Neophyte question


February 10, 2005, 12:47 PM
Call me crazy - you'd probably be right - but I bought two firearms to start off this hobby (one wheelgun, one autoloader - I just couldn't decide which way to go and I did research long and hard on which one of each may work for me so what the hell jump in with BOTH feet eh?) even though I'm a complete beginner who has only ever shot prone rifle before and that 20 years ago. For information the wheelgun is an SW 686 4". I've got some decent advice on that one over at the firing line forums and from some revolver fans at work. TFL however is blocked by the company's filter and you aren't so you get the dubious privilege of reducing my ignorance on autoloaders.

Gun in question is a Glock 19. Yes even a neophyte like me knows they engender strong feelings pro and con. I satisfied myself on the KB issue and the safeties before deciding to go that route. However I frankly am not qualified to debate the arcana - just want help on the basics. Here are my questions. BTW I should stress that yes I will be taking safety courses and instruction at the range not just starting on my own - I am a beginner, not an idiot! :)

1 - Is the temptingly cheap but still big brand name Winchester 115gr FMJ ammo safe and reliable to use? Should I consider something else at the range?

2 - The instruction manual on this thing - which I dutifully read - is not exactly beginner-friendly. They assume you know the function of the slide and how far back it should be pulled to a)chamber a round b)lock c)when loading new magazine etc. I confess I am confused. Could anyone offer a quick slide primer so I'm not totally ignorant when I show up for my first lesson?

Thanks all!

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February 10, 2005, 01:01 PM
1 - Is the temptingly cheap but still big brand name Winchester 115gr FMJ ammo safe and reliable to use? Should I consider something else at the range?

Excellent for range use. We call it "Wally World White" because it's very cheap at Wal-Mart.

2 - The instruction manual on this thing - which I dutifully read - is not exactly beginner-friendly. They assume you know the function of the slide and how far back it should be pulled to a)chamber a round b)lock c)when loading new magazine etc. I confess I am confused. Could anyone offer a quick slide primer so I'm not totally ignorant when I show up for my first lesson?

The simple answer- all the way. (For all of your queries.) It will stop going backwards eventually and then either go forward, chambering a new round, or not, and lock, if the magazine is inserted and empty.


PS: The slide need not be locked back to load a magazine. You can insert a mag, and simply cycle the slide.

PPS: You're crazy! :)

February 10, 2005, 01:11 PM
I agree with you on the handbook dmallind. If you think trying to figure out how far to pull back on the slide is confusing, wait till you try and figure out how remove the slide when it comes time to clean it. I just picked up a Glock 22 and the book said to push the slide back 3mm. 3mm? Yeah right?!??!!! Not to mention the fancy hand position to do it. Took me 15 minutes just to get the damned thing off the first time. :eek: I guess learning some new technique is half the fun huh? I can say that now, then I was ready to throw it out the back door. ;)

Oh and for plinking, you can't go wrong with the Wally World White box. Try to find the 100 count box. The rounds are loose and it's a pretty good bargain.

February 10, 2005, 01:25 PM
A neophyte you may call yourself, but when you choose a 686 as your first wheelgun, you place yourself way ahead of the curve. :)

Ditto on knowing about the kB issue before buying a Glock 19. Although Glocks are not my cup of polymer (cough...Steyr M40...cough...Walther P99...ehem. 'scuse me), you've chosen a super-reliable autoloader, for which you will be able to find non-neutered (IOW, normal capacity) magazines readily.

Ugly as sin, though. :barf: ;)

The Winchester White Box ammo you mention is great stuff. Let your heart be not troubled, and blast away.

As far as pulling the slide back:

a) chamber a round: Just pull it all the way back, then let it go. There is no need to hang on to the slide, in an effort to make the round chamber gently. If you need to drop the slide on an empty chamber, though, do continue to grip the slide and let it down gently.

b) lock: If an unloaded magazine is in, just pull the slide back until you hear a click. The click is the slide catch engaging a notch in the slide. If you want to lock back the slide with no magazine present, or with a loaded magazine in (not normally something you'd need or want to do), you will need to apply upward pressure manually on the slide catch with a finger tip, while pulling the slide back.

c) loading a new magazine: Upon firing a magazine empty, the slide will automatically lock back. Remove the magazine, replace with a fresh magazine, and just give the slide a short tug backwards to disengage the slide catch. You can also drop the slide on a fresh magazine by pressing down on the slide catch, but this causes unnecessary wear on the catch. It's good the option is there in the event you need to drop the slide one-handed, though.

One good habit to get in to is indexing your trigger finger against the part of the frame above the trigger guard and below the slide, when manipulating the slide in the above described ways. This way, you still maintain a firm grip on the firearm, and the benefit of the absence of your trigger finger from inside the guard while doing these things is obvious. :neener:

February 10, 2005, 01:41 PM
Perhaps I AM unintentionally ahead of the curve - because it came out of the box with two of what I assume to be the non-neutered 15 rd clips.

Yes I am not looking forward to the first attempt at field stripping. To be honest if it wasn't for questions like this I wouldn't have bought the Smith at all. There is something reassuring in the mechanical minimalism and implicit reliability of a revolver which I assume, perhaps incorrectly, will be diminished in importance as I become more familiar with autoloaders.

Back story on the Glock choice..... I confess I never even considered visual aesthetics in my initial choices and I'm not sure I will in future either. If I did however I have to ask the question, with all respect, that shouldn't a gun be somewhat ugly anyway? I mean its purpose is not there to make somebody on the other end of it smile and say "ooh pretty!" after all. I chose the Glock for its reputation for reliability, for its lightness and CCW possibility while still reatining a decent size and capacity, as well as a light weight where the dreaded polymer actually helps. The second choice was a Ruger p95 - actually the gun that originally got me started looking - and I found the grip less comfy in my smallish hands. The Glock fit perfectly for me. I admittedly did not compare it to the Sigs and HKs because of the substantial price difference, but comnpared to Taurus, Ruger and SWs I handled it just felt more ergonomically sound for me and had the highest capacity. Plus from what more knowledgeable folks have told me it's a lot easier to find accessories, parts and experienced gunsmiths for.

I also confess there was a bit of the "Montblanc" factor in all honesty. Just like people not well versed in fountain pens - my principal collecting hobby by the way - assume that Montblancs are the gold standard everyone should have, when really they are serviceable but nothing special, rmember I am not really a "gun guy" yet and in the general population Glock has that kind of image. Not that this was much of a factor and I'm certainly not out to impress people who are not well informed - but it's there I admit - I knew the name and had heard of its dedicated fan base way before I even knew that HK didn't always mean Hong Kong. For watch guys - I'm not one but I know a few - Rolex has much the same factor I think.

Thanks for the info guys - much appreciated!

Phantom Warrior
February 10, 2005, 02:03 PM
I'm guessing now that the Assault Weapons Ban is done Glock is shipping new guns with full capacity magazines (15 rounds for a Glock 19). Which is a good deal for you.

Regarding Glocks, don't be ashamed for choosing one without being a gun guy. My first handgun was a Glock 23 (same model as your, chambered in .40 Smith & Wesson). I bought it at the ripe old age of 18, the week after I'd gone to a local range shoot. I'd shot a lot of .22 and some shotgun, but knew next to nothing about hangguns. The weekend before I tried to COCK the hammer on a DAO pistol. Can you believe it? </gun snobbery> But seriously, I picked the Glock 23 because I wanted something with less recoil than a .45, I liked the look of the Glock, and it was much cheaper than the Para-Ord .40 I was looking at.

I've since found that I was wrong about the supposed difference between .40 and .45. And that I probably wouldn't have wanted the Para-Ord. But, three years later, I still have (and now carry) my trusty Glock. After having been exposed to many, many more handguns I doubt there is one I would rather carry. It would definitely be on my must have list, even if I started over knowing everything about handguns I know now.

Moral of the story, sometimes a new gun owner puts in his thumb and pulls out a plumb on the first try. Don't feel bad for not knowing everything. You may end up far happier with your purchase than you ever expected.

February 10, 2005, 02:55 PM
Heh, heh. Glocks are equivalent to Rolexes in the gun world? You are new, aren't ya? ;)

Kidding aside - you've got a good workhorse pistol there. It will do the job and keep on ticking even if it takes a licking.... Guess you know which watch that is? (Except Glock's truely will keep on despite extreme conditions, my Timex's aren't in the smae class and die at the drop of a hat it seems. Your Glock will not.) Our Rolex's are all custom jobbies made by various smiths and in the same price range as such. :)

One thing to remember with your Glock is to use jacketed ammo only - a lot of lead rounds can cause damage due to the barrel design.

And the slide action - we call it the "sling shot method" around here - is the best method to learn IMO. Grasp the back fo the slide with your weak hand while the strong hand retains it's grip, is extended still toward target, and finger is out of the trigger guard. Pull with one smooth motion your hand grasping the slide to your strong side shoulder, letting go of the slide as it reaches full open position. This ensures full operation and a good repeatable action. Part of a good, quick reloading routine. Speed will come with practice.

Have fun with it. And yeah - you made good choices in BOTH guns. What's next? (Soon you won't be able to afford any more pens... :evil: )

February 10, 2005, 03:18 PM
The Rolex thing (and I'm not a watch guy either remember!) is more their image in the non-enthusiast market. Any watch expert will normally agree Rolex aren't even nearly the best watch out there, as certainly as I'm sure by guessing that $465 Glocks aren't the best autoloaders out there, and as surely as I know for a fact Montblancs aren't the best pens out there. The point is that ask somebody who is a generally informed and educated middle class or over consumer, but is NOT a collector or enthusiast of any of them, what the best watch, handgun and fountain pen are and I'd bet Rolex, Glock and Montblanc are the top results by far in each category, even though none of them are true.

Somewhat humorously this $1000 gun kick off spree was funded by selling just the four pens at the link below - and I still had enough left over for a couple hundred rounds in all three calibers! Collecting and enthusiast hobbies are strange things - there are no doubt people who wonder why anyone would have more than one gun, or spend more than $1 on any pen, let alone have dozens of $100+ pens at the same time! I think I have the collector gene and while I don't know if I really will "take" to guns like you guys have I'm guessing I might if I becaome at least acceptably capable in their use. I have no delusions of being an expert competitive shooter, but I will lose interest if I can't get the hang of reasonable accuracy given time to practice.

That said next on the list? I dunno - from what I've learned lurking I suspect the next thing I need to try is some kind of .45 ACP. Maybe a 1911. Any recommendations? Even Glock freaks generally think more highly of the other caliber Glocks than the .45 so probably would look elsewhere there. However I won't even think about that for a couple months at least till I get more used to the two I already have. I do have a single pen limit of $600 though and I will probably keep about the same limit for guns individually.

Guess I'll be selling a few more pens one day.... ;)

February 10, 2005, 04:30 PM
You expressed some trepidation on your first field strip. It takes, literally, 5 seconds (and that counts 3 of the 5 seconds as being nervous).

Glock is one of the easiest to field strip and take care of...very easy.

February 10, 2005, 06:05 PM
Just for your general information, a "clip" is used to feed an internal magazine, or quickly reload a magazine externally (the M1 Garand uses an en bloc clip, the whole thing goes in the gun), other WW2-era military rifles used stripper clips, it holds the rounds together till you strip them into the magazine.

A Glock uses a detachable box magazine. :)

February 10, 2005, 11:03 PM
Believe it or not I actually DID know that! Just reverting to sloppy language. Hey at least I have an excuse. Guess what was handwritten on the storage boxes at the shop where I picked up the G19? Yep you guessed it - "Glock 10/15/17 rd clips"

But yep I'll be more careful in future. Precision in language is important - and I mean that sincerely.

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