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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/26/2006 9:03:36 AM EDT
I have never owned a handgun before and do not have too much experience shooting. However, I love firearms, handgun to be exact. I just turned the legal age in my state to purchase a handgun and sent in for my firearms liscense. Should be receiving it soon.

I come to you today for advice on a new, first handgun.

My first choice would be a 1911. I love the look and power of a 1911 but I am not sure if the power, learning curve and safety is to much for a first time gun owner.

The number one on my list is the Kimber Ultra Carry or a S & W 1911

my second choice would be a 9mm, anything with good quality!

My question to all that choose to answer is what's a good first handgun that would be safe, easy to handle and most importantly, quality. I would hate to be discouraged from a firearm lacking quality.

Looking for any advice/suggestions??
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 9:23:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2006 9:24:00 AM EDT by triburst1]
Shoot some different weapons if possible and see what you like best. At the the very least, handle a few guns and see waht feels best. I notice you are in IL, so no CCW and size shouldn't be an issue.

For your first gun, I would suggest a 9mm. It has less recoil which will help in developing good skills, and the ammo is much cheaper which means you can practice more. If you decide you want a 1911, a Springfield Milspec would be a good place to start. If you want a 9mm, I would suggest a GLOCK. GLOCKs are not expensive, easy to learn, simple to work on, and and have cheap, easily available mags.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 9:46:57 AM EDT
There is something to be said about having a "learning curve" and the 1911 is not a bad choice for a first time buyer if it fits you. a good one that runs well out of the box will serve you well and offer the ability to personalize it to suit your tastes. As far as safety, there are safety issues that one has to learn with EVERY gun. a 1911 or any other gun is as safe as the person handling it. Some are put aback a little by the thought of cocked and locked carry with the 1911, but like ANY gun in good working order, it will only go off if the trigger is pulled. There are simpler guns, and there are ones that are more complex as well.

Either the Smith or Kimber you mention will be fine so long as you do your part and learn how it functions and are responsible. There are no safety issues with 1911's as long as you do your part, as with any gun. That and with nearly 100 years of production going on, if there were flaws with the design, they would have been hashed out by now. I am not sure by what you meant by power, I think you mean that it may be too powerful for you. There is no such thing. Like safety, recoil management is something that can be learned.

There is also something to be said about a comfort level around guns and certain gun types. IF for some reason you are uncomfortable with a gun, then it won't work for you as well as one that you are comfortable with. Sometimes this discomfort can be alleviated with education, other times it can't. I have an aversion to little .38 snubbies for some reason. I like them, but feel uncomfortable with them around the house, so I do not own any.


There are too many other quality guns out there to list. Add to that size and ergonomics and function, recommending one for you is virtually impossible. You will need to go to gun stores or some other place where you can fondle guns and hopefully shoot them as well. It is hard to go wrong with Beretta, Glock, HK, or Sig guns, and many are served well by Ruger and Taurus guns as well as other brands. The general rule is to stay away from anything made of pot metal and you will be okay.


Check your hometown forums and you may find a few folks in the area who are willing to help you with the learning curve as well. In the mean time, this should be your mantra: ALWAYS TREAT EVERY GUN AS IF IT WERE LOADED. That means NEVER point it, unloaded or not, at something you are not willing to destroy. You are the primary safety of any firearm.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 9:52:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2006 9:54:11 AM EDT by Mattl]
1911 does not really have a high learning curve it is a simple intuitive/instinctive gun. If it is recoil you worry about get a compensated barrel or muzzle brake.

Heres mine note the bushing brake, simple cheap and it works.


Here you go.

My reccomend for 9mm are CZ-75 or Glock 19.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 9:59:18 AM EDT
For a shooter with limited handgunning experience, a .22 rimfire semi-auto is still an excellent learning tool.
Ammo is very cheap allowing sufficient practice.
The guns are not expensive either. A few hundred.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 10:22:36 AM EDT
if you want a .45 start with a Kimber Milspec. Personally, I would start with a 9mm. Lower recoil and most importantly cheap ammo. I can get 100 rounds for about $12 at my local gun shop, vs. 50 rounds of .45 for $14. Cheap ammo is important because you will want to get a lot of trigger time to help you learn all the basics really well. It took me awhile to become skilled with a handgun....but maybe I'm a slower learner.

So.....9mm suggestions. Well, judging from my experiences, here goes: Glocks, super reliable and high quality. I find them to be very ugly, but many disagree. Also, they have no safety. This isn't a big deal to most but with your first handgun......well don't learn the importance of trigger discipline by blowing a toe off. Lighter than some, this can transfer into slightly higher recoil. Berettas, also a great place to start. I had a 92 Vertec and loved it. No recoil due to it's slightly heavier weight, accurate.....can't think of any real downsides except that it is too big to carry (IMHO). My buddy has a Springfield XD that I've gotten a lot of trigger time on. Great gun, amazing value for what you get, $450 or so for one. Nicer looking than a Glock, reliable. internal safety and loaded chamber indicator (which are neat little touches). Shorter 4 inch barrel but still very accurate. That was my buddy's first gun and he is still very loyal to the XD line. Also, check out the Sig p226. Sigs are quickly becoming my favorite handgun....you rarely seem to hear anything bad about them around here, which is quite the statement. Good trigger pull, accurate, reliable, etc. They are a bit heavier, like the Beretta. Check out the Sig Pro line as well, it's their venture into polymer handguns (like Glock and the XD). Most people seem to really like them and they are much cheaper, around $500 somewhere.

Anyway, I'm sure I could think of more but that will get you started. Good luck man and congrats on your first handgun....won't be your last.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 10:38:47 AM EDT
assuming you're 21 yo and have a FOID card...find an AR15 member living in your area of Illinois and try out a variety of types/calibers...AR15 members are well represented throughout Illinois so it depends on where you live...maybe post some info in the Illinois Hometown Forum
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