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Posted: 3/22/2006 3:22:03 PM EDT
I have been thinking about getting a hand gun for protection and target practice. There is a range near my house and I think I would like the piece of mind knowing I had a surprise for someone who wanted to break into my place.

I have shot all sorts of pistols, rifles, and shot guns under the supervision of experienced gun owner friends of mine. I have never owned my own gun and have had no formal training. I have gone over safety and basic things with my friends and have always been supervised. This gun shop / range offers classes so I thought i would take one of those before I ever bought something. One of my friends who works for the FBI is carries a Sig and he says those are good. He also mentioned CZ, Glock, Beretta, HK, and others. I think those come with some big price tags $

If I do this I'm not looking for the top of the line with all the bells and whistles that a new gun owner like myself wouldn't be able to utilize or appreciate.... but I'm not looking for crap either.

Also what caliber is the best bang for the buck besides .22 . I was thinking 9mm but I really don't know much. Like I said I would like to do some target shooting so I don't want to blow the bank shooting this thing. I would feel good just having a .22 in the house over nothing. I don't need to knock down an elephant but I figure if I'm going to do this I need something with a bit more than a 22.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:43:01 PM EDT
The Glock 19 is an excellent first handgun. I started with a Glock.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:55:18 PM EDT
I'm of the opinion that nothing beats a .45 for self defense. But nothing beats a 9mm for cheap ammo. Also, a 9mm in a pair of trained hands can be just as deadly as a .45 for your self defense concern.

I have shot a Glock 17, HK USP .45, and various .22 pistols. I have had significant time behind a Beretta 92fs and a Sig 226. I love both the Beretta and the Sig, but I seem to shoot better with the 92. The Glock I think is a love or hate gun. It can't be beat for reliability and simplicity, but the grip is uncomfortable for me.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 6:13:01 PM EDT
Glock 17 was my first.


Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
The Glock 19 is an excellent first handgun. I started with a Glock.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 6:17:38 PM EDT
I was quite pleased with the Walther P99QA .40 as my first. Ridiculously easy to break down and operate, decocker is an awesome feature, well made, ergonomic, accurate. Definitely worth a look for your first. Also avail in 9mm.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:48:48 PM EDT
Sound like you have been getting good advice. For the price a CZ75 can't be beat, and the quality is excellent. I have owned all the weapons you mentioned and find the CZ the most affordable and comfortable weapon to handle and shoot. You might also want to look at a nice .357 revolver, if you start buying guns, obtaining a .357 is inevitable. It is a full power multi purpose round.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 1:02:57 AM EDT
Here ya go:

Link Posted: 3/23/2006 2:22:38 AM EDT
It sounds like you need a GLOCK 9mm.

I would say the G19...
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 2:58:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By skrateshooter:
Sound like you have been getting good advice. For the price a CZ75 can't be beat, and the quality is excellent. I have owned all the weapons you mentioned and find the CZ the most affordable and comfortable weapon to handle and shoot.



+1. i love mine. also look a the ruger pistols. they run generally no higher than $375 for the 9mm varieties. and 9mm is probably the way to go for a first pistol. i was talking to a guy at the gun store/range i shoot at about these issues. and he agreed with me that for first pistols, a decocker or manual safety is a must. the passive safety of a glock is not a good idea for noobies. while i know you have some experience, all of that knowledge might just go out the window when you get your own gun in your hands. i am sure you are safe but i strongly suggest a pistol with either decocker or safety.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 4:53:49 AM EDT
For your very first gun, I recommend a revolver. In order to save money, how about a used S&W gun, I would say a L-frame model 586/686 or a K-frame model 19/66. Or a new Ruger GP100, the Rugers have the most comfortable factory I've ever felt. Or a Taurus medium frame revolver. Some of the older Taurus revolvers faintly resemble S&W guns, that is because years ago the Brazilian company was owned by the same holding company that owned S&W . Get either with 4-6" barrel. 38spl ammo is really cheap, and you can shoot the more powerful 357Rem Mag round.

Practice with your new revolver and practice some more. When you get good and comfortable, the step up to an auto-pistol.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 4:59:44 AM EDT
.22

My new baby is a Ruger 22/45. I wish I'd bought it years ago. Good for practice.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 5:35:46 AM EDT
I'll give you the best advice, that nobody else has given you.

Go to that range down the street and RENT the pistols you would like to have.
Shoot tham all and see what one "fits" you best. Buy it, shoot the piss out of it!

Now, once you get this pistol, you're screwed..... they are like lays potato chips, you can't just have one!

enjoy, and welcome to the loonie farm
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 7:36:31 AM EDT
I'm of two minds.

First, you cannot go wrong with a good revolver in .357. You will have a nice powerful cartrige and a cheaper less powerful plinking option all in one gun. S&W's 686+ models with the 7 shot cylinder are nice, as are Ruger's GP100 offerings. I'd go for a 4 to 6 inch barreled model.

Second, however, if you believe a semi-auto is better suited for you, one of the best starter guns, in my view, is the venerable Makarov. The bulgarian ones on the market are pretty good, and still inexpensive. The 9x18 mak round is found in plentiful loadings from wolf and others (Barnaul makes an amazingly good performing hollowpoint). The Makarov is the "SKS of handguns" -- its a simple, robust, no nonsense design with a good feature set, fine accuracy, and lots of durability at a reasonable cost. In fact, it is my view that these guns are built like a brick shithouse.

If you're new to handguns, please please PLEASE, be mindful of your muzzle control. I've been swept by the muzzle of loaded hanguns far more often at the range than rifles, as its easy to be careless with a handgun. If you go for a "safetyless" gun like a Glock, please be mindful of the rule about the finger on the trigger, as there is no room for error. You should follow all the safety rules all the time, but some designs are less forgiving. (A Glock, for example, requires that you pull the trigger to strip the gun, making religous inspection of the chamber a MUST).
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 8:40:41 AM EDT
Not interested in a gold Desert Eagle at this time.


Originally Posted By swingset:
Here ya go:

www.brianneely.com/Misc%20Info/firearms/armory/desert_eagle2.jpg

Link Posted: 3/23/2006 8:43:27 AM EDT
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! How much is a CZ75 or a 9mm Glock going to set me back? I think I will go and try everything out but I'm just curious what ball park I'm going to be in. My FBI friend suggested I get a Ruger .22 and then move up. I have shot a Ruger .22 before and I thought it was fun. My only concern is getting money tied up in a .22 and then wanting something more in the near future.

Thanks
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 7:56:33 PM EDT
Glock 17 or 19...
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 10:00:10 PM EDT
You need a 9MM or better. Don't count on a .22 for self defense, except as a last resort.

9MM is the best bang for your buck to me, if you consider performance versus cost.

100 bullets for 10-12 bucks. .40 bullets cost 8 for 50. .45 bullets cost 10 bucks for 50.

I recommend the Springfield XD.

But you really should go with a friend who knows a lot about guns and try them all out. That is the BEST thing to do.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 4:26:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Fenway:
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! How much is a CZ75 or a 9mm Glock going to set me back? I think I will go and try everything out but I'm just curious what ball park I'm going to be in. My FBI friend suggested I get a Ruger .22 and then move up. I have shot a Ruger .22 before and I thought it was fun. My only concern is getting money tied up in a .22 and then wanting something more in the near future.

Thanks



in my area a cz75 will start around $450 and go up from there. but i just saw a cz85 for $400. the only difference is that the 85 is ambidextrous.

i started with .45acp and 9mm when i started shooting. i finally got a ruger .22lr pistol for the sole reason that i wanted to be able to plink and practice for real cheap.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 4:42:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 6:13:44 AM EDT
IMHO. Smith and Wesson 686 6" is a great first handgun for someone in your situation. Start out with .38 specials and move up to .357mag when you're comfortable with the firearm.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 6:18:33 AM EDT
Sig 226 9mm. Glocks and XDs are good too. I just prefer Sigs.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 6:22:59 AM EDT
Thanks again for the help. 1 question. I have heard alot of suggestions about practicing with a 22 and then moving up. But how is shooting a 22 anything like a 9 40 45 etc. I have shot a couple of hand guns in those different calibers and I remember thinking the 22 was like a toy compared to firing those?

Right now I think I'm considering a Ruger Mark III 22/45. Or a Glock 19 if I decide to go bigger then a 22 for my first gun. What is the Glock 19 market like $500 + ?



Originally Posted By aaronrb204:

Originally Posted By Fenway:
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! How much is a CZ75 or a 9mm Glock going to set me back? I think I will go and try everything out but I'm just curious what ball park I'm going to be in. My FBI friend suggested I get a Ruger .22 and then move up. I have shot a Ruger .22 before and I thought it was fun. My only concern is getting money tied up in a .22 and then wanting something more in the near future.

Thanks



in my area a cz75 will start around $450 and go up from there. but i just saw a cz85 for $400. the only difference is that the 85 is ambidextrous.

i started with .45acp and 9mm when i started shooting. i finally got a ruger .22lr pistol for the sole reason that i wanted to be able to plink and practice for real cheap.

Link Posted: 3/24/2006 6:39:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 6:42:33 AM EDT by Wave]
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 6:51:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Graziani:
Glock 17 was my first.


Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
The Glock 19 is an excellent first handgun. I started with a Glock.




+1 for all above statements.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 7:05:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 7:11:53 AM EDT by ShadowCompany]

Originally Posted By Fenway:
Thanks again for the help. 1 question. I have heard alot of suggestions about practicing with a 22 and then moving up. But how is shooting a 22 anything like a 9 40 45 etc. I have shot a couple of hand guns in those different calibers and I remember thinking the 22 was like a toy compared to firing those?

Right now I think I'm considering a Ruger Mark III 22/45. Or a Glock 19 if I decide to go bigger then a 22 for my first gun. What is the Glock 19 market like $500 + ?



Originally Posted By aaronrb204:

Originally Posted By Fenway:
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! How much is a CZ75 or a 9mm Glock going to set me back? I think I will go and try everything out but I'm just curious what ball park I'm going to be in. My FBI friend suggested I get a Ruger .22 and then move up. I have shot a Ruger .22 before and I thought it was fun. My only concern is getting money tied up in a .22 and then wanting something more in the near future.

Thanks



in my area a cz75 will start around $450 and go up from there. but i just saw a cz85 for $400. the only difference is that the 85 is ambidextrous.

i started with .45acp and 9mm when i started shooting. i finally got a ruger .22lr pistol for the sole reason that i wanted to be able to plink and practice for real cheap.




Starting on a .22 is going to help you learn basic shooting skills easier because you don't have to deal with recoil. As an example, my first handgun was an HK USP 45 Compact. I shot over 500 rounds before I was finally able to hit where I was aiming (I had no prior experience with handguns). I was on my own. In your case, however, it sounds like you have an FBI friend who may be able to help you learn the basics. In that case you would be better off starting with a 9mm because your friend could help you learn, the recoil would be relatively low, and you could still use it for a carry gun if you choose. Also, you might get bored quickly with the .22 because it's just a plinking gun.

The first handgun I ever shot was a .44 magnum S&W with an 8" barrel. I recommend you not get one of these as your first handgun.

ETA: The CZ has a great reputation as a great handgun and will run you about $400-450. The SIG P226 also has a great reputation as a great handgun and will be around $675-725. Or you could go with some of the others mentioned - Ruger, S&W, etc.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 7:49:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 8:09:18 AM EDT
Thank you all very much for your suggestions. I really appreciate the feedback and am feeling better about making a decision in the near future!
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 10:35:55 AM EDT

That xd9 gets some great reviews. Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't have that on my list.



Sounds like to me, you are an ideal canidate for a Springfield XD9. The XD9 combines the trigger safety (drop the gun on the ground safety) of the Glock with the back of the handle safety of the tried and true 1911 .45. That means pretty much your hand has to be on the gun properly and finger on the trigger for it to go off. This is important for holstering as well as not much thought is required to pull and use while maintaining a higher degree of safety. The round in chamber and cocked indicators are both visible and can be checked by touch in the dark. The 4" barrel is a decent size for both conceal carry as well as decent range groupings. The polymer body is sturdy but reduces weight which is important for conceal carry. The handgrip is at a good angle and size that is more comfortable to the average or beginning shooter which reduces your learning curve. The lever tear down is simple to use which makes cleaning easier. This is important to beginners cause a complicated system creates a natural hesitancy to both cleaning and eventually shooting.

Here's a link to the SA site for the XD.

www.springfield-armory.com/prod-xdpstl-service.shtml

Hope this helps.

Tj


Link Posted: 3/24/2006 11:05:58 AM EDT
Start with a GLOCK 19 GLOCKS are EXstremly durable, and last foreever, they are easy to take apart (2 seconds) and therefore you can keep it clean, also ammo is cheap and you can shoot this firearm alot more then you are gonna shoot a .45 Auto, buy one you will love it

one note, GLOCKS are the best gun, but they also lack a few safety features, as long as you are cafeful and treat it like it was loaded anytime you touch it you will be fine,


good luck
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 11:48:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BIKECOP29:
Sig 226 9mm. Glocks and XDs are good too. I just prefer Sigs.


+1
Or a 229 9mm.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 1:06:36 PM EDT
I've enjoyed my SigSauer P228 quite a bit!

I would rent a 228 or a 226 if you get the chance.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 10:16:29 PM EDT
I still say spend $300 and get yourself a .22. After that, you can move up to whatever handgun you like, and continue to practice fundamentals. My .22 has done me so much good in the last few weeks I can't even explain it. I am totally sold on .22 pistols after buying one!
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:16:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARer:

Originally Posted By BIKECOP29:
Sig 226 9mm. Glocks and XDs are good too. I just prefer Sigs.


+1
Or a 229 9mm.



Sigs are by far my favorite pistols; my Sig 229 is my currently the pistol I spend the most time with. I also have spent a lot of time recently with a 9mm XD, and I have been very impressed by that, too.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 11:49:50 AM EDT
GLOCK 17 I GOT IT AS A DUTY GUN IN 1993 AND IT STILL RIDES IN MY DUTY HOLSTER TO THIS DAY.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 12:22:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TANKER01:
GLOCK 17 I GOT IT AS A DUTY GUN IN 1993 AND IT STILL RIDES IN MY DUTY HOLSTER TO THIS DAY.



Welcome to ARFCOM!
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 12:42:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fenway:
That xd9 gets some great reviews. Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't have that on my list.



Sounds like to me, you are an ideal canidate for a Springfield XD9. The XD9 combines the trigger safety (drop the gun on the ground safety) of the Glock with the back of the handle safety of the tried and true 1911 .45. That means pretty much your hand has to be on the gun properly and finger on the trigger for it to go off. This is important for holstering as well as not much thought is required to pull and use while maintaining a higher degree of safety. The round in chamber and cocked indicators are both visible and can be checked by touch in the dark. The 4" barrel is a decent size for both conceal carry as well as decent range groupings. The polymer body is sturdy but reduces weight which is important for conceal carry. The handgrip is at a good angle and size that is more comfortable to the average or beginning shooter which reduces your learning curve. The lever tear down is simple to use which makes cleaning easier. This is important to beginners cause a complicated system creates a natural hesitancy to both cleaning and eventually shooting.

Here's a link to the SA site for the XD.

www.springfield-armory.com/prod-xdpstl-service.shtml

Hope this helps.

Tj






+1 to the XD. I bought my first pistol the day I turned 21, it was an XD40 4inch from gander Mountain when they were going for $399.

I didn't do the best job of shopping around/shooting other guns, for what reason i dont know, I knew I didnt want a glock. Being a first time gun owner, I wanted a gun that would go bang by pulling the trigger and not worrying about manual safeties. The XD just seemed to make sense. Mags weren't too bad at the time. It was in 40SW, so ammo wasn't as bad as .45acp/.357/10mm

2 years later, and probably 4000 rounds through it, i haven't had any problems other than user error
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 12:51:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By Nate1:
Glock 17 or 19...



I agree, you can then buy a .22 conversion kit for cheap practice.



+2

mixed w/ cheap, easy to get mags/parts/stuff, the Glock is the best to start with
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:19:30 PM EDT
a .38 revolver might be a good idea for a first gun. Simple, cheap (Taurus, Rossi) you can leave it loaded for ages, no need to worry about magazine spring compressing etc etc. Ideal "under the bed" gun.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 4:49:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tim84K10:
.22

My new baby is a Ruger 22/45. I wish I'd bought it years ago. Good for practice.

........... .there ya go...........
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 3:03:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tim84K10:
I still say spend $300 and get yourself a .22. After that, you can move up to whatever handgun you like, and continue to practice fundamentals. My .22 has done me so much good in the last few weeks I can't even explain it. I am totally sold on .22 pistols after buying one!



+1 Dont understimate the lowly 22LR.

Otherwise,

"Ruger P. Low cost (Buy lots of ammo w savings). Reliable. Ugly. Loved by owners. Hated by non owners. Backed by Ruger customer service and reliability.

The A-10 warthog of handguns. No pilot wants it. Once they fly it you cant pry them away. They always come home no matter how many shots they take."

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