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Posted: 12/30/2002 8:27:48 PM EST
I'm looking for my first handgun. I want a fullsize handgun. My caliber choices are 9mm, .45 cal and .40 S&W. So far I'm considering Beretta M9 or variant, Beretta Cougar, SA XD (maybe), and Kimber Custom carry www.kimberamerica.com/Custom_Custom_Target.htm
.

I realize the magazine capacity deal with the Beretta when going form .40 to 9. The XD I haven't even handled and I'm not a big fan of DAO. I realize the Kimber is SAO and this would be a drawback in a CC situation as I don't know if I want to carry cocked and locked but this gun will not be for on person carry but more for in the car etc. Anyways, I don't know if I've made any sense. Anyways I don't want a Glock so don't mentin it, same with the Sig. Sig is a great gun but no safeties which aren't for me but for others. Thanks.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 9:26:52 PM EST
Do it right the first time.. HK USP 45.. it's got your safties, lifetime warranty, is a bit expensive but it won't let you down.. I just bought my Dad one for Christmas.. to replace his Glock 19 9mm and he said he didn't even know why he had that POS glock anymore You can always find a nice used USP 45 if the NIB price is too much for you..
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 9:30:18 PM EST
CZ75 or CZ85 are always good choices... 85 is the ambidextrous model. 75 is available in 9mm or 40 as I recall, can be carried cocked and locked or DA

Mine always goes bang every time I pull the trigger, nomatter how I abuse it or what kind of crap I put in it as test fodder....

Good weapons, and inexpensive.... Just a thought
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 11:06:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 11:07:39 PM EST by knightone]
My personal preference is a 1911, so the Kimber is a good choice. TheBberetta Cougar feels incredibly nice in the hands. All the pistols you mentioned point pretty naturally, but the Cougar really points naturally. The grip also feels nicer than the 92/96 models. the weight of the Cougar is also nicely distributed. The only reason I don't own one is because I love 1911's.

I used to carry a SIG and loved it, but once I switched to 1911's I will never go back to anything else. I guess everything on it works right for me single stack, single action for me. But for a double stack, double action a Cougar or a SIG (226 or 228) are your best bets.

The USP always felt too beefy in my hands, even the compact models. The grip is just to wide and doesn't feel rounded off enough to me. The XD's I have not handled, but seem too much like Glocks in the grip area and Glocks never felt right to me either. Glocks are far too rectangular in the grip for me to shoot comfortably.


As far as caliber, I prefer .45 and .357 SIG. However, you should choose whatever you can shoot well and consistently.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:28:34 AM EST
I think your "first" pistol should be a 9mm. If you don't intend to carry it, I would choose a Beretta 92 (M9) over the Cougar. If I were going to give someone their first pistol (and I have), I would give them a Beretta 92.

Link Posted: 12/31/2002 3:41:59 AM EST
Depending upon exactly what you want/need it for, I would suggest that you consider getting TWO pistols for your "first" handgun. Oslow has a good point that your first centerfire auto be in 9mm, and the Beretta 92 is damned difficult to beat in that caliber if you don't object to the size. I would also consider a good revolver very strongly, probably an S&W 686...no auto can compare to the versatility of a good .357 wheelgun.

The second gun would be a Ruger MKII Target .22...I prefer the 22/45 version, but any will do. You can always find a range to shoot .22, ammo is widely available and cheap, the damn things will last forever, and it is an excellent and fun way to introduce friends or family to the shooting sports, not to mention your children and grandchildren later on.

With some careful shopping, you should be able to get both centerfire and rimfire about the same as the cost of one Kimber or USP...and will be glad you did.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 9:30:32 PM EST
OK. Thanks for the input so far.

Does anyone have any experience carrying 1911 derivatives cocked and locked?

Knightone - What made you switch to 1911's from Sigs? What is it about the 1911 that made you fall in love with that design?

I have access to a .22 pistol so I'm not going to worry about that.

Wheelgun wise I have my sights set on a Freedom Arms in .45 Long Colt. Don't ask me why cause I don't really know. But then again I own a Blaser R93 so that might explain things. Damn my expensive taste.

I don't have any experience with CZ. Maybe I should look into it.

HK's don't fit my hands, I have small hands.

Cost wise none of these guns cost more than about $800. I see no reason to spend anything more.

Thanks again. Keep 'em comin.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 9:44:45 PM EST
I'd say handle (and get a feel for) each of them and, if you can, shoot them, see what you like. Everyone is different.

I personally like 1911s... I shot a good friend's a long time ago and have never looked back.

Jonathan
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 10:11:04 PM EST
The SIG was the best feeling double stack sidearms I ever handled, and I have handled just about everything over the years. The grip was just rounded perfectly and fit my hand like it was made for me. I loved it and carried it for about four years.

Then, I got my hands on a 1911. There was a world of difference. The single stack, slim grip was absolutely perfect. I have medium sized hands with long fingers and the 1911 fits like a glove. After handling the 1911, the SIG just felt fat in my hands. I don't even want to think about how my friend's USP's felt (both the full size and compact felt awful).

I also prefer the single action. The single action on the SIG was similar and very nice, just a tad heavier. However, that first double action pull was a beast! I prefer clicking off the safety and having a consistent trigger pull from first shot to last.

Carrying cocked and locked is no big deal. The safety is pretty hard to deactivate deliberately (not to say it can't happen of course) and combined with a holster that completely covers the trigger area is very safe. It takes a little more practice to get used to a 1911, but I feel it is worth it. Since you wnt a safety on whatever gun you get, this is not a big deal.


For me, clicking off the safety and getting off that first shot is a lot faster than pulling that double action first shot on the SIG. The only way to remedy that would be to send it off dor a trigger job. However, a good trigger job is expensive.
The safety is not a big deal on the SIG simply because that first pull is so heavy.

My father swore by his M9 for years. he loved that gun. He preferred the "wonder nines" over everything else, as he was trained on a Browning Hi-Power. He got the 92 because he couldn't find a Browning at the time and just fell in love with it. It felt alright to me, not as good as the SIG, but the Cougar just felt a bit better balacnced for some reason. However, the Cougar is a beefy gun all around and might not be the best for concealed work. I do, however, reccomend it over the 92, but a lot of people will tell you otherwise. Just my personal taste.

The Cougar is also available in four calibers so if you switch up, say to a .45 from a 9mm or .357 SIG, the controls and ergonomics will be familiar to you. The SIG 226 and 229 are available in three calibers, but their ergonimics are different from their single stack .45 P220 model. You could also buy a 9mm 1911 to start if you are considering a .45 1911 later on.

Just one question for you: why is not having a safety on a double action such a big deal? I always felt the point of a double action is so you don't have to worry about the safety. In fact, I feel a safety plus a double action pull is too hard to work with if you have to use the weapon.

I know you had some apprehension about carrying a 1911 cocked and locked, but a double action is carried the same way, just with a heavier initial trigger pull and without a safety engaged. The double action pull just takes the place of the safety, but it is basically the same thing. The single action/safety combo is a lot faster than the double action and surely a helluva lot fster than a double action combined with a safety.

If you are carrying for self defense, whatever is fastest to get ready is usually the best. there is a stigma to single actionpistols, but that is usually perpetuated by people who don't have much, if any, experience with single action pistols. With practice and common sense, a 1911 is just s safe as any double action pistol available. In fact a weapon is only safe when utilized with practice and common sense. There is no such thing as a tamper free/accident free/child proof weapon unless you apply knowledge, education, and commmon sense.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 1:13:48 AM EST
You can always go with something like a Ruger P-89 9mm as well. You should be able to get a stainless model in the box w/ extra mag for around $325. For about $25 more you could get a Smith and Wesson 5906....a gun that has some of the cheapest 15 rd factory hi-caps on the market. Both of these guns are accurate, durable, reliable and don't cost a fortune.

But I am a Sig and Glock man, FWIW. Just find whatever suits you. But you seem nervous about cocked and locked single actions, so make sure you get comfortable with them before buying one.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 4:41:05 AM EST
Find a place where you can pick up and get a feel for all of them and maybe find friends who own the ones you like best and buy the one that feels most comfortable in your hand. For me its the XD9 and the fact that you can buy XD40 mags and legally load 15 9mm rounds for cheap legal high caps is a great bonus.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 12:40:50 PM EST
THellURider,

Do I carry 1911A1 pistols? Yes, I do on occasion and you need a quality holster to pull this off. More than likely it will be an inside the waistband (IWB) holster. Why IWB? Because the barrel will often show below your shirt or jacket. The best I have came up with is a Milt Sparks Summer Special and I can't wear it behind the hip while driving. I wear the Milt Sparks Summer special strong side and I barely notice it.

I have tried a bunch of handguns for CCW and I currently use a S&W Model 457 which suits my life style. It has a shorter barrel than a 1911A1 and I use a Milt Sparks Mirage belt holster or an Alessi Hard Shell Talon. That is the good news; the bad news is its operation is similar to a Sig except the decocker also acts as a safety. This is my cold weather gun.

In warm weather I carry a stainless Kahr K9 in a Milt Sparks Mirage belt holster or a Rosen Workman holster.

Regards,

Richard
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 12:59:00 PM EST
As a new handgunner you want in the following order.

Fit - the hand gun must FIT you. having small hands will make most double stack grip frames difficult for you to obtain a proper grip on.

Caliber - will determine recoil, cost of ammunition and suitability for various applications.

Low recoil is necessary to avoid developing Flinching as well as some other detrimental habits.

Lower cost of ammunition will give you more practice time.

Depending on range and power of ammunitions available for this caliber will effect the versatility of use, ie: plinking, hunting or self defense etc.

I always recommend starting on a .22lr and progressing through the calibers as confidence and skill increase.

Good luck in your selections.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 2:50:20 PM EST
I'm a pretty good handgun shot. I practice with my dad's Berreta 96/92. He has a model that came out a few years ago that you can switch from 9mm to .40 S&W. I practice strong hand and weak hand with it. I've never shot a 1911 before; I need to try one out. I'm just looking for MY first for when I turn 21 pretty soon. Thanks for the suggestions. Holsters are definetly something I'm going to have to look into once I decide what gun to buy.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 3:06:36 PM EST
Have you looked at the Para Ordnance LDAs? They are 1911s with a very light DAO trigger and all the external safeties. The have a couple of new models in SS for CCW. They do tend to be on the expensive side.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 4:05:34 PM EST
Personally, I am looking for a handgun that feels like a 1911, points like a CZ 75, fires like a .45 ACP (or .40 S&W), with the exceptional reliability of a Glock.

Sorry guys, no such animal.

Close calls include: CZ 75 (but is a 9mm), any good 1911 (including Kimber, Colt, SA, PO, or higher end), most Glocks (especially 17, 19, 21, 23, 30).

I own many of the above (and more), and I like them all, but love none. I'll tell you this though: I have CCW holsters for all, but more than one holster for a CZ 75, a Kimber 1911, and a Glock 21.

Link Posted: 1/1/2003 5:21:30 PM EST
Heckler & Koch USP .40 all the knock down power you need way better than any .45 you will find. Don't fall into the .45 myth buy a real gun.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 5:31:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/1/2003 5:32:04 PM EST by SHIVAN]
First Place - HK USP40f......wish I had never sold it. I had the compact I loved so much and still have it.

The 40 S&W is a very potent round for a first handgun.

Second Place - HK USP45f. Want one of these next.

Third Place - 1911 you pick........

Those are my preferences YMMV.......


Ed
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 6:58:07 AM EST
As a believer in "relative stopping power", I say go with a .40. For the price, the Croatian Sensation is unbeatable (XD-40).
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 9:04:58 PM EST
I'm a big fan of two types of handguns, 1911 autos and Smith and Wesson revolvers. In general, I tend to recommend .357 revolvers for men who are about to buy their first handguns, due to the simplicity and ability to shoot a lot of ammo for very little cost (with .38's). When the skill level rises, you can then move on to magnums and you will never be wanting for more power. Some people make a real big deal about firepower, but if you can't handle a situation with 6 well-aimed magnums, you've got pretty big problems. In addition, its my opinion that a revolver is a little safer when you're fumbling around in the dark, half asleep.

If you do choose an auto-loader, train with it relentlessly. Learn to deal with all of the problems that are likely (clearing jams, etc). One thing that thousands of rounds down range, shooting next to guys with autoloaders has taught me is that you must EXPECT to have malfunctions. On the rare occasion that I ever had problems with my revolver, it was always due to poor reloads. All I had to do was keep pulling the trigger until the next good round fired. With an auto-loader, you are out of business until you clear whatever your problem is. If you do choose a 1911, keep that trigger pull north of 3 3/4 lbs if its going to be a defensive gun.

The best advice I can give you, whatever gun you choose, is to go to a reputable shooting school (Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, Chapman Academy, Tactical Defense Institute are all good). After 5 days and a few thousand rounds, you will have more confidence and practical skill than a couple years of casual practice could give you.

Link Posted: 1/3/2003 7:04:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/3/2003 7:09:38 AM EST by Praxus]
Get the H&K USP .45 or the Colt 1911A1. Since I'm American and like people to buy American things, I say buy the Colt;)
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 11:34:11 PM EST
BTT
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 12:36:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By Vermilion:
I just bought my Dad one for Christmas.. to replace his Glock 19 9mm and he said he didn't even know why he had that POS glock anymore hr

Yeah no kidding, Glocks are such pieces of shit. Those 65% of LE (including FBI) who use Glocks are obviously idiots. Go ahead and mail me your Glock and I'll dispose of it properly, I'll even cover your SH.
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