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1/27/2021 11:01:57 PM
1/27/2021 12:46:26 AM
Posted: 3/12/2005 4:16:45 PM EST
I'm going to be purchasing a handgun in the next few weeks (still determining what type but likely a Sig, H&K or kimber).  I'm uncertain as to what caliber I should be thinking about.  My more knowledgeable friends have said:
1. "go big or go home--.45.  The power is worth it."  

2.  "9mm, the price for ammo is cheaper and will save you a lot of money over the lifetime of the weapon"  

3.  ".40 or .357, because either is plenty of gun, while still being manageable to shoot."  

So I'm lost--all seem like reasonable points.  Any advice out there?  I'm a pretty big guy and have shot a Sig 220 .45 and found it very comfortable, but I'm open to suggestions.


Thanks.

Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:38:08 PM EST
This is almost opening a can of worms asking this type of question. You will normally get the same answers you got elsewhere here. The only good answer, one you may no want to hear, is to find a range that rents handguns and try out a couple/few of all the calibres you mentioned. Find the one that you can shoot best and sits best in your hand. People can recommend to their harts content that a certain gun is the best. That will mean didly to you as what works for one person may not work for you.

One more thing. The calibre that you choose isn't quite as big a deal as it used to be as long as you use a modern premium defensive ammo. Use the calibre as your second citeria under which one works and shoots best for you.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:44:04 PM EST
Jualdeaux, thanks for the reply.  I'm going to a range on Friday to shoot a Sig P226 in .357 and another (not sure of the type) in 9mm, so I'll be able to try a few different types.  Won't be able to try the .40 though.


In terms of "premium defensive ammo," I have to confess I am a total beginner at this.  When I went to the range the last time we were shooting Federal in the Sig 220.  What types are considered premium, versus lower quality ones?  Which type of ammo should I avoid?

thanks.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 5:04:04 PM EST
I am assuming you used Federal American Eagle for your plinking? That is fine for range use and plinking. I use Winchester White Box USA brand for that usually. Range ammo is usually Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and that is cheap and plentiful. Premium Defensive ammo is Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) usually and there are a number of good choices. Some of the most popular is Speer Gold Dots. Federal Hydroshock and possibly Winchester Ranger T. The first two are more readily available. The Ranger T is only marketed to LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) but is legal to own by civvies, depending on where you live of course. The premium ammo is quite a bit more expensive as you'll find out.

When at the range, it is fine to use the cheap stuff for general practice and marksmanship drills. You should use some of the premium stuff for practice, though, to make sure you know what you will be using in an incident.

As for what to avoid, that depends on the gun you decide on. Sometimes certain types of ammo don't like cetain guns. It is more of a trial and error test at this point. Again, it is also a personal thing. Some people swear that Wolf ammo is the dirtiest, cheapest and worst ammo out there. Others swear that their Glocks eat it up with no problem so they are going to use it no matter who says what about it.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 5:05:25 PM EST
Very first???

22lr.......

Link Posted: 3/12/2005 5:09:47 PM EST
9mm or .45.

Don't bother with the .40.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 6:16:18 PM EST
Get yourself a non-Kimber 1911 in .45acp.   The 1911 is a tried-and-true design and the .45acp is probably the best handgun cartridge.  But stay away from Kimbers.  Those in the know will tell you they suck big time.  If you want to go cheap get an SA MilSpec.  If you can afford it get a Les Baer or Wilson Combat pistol.

Did I say that Kimbers suck?  Sigs and HKs are fine pistols, but I still prefer the 1911.  Once you try the trigger on a finely tuned 1911 every other pistol will seem like junk.

But stay away from the Kimber.  
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 6:26:34 PM EST
Kimber is a fine 1911...I and many others on this site own them, and have put countless rounds through  them without any issues what so ever, and I would hardly call those who do own them "people who are not in the know"... If you do have any issues with Kimber, they will take care of you.  Bottom line is, 1911's have issues, no matter who you get one from.  But once they get running, its pretty hard to stop them.

I have an HK USP .40, and it is a fine firearm.  One of the best in the world.  If I could do it over, I would get a USP .45 instead though.  .40 doesn't do much for me, which is why I am selling mine and putting the cash towards a USP Tac.  HK's to me point like 1911's, have similar controls, so the crossover is very natural when I go back between my 1911's and my USP.

I have fired sig's before, but have never owned one, so I really can't say much about them.  From what I understand, they have QUITE a following, and everyone who I know that owns one absolutely loves it.

IMO, stick with 9mm or .45...After years of shooting 9, 40, and .45, I have decided that .40 really doesnt have a place in my collection.  If I want more power than a 9mm, I go to .45.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 6:31:00 PM EST
Also, regarding number 3 specifically...

.40 to me is one of the most difficult rounds to shoot...not that I cannot handle it, but it has a very sharp and fast recoil.  Take the speed of a 9mm cycling, and the torque of a .45, and thats .40

9mm is quick, not much kick.

.45 is slow, but has some torque behind it.

ABOVE ALL- the best bullet you can get is one that you are comfortable with.  SHOT PLACEMENT is key.  If you land the round where you want it to go, it won't matter if its 9mm, or .45.  

Regardless, you will most likely end up buying one, and then the other not too long from now, so its not that big of a deal.  Both will serve you well.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 6:37:05 PM EST
Kimber are fine weapons.  At least mine has been.  And every other one I've ever seen.  But I'd second the .22lr suggestion.  

You could get by with a 9mm fairly well, for a first and only handgun, and there are a lot of good 9mm's out there.  I shoot Glocks the best of the 9's, and am a fan of 1911's for .45.  YMMV.  For learning to shoot though I wouldn't recommend anything bigger than a 9.  It can be done on larger calibers, but it makes for a steeper learning curve.  A Glock 19 is one of the better do all 9mm handguns out there.  So is a sig 226.

A glock gives you the option of adding a .22lr adapter and shooting cheap and plentiful rimfire out of your carry piece while you learn trigger control.  

Whatever you choose, find out where they host local IDPA, GSSF or some other action shooting competitions and give it a try.  It's a great way to sharpen up your skills and get a lot of good free shooting tips.  A plus is that you can easily tell whose advice to pay attention to at the end of the match when you look at the scores.  Don't be shy about it either.  All you need to be able to do is handle the weapon safely and get the bullets on a sheet of paper at 10 yards and you're ready to give it a try.  The only people who ever "embarrass" themselves are the ones who shoot there mouths off about how good they are.    
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 6:49:09 PM EST
Thanks for all the replies.  I was going to take a basic handgun safety/introduction course and then apply for my CCW.  While I wait for the application to process, I'm going to buy my own gun and then attend a more advanced course aimed at concealed carry.  I don't think it would be responsible to carry concealed until I am familiar and competent with my own weapon, so no matter what caliber I end up choosing I'll be sure to learn to control it.

Sorry if I started a Kimber/anti-Kimber string. But thanks again for the help.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 6:59:47 PM EST
.380

.40

.45
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 7:02:25 PM EST

Quoted:
Thanks for all the replies.  I was going to take a basic handgun safety/introduction course and then apply for my CCW.  While I wait for the application to process, I'm going to buy my own gun and then attend a more advanced course aimed at concealed carry.  I don't think it would be responsible to carry concealed until I am familiar and competent with my own weapon, so no matter what caliber I end up choosing I'll be sure to learn to control it.

Sorry if I started a Kimber/anti-Kimber string. But thanks again for the help.



You did not start anything.  People who claim that they know enough to put down a well respected 1911 manufacturer that has a VERY high following with civilians, LE, and now moving toward the military start crap.

Either way, do not EVER feel like you need to spend 2k+ to get an outstanding 1911.  A springfield loaded/TRP, or a Kimber TLE series will get the job done, and do it better than you'd ever expect.  Get a trigger job if you feel the need, and call it a day.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:02:55 PM EST
For your first, a 9mm. It will give you more trigger time for the same $. Go with a Glock 19, once you are familiar with the weapon and learn some essentials, you can stay with the same caliber and move to a smaller size or you could invest in a whole other cartridge... at any rate, if you go with the g19 and make your second purchase a Glock, you will be ahead of the game being familiar with the weapon platform. Obviously this applies to HK and SIG, in the end the results may be the same, I am partial to Glocks so thats my spin.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:21:20 PM EST
ugghhh,

Go handle the different weapons and decide which feels best in your hand and which setup you like best.

If the gun is fighting you all the time and you don't learn to employ it properly, caliber isnt going to mean dick in the scheme of things.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:26:16 PM EST

Quoted:
Thanks for all the replies.  I was going to take a basic handgun safety/introduction course and then apply for my CCW.  While I wait for the application to process, I'm going to buy my own gun and then attend a more advanced course aimed at concealed carry.  I don't think it would be responsible to carry concealed until I am familiar and competent with my own weapon, so no matter what caliber I end up choosing I'll be sure to learn to control it.

Sorry if I started a Kimber/anti-Kimber string. But thanks again for the help.



That's certainly the responsible way of going about it.  If you're in Southern Va, I know there are a lot of guys who come down from as far as Richmond to the regular IDPA matches in Oxford, NC.  It's definitely worth a trip if you are interested.  There are bound to be matches closer to you as well.

You didn't start an anti-kimber thread.  There's nothing to be sorry for.  Somepeople just enjoy starting Ford vs. Chevy fights.  Welcome to shooting.    Beware, it's addictive.  
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:05:30 PM EST

Quoted:
ugghhh,

Go handle the different weapons and decide which feels best in your hand and which setup you like best.

If the gun is fighting you all the time and you don't learn to employ it properly, caliber isnt going to mean dick in the scheme of things.

very well said.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:34:47 PM EST

Quoted:

Quoted:
Thanks for all the replies.  I was going to take a basic handgun safety/introduction course and then apply for my CCW.  While I wait for the application to process, I'm going to buy my own gun and then attend a more advanced course aimed at concealed carry.  I don't think it would be responsible to carry concealed until I am familiar and competent with my own weapon, so no matter what caliber I end up choosing I'll be sure to learn to control it.

Sorry if I started a Kimber/anti-Kimber string. But thanks again for the help.



You did not start anything.  People who claim that they know enough to put down a well respected 1911 manufacturer that has a VERY high following with civilians, LE, and now moving toward the military start crap.

Either way, do not EVER feel like you need to spend 2k+ to get an outstanding 1911.  A springfield loaded/TRP, or a Kimber TLE series will get the job done, and do it better than you'd ever expect.  Get a trigger job if you feel the need, and call it a day.



I'm sorry, fella, but the fact is, Kimbers suck.  Big time.  Only an ignorant amateur would own a Kimber.  

Frickin' internet armchair commandos.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:43:44 PM EST
edited out bad karma.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:47:09 PM EST
It sounds like you are doing the right thing.  Shoot them all, find the one you are comfortable with and buy it.  Everyone here has their opinion but you need to shoot what you are comfortable with.  Focus on reliability and accuracy.  
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:48:49 PM EST

Quoted:
It sounds like you are doing the right thing.  Shoot them all, find the one you are comfortable with and buy it.  Everyone here has their opinion but you need to shoot what you are comfortable with.  Focus on reliability and accuracy.  



+1
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:35:38 AM EST
buy one of each
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:43:56 AM EST

Quoted:
Very first???

22lr.......




Yep you have to walk before you can run.  Then I would get a 9mm followed by a .45
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:42:20 AM EST

Quoted:
This is almost opening a can of worms asking this type of question.



+1



But for the first, I say 9mm.
Cheap ammo is conducive to lots of practice and in +P loads and heavier bullet weights, 9mm has decent stopping power.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:27:41 AM EST
I know autos are in vogue, but don't forget to check out the range revolvers, too.  I have both, and have trained dozens of shooters with both, but still believe a revolver makes a great first gun.  It's not the only choice, but neither is the auto.  My personal preference is three-inch Smith & Wesson K-frames, because once tuned, there is no sweeter trigger on earth.  Autos can be tuned, but only so far, especially the DA autos.  When I have to go in harm's way, I pack an auto and spare mags.  When I want to enjoy myself, I take revolvers and a TON of ammo!  And as has been mentioned, a good 22 pistol of either persuasion is a GREAT training gun/plinker/practice piece/pest popper.  No one should be without a 22, it's just downright frickin' un-American!

Papajohn the Pacifist Pistol Proponent for Popping Pesky Pissed-Off Poodles
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:59:39 AM EST

Quoted:
9mm or .45.

Don't bother with the .40.



+1

if you want close in, old-school power, .45acp (1911 or glock 30)
if you want to train alot, carry hi-cap, and spend as little cash as possible: 9mm (glock 19)

h/w, if money is not an option, i would look at the .357sig--power of the .40, but better 100yrd groupings and less drop, and more energy than the .40 at 100yrds (close in power and the ability to reach out there)--glock 32 or sig p-229

i use the 10mm glock though--its all i got
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:09:50 AM EST
If you are looking for a beginner cartridge handgun, I'd strongly recommend one in .22LR.  If you don't plan on shooting regularly (ie. monthly) to remain proficient, I'd recommend sticking with a DA revolver.  Start w/ .22LR then move up to .38SPL.

If you plan to shoot regularly and insist on a semi-auto, you might consider getting one that offers the ability to get a .22LR conversion kit with it.  (some models of Glock, Berretta, Taurus, and CZ).  That way the controls and grip will be the same for your regular caliber (helps with more accurate shooting).

If you still insist on getting a center fire semi-auto as a beginner, I'd start with nothing more powerful than 9mm.  

IMHO, the reason for starting small is to learn proper techniques and get acclimated to the recoil and noise.  You can even practice some of the basics with an Airsoft, BB, or pellet pistol.



Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:23:53 AM EST
Guys  I always wonder why people always bring up money issues and definsive ammo?  If your going to put your and yours life in the hands of a cartridge you had better damn well make sure it works.   Sure 9mm is great and cheap, and you'll get a lot of range time with the cheap stuff but are you going to be using winchester white box fmj when you need to put someobody down?  I know its going to get you used to your weapon but if its not the ammo your going to be useing as definsive why practise with it in your definsive pistol?  I use and practise with black hills 230 jhp in the blue box.  Its more expensive than winchester and what not but it performs well and is accurate as hell.  I have a 1911 in , dare I say it, 9mm for range use when I need to run through a bunch of the cheap stuff.   When I shoot .45 though its always jhp blue box.  

Just my .02 take it as you will.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:17:51 AM EST

Quoted:
Guys  I always wonder why people always bring up money issues and definsive ammo?  If your going to put your and yours life in the hands of a cartridge you had better damn well make sure it works.   Sure 9mm is great and cheap, and you'll get a lot of range time with the cheap stuff but are you going to be using winchester white box fmj when you need to put someobody down?  I know its going to get you used to your weapon but if its not the ammo your going to be useing as definsive why practise with it in your definsive pistol?  I use and practise with black hills 230 jhp in the blue box.  Its more expensive than winchester and what not but it performs well and is accurate as hell.  I have a 1911 in , dare I say it, 9mm for range use when I need to run through a bunch of the cheap stuff.   When I shoot .45 though its always jhp blue box.  

Just my .02 take it as you will.



personally, i like the .45acp, 10mm, and .357sig for defensive uses

h/w, i cant afford to be shooting 1000 rnds of .45acp and NOT 10mm/.357sig every few months or so, cause like lots of college folks, i am poor

recoil and all of that stuff asside, it just costs a heck of a lot more to shoot any defensively caliber bullet in anything other than FMJ

as to the different types of ammo in the same caliber, i practice shooting FMJs at $12 a box of 50 ( every month) in my 10mm mostly, because my cor-bon 135grs cost ~$18 a box of 20 (about a box every 2 months)

yea, yea, i need to switch to something cheaper......

i'm limited on my budget
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 11:40:19 AM EST

Quoted:
Guys  I always wonder why people always bring up money issues and definsive ammo?  If your going to put your and yours life in the hands of a cartridge you had better damn well make sure it works.   Sure 9mm is great and cheap, and you'll get a lot of range time with the cheap stuff but are you going to be using winchester white box fmj when you need to put someobody down?  I know its going to get you used to your weapon but if its not the ammo your going to be useing as definsive why practise with it in your definsive pistol?  I use and practise with black hills 230 jhp in the blue box.  Its more expensive than winchester and what not but it performs well and is accurate as hell.  I have a 1911 in , dare I say it, 9mm for range use when I need to run through a bunch of the cheap stuff.   When I shoot .45 though its always jhp blue box.  

Just my .02 take it as you will.



Beucase there is no substitute for trigger time. I shoot 500 rnds of 9mm range ammo at least twice a month and to partly address your issue of shooting defensive ammo, I always end with  50 rounds of 147gr Rangers.

Sure, go with a 10mm for the power, but it wont amount to squat if you are a mediocre shot becuase you cant afford practice ammo on a regular basis and you have a flinch worse than Richard Pryor at a white pride convention due your lack of practice. I would start with a 9mm and then as I said in my previous post, move on to a new cartridge but stay with the same platform. I chose a Glock 32 as a defensive side arm, it was not a hard change for me becuase I own a Glock 19, I simply took my proficiencies (and lack of!) with the 19 and applied them to the 32.

Being your first side arm, you are starting with a clean slate, there really is no right or wrong answer to your question, only personal opinions. I think the bottom line has been shown, everyone has an opinion and most vary, some to the point of blatant insults and over the top arguments(none on this threadhave
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 4:22:52 PM EST
No offense guys, but the magic is in the magician not the wand or the pixie dust that flies out of the end of it.  

Of course it's a good idea to practice with your carry ammo from time to time.  And of course run a few boxes of it through to make sure it works.  But, there is nothing wrong with getting most of your trigger time using the bulk "Whit Box" stuff and saving your Gold Dots for the bad guys.  I'm a grad student, and certainly can't afford to shoot nothing but 15 dollar per 20 wonder pellets.I refresh my carry ammo every couple of months anyway and blast through my old stuff when I change over.  But other than that, make mine the cheap stuff.  

If you can afford to shoot nothing but your bad guy ammo, good for you.  But, I practice a LOT with my own reloads and the cheap range fodder.  I shoot a lot of matches with my reloads and cheap range fodder.  And I'm quite confident in my ability to put a Gold Dot where it counts from within the 10 yards I'd probably have to use it if I ever had to.  
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:26:09 PM EST


  Haven't had a single problem with my Kimber Custom II. Even bought it used. We'll maybe original owner put fifty rounds thru it. Not a scratch on it. Paid $450.00 for it.

 As for caliber, I carry a Glock 19 (9mm). Although I love shooting my Kimber (.45acp).
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:33:58 PM EST

Quoted:
9mm or .45.

Don't bother with the .40.



+1

.40 is just a +P 9mm load.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:43:17 PM EST
i like mine in .40
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 11:36:12 PM EST
Sorry but I am not much help because I like them all. I would go with a 9mm though.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 11:54:19 PM EST

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Thanks for all the replies.  I was going to take a basic handgun safety/introduction course and then apply for my CCW.  While I wait for the application to process, I'm going to buy my own gun and then attend a more advanced course aimed at concealed carry.  I don't think it would be responsible to carry concealed until I am familiar and competent with my own weapon, so no matter what caliber I end up choosing I'll be sure to learn to control it.

Sorry if I started a Kimber/anti-Kimber string. But thanks again for the help.



You did not start anything.  People who claim that they know enough to put down a well respected 1911 manufacturer that has a VERY high following with civilians, LE, and now moving toward the military start crap.

Either way, do not EVER feel like you need to spend 2k+ to get an outstanding 1911.  A springfield loaded/TRP, or a Kimber TLE series will get the job done, and do it better than you'd ever expect.  Get a trigger job if you feel the need, and call it a day.



I'm sorry, fella, but the fact is, Kimbers suck.  Big time.  Only an ignorant amateur would own a Kimber.  

Frickin' internet armchair commandos.




I wouldn't take advice from this person - they obviously don't know what they're talking about(or is just being an asshole/troll on purpose)... I have shot quite a few Kimbers, and a couple of my buds carry them - IMO, they were all nice pistols...

As for the original question - for a 1st timer, I'd recommend a CZ-75B in 9mm, with the .22 Kadet Kit - that's all you need right there to learn shooting skills, AND defend yourself... Later on, it'll be time to get to the "meat and potatoes" - we're talking 1911s in .45acp - there's nothing wrong with Kimbers, but I prefer older Colts... Also, Springers are a very good value in a decent 1911...


  - georgestrings
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 11:55:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:34:21 AM EST

Quoted:
Get yourself a non-Kimber 1911 in .45acp.   The 1911 is a tried-and-true design and the .45acp is probably the best handgun cartridge.  But stay away from Kimbers.  Those in the know will tell you they suck big time.  If you want to go cheap get an SA MilSpec.  If you can afford it get a Les Baer or Wilson Combat pistol.

Did I say that Kimbers suck?  Sigs and HKs are fine pistols, but I still prefer the 1911.  Once you try the trigger on a finely tuned 1911 every other pistol will seem like junk.

But stay away from the Kimber.  hr


Ok, so why do they suck............
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 3:36:36 PM EST
This whole caliber thing is cracking me up!  "Stay away from the 40."  "The 40 is nothing but a 9+P."  "The 40 is nothing but an answer to a question that hasn't been asked."  My dog is meaner than yours.  My dad can beat up your dad.  What a bunch of crap!  You carry what you train with, you train with the best you have, and you practice MARKSMANSHIP!  Misses don't count, only solid hits, all else is academic.  The advances in ammo over the last few years have made the 9mm far better than it ever was, the 40 will do nearly everything the 45 will, and the 45 is an even better stopper than it already was.  The fact that these silly debates continue only proves to me that some folks can't hit with anything, so their chosen caliber is what matters most.  I think we all need less typing time and more trigger time!Papajohn
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 4:38:43 PM EST
9mm  glock, xd, cz, sig, the list goes on and on.

Its just hard to beat the practice cost  of a 9mm.  Nothing worse than staring at a gun that you can't afford to shoot.  Wouldn't bother me to carry one either if loaded with some quality stoppers.  good luck  
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 4:43:47 PM EST
Whatever gun that you thinks fits you best.  I like glocks, 1911's, hks, sigs, and even s&w and ruger revolvers.  Buy a minimum 9mm, or 38 special if a revolver.  I would buy a glock 17, but that is just me.  Remember that quality counts, don't buy a second rate handgun if you plan on trusting your life to it.  Whatever you buy practice counts, I shoot 400 rounds through my glock and twice that through my ruger mk2 every month.  Knowing that you can put the bullets where you want them as second nature counts for a lot.  One other gun that no one mentioned (that I noticed) was a kahr.  Not the biggest but for a ccw it may be what you are looking for.  I fired a pm9 (composite and blue) at the range last week and from 7 yards rapid fire put 6 out of 7 in the 9 or 10 ring.  That was the first and only time I ever fired a kahr, but I am saving my gun buying money for one now.
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