed carry, you got all the above plus lots more like personal safety, family safety, bystanders safety, when/when not to shoot, and so on. Some people, including myself, believe that if you carry concealed you need to be as informed about the laws of the states your going to carry in as LEO.

    It's way too early to talk about brands and types of handguns, and law speculation until you can answer the above quickly from the heart. Somethings you just can't take back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  14. rugermatt

    rugermatt New Member

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    you have to hold them, feel them, research them, then shoot them if you can. i would not pick any of those, but that's just me. i personally think that you have to own a gun for a while to see if you really like it enough.
     
  15. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    Please Disregard the above,
    I started my gun collection at 18,
    now I'm a gun dealer. Buy & try, you'll
    find some you'll love- keep those
     
  16. misterballistic

    misterballistic New Member

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    I've owned or shot some of the variants of the ones you've mentioned.

    Current H&K line up is nice. Forget wondering about the minute differences between the USP series, HK series, P series...they're pretty much similar and all based around the USP platform. If you have small to medium hands then look at the newer HK and P series which feature modular grip designs. They are very soft shooting polymer guns which surprised me when I first shot a .45 USP. Many will say that H&K is overpriced but that's really an academic argument since one could say a BMW is overpriced compared to a Chevrolet, or that a Rolex Daytona is overpriced compared to a Tag Heuer. What counts is if it's worth it to you.

    The thing about H&K's is that many of their variants give you options. For example many of their Variant 3's (SA/DA) have both safety and decockers. This allows "condition one", or one in the chamber with a decocker to safely lower the hammer each and every time so you're in double action.

    Glocks are opposite to H&K. It's about simplicity. Glocks are really an acquired taste due to the unique grip angle, the safety trigger, and quite frankly even the looks. Some love those features, and some find it distracting. I find it distracting. By the time you shoot a Glock several times you'll know if it's for you or not. If you like minimalism and hate complications then you'll like Glock...IF you can adapt to the unconventional trigger, and grip angle.

    I have never shot a CZ P07, only the steel frames. But CZ's are a diamond in the rough. If people say the H&K's are overpriced, then CZ are a bargain. There are plenty of shooters I'm sure who would take a CZ over either a H&K or a Glock and it would be a wise choice. Don't think for a minute that CZ's are cheap guns from a less industrialized country than the U.S. of A. CZ's are awesome.

    I won't get into the .45 ACP vs 9mm x 19 debate because there are many (most?) that are far more knowledgeable than me on the subject. For me it's personal choice. I prefer 9mm because it's more affordable to shoot at the range, and I don't reload so .45 ACP is expensive to shoot a lot. 9mm's gives me much more trigger time which to me is more important than caliber theories.

    I'm of the opinion that if you're looking at guns for self-defence regardless of theoritical or practical then 9mm (especially loaded with +P JHP) is pretty damn good unless you're expecting to be attacked by the time-space warping guys in the suits from The Matrix, or those guys from the North Hollywood shootout wearing metal plated reinforced kevlar. No - chances are you will be a random victim of a random violent act by some thug in a t-shirt and he/she will be less than 12 feet when the lead starts flying and under stress and having to resort to instinctive firing I would prefer to have higher capacity than higher caliber in that situation. If I were a soldier or SWAT guy using FMJ's then it might be a different story. That's just my opinion and I'm sure many will see it as misguided but whatever...
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  17. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    I know there are some ranges down in your area, but I'm not familiar with them. I do know that Impact Guns, just north of me in Ogden (it's not that far...), has a range thet will rent a number of the guns on your list. In fact, I've shot a couple of their CZs when I was shopping for my 9mm. They also have a couple of instructors on hand for handgun newbys. Take basic handgun class and read as much as you can. You would do a bunch of test driving and research before you spend big $$ on a new car, right? Use a similar process with firearms. Educate yourself on what's what and you will be able to make an educated decision.
     
  18. malcolm-x-specs

    malcolm-x-specs New Member

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    Thanks a bunch for you input everyone, especially mister ballistics. The CZ in fact, was at the top of my list. When I have the time, i'll definitely hit up some ranges to try out the CZ, HK, and glock, and steyr if I can find it. For right now though, I'm struck down with a pilonidal cyst ( essentially an abcess in your ass crack).

    And to answer the big question here, my reason for CC, would be to offer myself some comfort and protection. I've been assaulted publicly a number of times now, which, honestly, makes it difficult for me to go to public areas without feeling that I'm in a constant state of danger. I've been carrying pepper spray for the last six months, but I doubt it's ability to protect me. Of course, when to use mace and a gun are totally different, but it would be nice to know that IF my life feels threatened, as opposed to a black eye, I will have it under control.
     
  19. misterballistic

    misterballistic New Member

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    Hey you're welcome but mine is just the opinion of one person.

    If you're going to CCW, then choosing the right pistol is probably a slightly lesser concern than making sure you get proper training on knowing when and how to use it.
     
  20. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    This is why you also need a back-up weapon. I like the Kel-Tec .380
    I keep mine in my pocket