So I'm looking to buy my first handgun...


Molon Labe
September 30, 2005, 07:10 AM
I'm 38, and I can't believe I've made it this far in life without a handgun. I've always been a rifle guy. But now I want a handgun.

So I went to the local gun store and looked at some handguns. Here were my requirements:

- Semi-auto
- Compact (I want to use it for CC)
- 9 mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP
- High quality

I should also mention that I have short fingers. I'm also a newbie when it comes to handguns, so bear with me.

I first looked at a couple Glocks. They felt fat in my hands, and my thumb couldn't reach the puny slide release.

The owner then let me handle some Kimber 45's. They looked like quality pieces, but they felt heavy, and my thumb still couldn't reach the slide release. I also didn't care for the safety switch-thing above the rear of the grip. (The web of your hand depresses a big switch. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.)

I then checked out a semi-auto Tarus. It was O.K., but I wasn't wild about it.

Finally he showed me some H&Ks. They felt good in my hands. I really liked the ambidextrous mag release. My thumb didn't have too much of a problem reaching the slide release, either. The model I was looking at also had an external safety near the rear of the gun, which was easily reached with the thumb.

I asked him to show me the smallest H&K he had in .40 S&W. He showed me something called a P2000. Now this was nice! My thumb could easily reach the slide release, and it felt good in my hands. It lacked an external safety, but I'm not sure how important that is, anyway.

So THR members, what are your thoughts on the H&K P2000? Now that you know what I'm looking for, do you have any suggestions or thoughts?

If you enjoyed reading about "So I'm looking to buy my first handgun..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 30, 2005, 10:07 AM
Check out Sig
They make great stuff

September 30, 2005, 10:14 AM
I am a CZ man, but if the HK felt right, then go with what feels good to you. See if there is a range out there that rents handguns, and has one for rent. HK is a good brand, but my local PDs and the rental range I worked at had lots of problems with the HK USP.
I'd reccomend a CZ PCR, DA/SA 9mm semi-auto, 14 round mag, high quality, reat ergonomics, about $500. Worth more....

September 30, 2005, 10:34 AM
Very different pistols in that list. The Kimber is a 1911 clone, which means it is single action with a grip safety. To carry it ready to fire requires that it be in Condition 1, or with a cocked hammer and manual safety on. This is generally considered a method best left to experts.
The others sound like double action/single action pistols. A manual safety on such a pistol is, in my opinion, unnecessary, since the first shot is DA, as it is on a DA revolver.
I'd suggest looking at SIG Sauer pistols. They have a fine reputation. I can't recommend one to you because your minimum caliber is 9mm Para, and I carry a SIG P232.

September 30, 2005, 11:37 AM
I'm a died in the wool Sig fan here, so my opinion is skewed. But I say buy in at the top and don't look back.
SIG P229 in 40.S&W or .357SIG.

With the 229 you can use the same magazine and re-barrel from one type to the other.

I have a 229 and carry (set to .40 S&W) daily for 4 years now, it has YET to not work. No failure to Feed, Fire, Lock back, etc etc etc.
It has worked so flawlessly it's boring. Which is a VERY good thing.

My .02, and no - I don't need change thank you.

September 30, 2005, 12:43 PM
And again, Sig. I also carry a 229 daily and it has never failed to go boom when I pull the trigger. Mine's a 9 mm. I also have a Sig pro 2340 in .357sig. It's a fine gun as well though not quite as comfortable in my hand as my 229. The pro is also a little cheaper (mine was $450 on clearance at a local gun shop). Another suggestion no yet mentioned would be a Springfield XD, in either 9mm or .40. I have one of these also in 9mm and it's a great gun, especially for the money ($450).

September 30, 2005, 06:13 PM
For a handgun that is small and easily conceals, look at the Kahr PM9 or MK9 series. For that matter look at all the Kahr hanguns from 9mm to .45ACP. And yes, I have Sigs, XDs, Taurus, and other autos, but for concealed carry, I prefer the Kahr.

October 1, 2005, 06:20 PM
I like SIGs a lot but carry a S&W 3913.

If it's a CCW geting a good holster is important and the 3913 has a bazillion available. Available new and used from $275 to $700 in many different models.

My second choice is a SIG P225 or the closest current alternative, the P239.

Tht's a choice between "conventional" safety, or not.

October 1, 2005, 06:31 PM
Look at a HiPower for 9mm, a 1911 type for 45, or a Ruger P345 - QUITE ergonomic IF you want a DA/SA. I would normally say CZ 75 for 9mm, but if you really want a DA/SA the DA is a little long (but maybe not from the half-cock...).

October 1, 2005, 06:48 PM
HK's are nice. Real nice. The only thing stopping me from getting a P2000 is that fact that they're $800 (cheapest I've been able to find). My dad has a P2000 and a P2000sk (subcompact). He likes them and I have to admit they're accurate and reliable. I have already found the Glock 19, 23, 32, 38 frame size to be my right for me and they're $300 cheaper than the H&K. :what: So, for concealed carry, I usually walk out the door with my G23 or G19. Since you don't care for the Glocks, I'd recommend a Kahr K9 or P9 (polymer frame). Capacity is much lower than the H&K, but the gun is flat and you won't have any trouble concealing it. Runs about the same price as a Glock. I have a K9 and I believe the all steel guns to be more troublefree than Kahrs polymer offerings.

October 1, 2005, 06:54 PM
For CCW I use a Kahr K-9 and it is a quality piece all the way. If you want something like a Glock but made for human hands, the XDs are quite good. Pick up a XD at the next gunshow or gunstore you go to and see what you think.

If you are 38 and have never owned a handgun, it is probably too late for you in many ways. You will probably never be as good as the guys that have been shooting pistols since they were young boys. You should try and make it easy on yourself and get a larger gun like a 1911 or a XD since learning to shoot a Kahr at your age may be a bit much. Anyone can shoot a 1911, that is why so many people like them. They have SA trigger and shoot a caliber that tends to be accurate. If you can't hit with a 1911, you probably can't shoot handguns at all. For me, the SA XD-9 is a great alternative to the heavy and outdated 1911. The 1911 is fine for games and target work but as a class, they are not as reliable as the best of the more modern pistols like the Beretta, Glocks and SIGs.

October 1, 2005, 08:26 PM
If the HK felt right, then go for it. It's a quality gun, and I don't think you can go wrong with it. You *might* want to try out a Kahr PM9 if concealed carry is the main reason you want a pistol. I just picked one up and could not be happier. Like you, the Glocks were to fat in the grip for me. The Kahr was just right. Good luck with whatever you decide.

October 1, 2005, 10:00 PM
It seems the primary discriminator is the need for a small grip. In that case, try the Walther P99 line - they have small grips with adjustable inserts.

Good luck!

October 1, 2005, 11:13 PM
You're on the right track w/ that p2000. Go for it.

October 2, 2005, 12:59 AM
Browning Hi-Power in either 9MM or 40 S&W. Ask to handle one next time you visit the gun store.

October 2, 2005, 01:09 AM
It does cost more, but it is well worth the investment. I prefer fullsize guns myself (I used to carry a USP9 fullsize concealed), but that's just my opinion.


October 2, 2005, 01:41 AM
If you like the P2000, get it. Haven't heard a bad thing about them, but they are a little pricey.

October 2, 2005, 01:50 AM
I should also mention that I have short fingers. I'll add my voice to those recommending the Kahr K9. Great pistol.

Shorter fingers (on a smaller hand) was what drove me to it.

Without doubt, there are many others, and I do not detract one iota from the other great suggestions offered.

But I'll put my K9 right up there with the rest.

Woof woof. Bow wow. Bang bang. ;)

Pietro Beretta
October 2, 2005, 03:19 AM
I too have short fingers, I found that the CZ75 Compact doesnt fit my hand like it "should" However I can shoot it like a champ :evil:

I say if you tried the HK and it fits you, then go for it!

But FIRST look at a XD!

October 2, 2005, 10:39 AM
I think the P2000 is an excellent choice. I want to buy another .40 and I'll probably get the P2000. I want something a little smaller than my USP full size. I had a Glock 23 which I didn't like so it was sold. My XDs are okay, but not on par with my USP. I can't warm up to anything made by Sig. Lord knows I've tried. The P2000 seems like a good little package. Buy it and let me know how you like it.

If you are 38 and have never owned a handgun, it is probably too late for you in many ways. You will probably never be as good as the guys that have been shooting pistols since they were young boys.

This doesn't make any sense. With enough practice, he'll do fine. We're not talking about a musical instrument with thousands of subtle variations. Good technique, good hand eye coordination and a good head can overcome years of improper training.

October 2, 2005, 12:35 PM
I'd check out Beretta. If a woman can reach the trigger without a problem (full size and compact) a man should too. However, if you've got the cash, H&K is a sweet choice to have. ;)

October 2, 2005, 03:36 PM
You've recieved some good advice so. . . . .all except the part about the heavy and outdated 1911. :D

Just one observation. Easy access to the slide release may not be an advantage. H&K is a good selection. SIG's are awesome machinery. Kahr's are smaller and well made. All makes mentioned are what I consider top tier. Consider second tier manufacturers such as Bersa (best bang for the buck IMNSHO) and Kel-Tec.

October 2, 2005, 05:31 PM

Like a couple people said, go with what fits your hand best. Let me mention the Taurus PT911. It is a little smaller, and lighter than a CZ compact, but just as accurate. If you are a bigger person, you could probably CC this. If not, you are looking at a special rig of some type (fanny pack?) or a smaller gun, Glock or Makarov. Makarov's are getting more expensive, but if you look hard, you can still get a LNIB Bulgarian 10 shot for under $200 shipped.

ps - I have a 45 but it makes be flinch a bit after the 3rd clip - but maybe you are different.

- w

October 2, 2005, 05:36 PM
Another vote for the Walther P99.

October 2, 2005, 07:05 PM
Perhaps the only one you'll ever need...but hurry...they are going out of production, so I'm told...

1911 guy
October 2, 2005, 10:58 PM
I think I caught something that got missed so far. You mentioned the 1911 in a list of pistols I assume you were taking a serious look at. First, with a good belt and holster, it doesn't weigh you down like you'd expect. It's not a feather, but it's not a boat anchor by any stretch. Secondly, you don't want to hit the slide release with your right thumb. As you're locking the mag with the heel of your left hand you hit it with the left thumb. Don't lose your shooting grip that way. If the 1911 is out for other reasons, fine, but if those were the disqualifiers please take another look.

October 3, 2005, 02:00 AM
Try the Glock 36. It is slimmer than the other Glocks and is made [perfect for your short fingers. I am 5'8 160lbs and it fits my hands perfect.

It also the only single stack Glock makes so the grip is much thinner. Light as a feather to. Carries 6+1 .45's.

October 3, 2005, 04:10 AM
I leave my slidelock lever alone and slingshot my slide closed ;) .....that puny slidelock lever on my glocks stays out of my way just like it was designed to do :D.....and my tiny little wife with her tiny little hands shoots her glock 19 with absolutely no problem.....

October 4, 2005, 01:07 AM
I like a glock 19 or Springfield xd-9 for a first all around use pistol. The xd is better for smaller hands. The p 2000 is a great pistol, but I find the double action trigger to be a bit more difficult than the Glock or xd trigger. A friend with bigger hands than I have, has no difficulty the p 2000 lem trigger.

October 4, 2005, 07:35 PM
The P2000 is a compact and the P2000 SK is the subcompact which would be the smallest H&K....

H&K makes great guns, you wont be dissapointed with the quality and durability. They are one of the best....

But you stated that the Glock grip felt big in your hand. The H&K should feel even bigger in your hand than the Glock....
They have different back straps for the P2000 to make the grip smaller but they still feel bulkier than a Glock.....Hope this helps!

Also the P2000 compact comes in either DA/SA with decocker or DAO (LEM trigger).. But the smallest P2000 SK only comes with the LEM trigger....

I wouldnt have a Glock anyway, the trigger scares me but only if I were to carry it IWB........drf

October 4, 2005, 11:16 PM
I'm going to chime in with the Kahr crowd. I'd take the opportunity to hold one before I made a purchase. It has one of the nicest slim grips that I have come across, and the DAO trigger will be consistent through the whole magazine, another plus for a later shooter.

If you enjoyed reading about "So I'm looking to buy my first handgun..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!