First handgun, home defense and target practice


October 2, 2005, 12:02 PM
Recently I've decided I would like a hangun for home defense, but my main reason for getting one would be target shooting/practicing. Can anyone give me a price difference on 100 rounds of 9mm vs 100 rounds of .40 .45, etc? Just target ammo.

I want the gun to be enjoyable for target practice, and not cost a ton if I want to put a few thousand rounds through it. I'm assuming if I get a 9mm 10-20 round capable handgun, and have high grain hollowpoints, effectiveness for stoping home intruders wont be an issue... but I really dont know...

This handgun will be the only one I get for the next 2-3 years Ideally (I have other things that need paid off, but decided to make this first gun a priority)

I appreciate any input.... I plan on going to the range and shooting a Glock 17, P22X, and anything else that catches my attention (or that I have time to).

Edit: Also I was wondering what I should expect to pay for some of these standard pistols so I dont end up making a bad purchase

PS I accidentally posted this in the general forum when i think it belongs here... can a mod move/delet that one

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October 2, 2005, 12:23 PM
range ammo..

9mm : about $7 a box of 50
40: about $10 a box of 50
45: about $15 a box of 50

(thats just after a quick browse on cheaperthandirt, not sure how accurate those prices are)

any of those calibers would be fine for home defense, and there are many different loads available for each of them, according to your needs. I personally would go with 9mm, because of the cheaper ammo, you'll shoot it more often.

Thats good that you're going to try out a few different guns.

The Glock 17 goes for about $500 new, the sig p-series go for around $700 new, but Certified Pre-Owned Sigs can be found for less than $500.

Do you have a budget? If its lower than 500, be sure to check out Ruger P-series, new they go for about $350. Many people find them ugly, and dont like the ergos, but theyre reliable as hell, and priced right.

Have fun.

October 2, 2005, 12:32 PM
I have five Berettas that have been 100% reliable. Get a standard blue 92FS and it won't break the bank. It's more expensive than a Ruger but it's beautiful looking and will never give you problems. I paid $23 for 200 rounds of 9mm - the Winchester 9mm Value Pack this weekend. It's as good as it gets, and it's an excellent firearm for the home.

October 2, 2005, 12:36 PM
My budget is, as cheap as I can, while still finding a gun I like that is reliable :)

I've heard good things about the glocks, great things about the sig p's and not a whole lot about the rugers... I will have to check them out as well.

October 2, 2005, 12:44 PM
To complement my .22LR Ruger I am intending to get a Glock 17. Pretty, exotic, one-of-a-kind it isn't. But reliable, accurate, and easy-to-use it is.

Kind of like a Honda Accord running on regular unleaded (9mm ammo).

Good luck

October 2, 2005, 12:52 PM
I had similar considerations not so long ago. After trying a number of calibers and platforms, I chose 9mm as the best overall round considering price, capacity, and damage., and Ruger KP89 considering price, metal frame, reliability, ergonomics (for my hand), customer support (by the gun, not by the owner!), ability to handle any (!) factory loads.

Disclaimer: I hear very good things about Glock, but I tried them and they are not right for me. Berettas are my second best choice after Ruger, but they are about twice more expensive. I also hear very good things about sigs, but have not shot one.

October 2, 2005, 01:01 PM
I will definitely try out the ruger P89, that runs around 350 new?

The other thing is, do I neccessarily need something that is new? Or is it easy to find a good condition used gun for a significant discount.

October 2, 2005, 01:05 PM
The other thing is, do I neccessarily need something that is new? Or is it easy to find a good condition used goun for a significant discount.
Used can be just fine. What state are you in?

October 2, 2005, 01:24 PM

Im going to the range in an hour : List of pistols to try

Ruger P89

Glock 17

Beretta 92FS

Sig Sauer P226

HK ?

Which HK should I try in 9mm

Dollar An Hour
October 2, 2005, 01:40 PM
You should try the Springfield-Armory XD9. 9mm polymer, everybody seems to love them, very comfortable to hold, reasonably priced too. :)

Oh - in an HK try the P2000 if you can, otherwise the USP. Other pistols mentioned here for quite a bit less money would serve you well though.

October 2, 2005, 01:52 PM
For someone new to guns I think any of them with a hammer is preferable to a striker fired weapon like "Glock" for example. It's just a bit easier to know whats going on when. 9mm is a sound first choice, and with proper load selection, it is a viable defensive round, it is cheap to practice with and has lower recoil and blast. Value wise, buy used. Most guns are very serviceable and the savings can be significant. Steyr now has factory support in Georgia and can be had for about 250.00 to 300.00 (striker fired), Smith and Wesson is a great deal, accurate, reliable, great value. Most of the German and Austrian made guns have a bit better resale overall, also with these brands you can generally trust their accuracy and reliability. Take an NRA Basic and Personal Protection course, cheap and solid instruction as a place to start. Read alot. Don't immediately go buy Cor Bon ammo cause some goofball says so, read for yourself. Above all, have fun. "terminal effects forum"

1911 TERRY
October 2, 2005, 01:52 PM
Don't forget to try the CZ75. It's very affordable and a natural pointer. They can be had new for less than $400.00 new. They also have mags for up to 16 rounds in th 9mm.

October 2, 2005, 01:58 PM
Sorry for the confusion. I'm not new to guns in general. I was shooting a few different BB rifles and pellet C02 handguns at a young age, one was a 357 replica with a similar trigger safety to the glock.

Ive shot a ton of rifles and shotguns and hunted for a while... but Ive never owned a handgun

Ala Dan
October 2, 2005, 02:11 PM
Don't overlook good used (but not abused) Smith & Wesson 9m/m LEO
trade-ins. For example, there are lots of S&W 5906's floating around
that police departments nationwide have traded in. Start on the web
by looking at CDNN's homepage. They may even have a few of the
SIG P226's; or better yet the P228's? Good Luck in choosing~ :D

BTW, I recently picked up a LNIB (98%+) Smith & Wesson model 6906
with a total of three magazines*, box, and doc's for $235. It compliments
my West German SIG P228 very nicely. :)

*FootNote: All three magazines are 12 rounders! :cool:

October 2, 2005, 03:06 PM
At Wal-mart you can get the WWB (100 rds):

9mm = $10.97
.40SW = $14.97
.45 = $19.97

October 2, 2005, 03:57 PM
Springfield XD, Sigs, and Ruger P345. The Ruger 345 is relatively new and ergonomically redesigned. It's much more comfortable than the older P-series guns.

Pietro Beretta
October 2, 2005, 04:36 PM
For a High Quality, "Low Cost" handgun.

The Springfield XD Line
Anything From CZ

I HEAR Certified Used sigs are the way to go if you dont want to pay the $$ for a new one.

Here are ammunition prices from my Local Wal-Mart.

9mm 11.34
.40 15.97
38sp 16.76
45 19.88

Oh 22LR are $8.96 for 550

October 2, 2005, 05:35 PM
Ok I went and shot

Glock 34


S&W Tactical 9mm (not sure if it had another name?)

The 2nd two were DA

Im not sure if I just suck at shooting handguns (Im really good at rifles, shotguns). I lined up the shots right, but with all 3 guns i consistantly hit low and to the right.... I know how to line up sites, and I held it steady... The kick after pulling the trigger is up so I dont see how that would affect me...

I clustered in one spot with the Glock, but the other two I usually had 2 clusters for each clip, which was weird..

I also shot a 22 pistol with my wife there, and I clustered all over the X with that one, so I dont know what was wrong with me and the nines

October 2, 2005, 05:46 PM
Every firearm is different and takes getting used to so remember, it's you, not the gun. I *normally* shoot my Berettas great. A week ago, incrediable - yesterday, sucked. I get mixed results with revolvers but the key is to practice. Bear in the mind, the sights may have been the problem. I find the Glock and Beretta (blued) to be the easiest to use - stainless models don't tend to have good sights. The 686 revolver is my better gun (orange front sight) but the model 60 takes work. Look for a gun you like and practice daily.

October 2, 2005, 05:50 PM
CZ P-01 or PCR. I bought my P-01 used for $360 including shipping - 14+1 mag capacity, DA/SA with decocker, .22LR kit available for $220.

October 2, 2005, 06:43 PM
After taking my wife to the range and shooting the 22 as well Im considering a 22 as well.....

I could just get a 22LR but while I enjoyed shooting with the 22, I enjoyed the 9mm a lot more (does that make sense?) hrm

22 ammo is so cheap to o, heh

October 2, 2005, 07:17 PM
My favorite .22 is the New Single Six and I hope to get the Mark III this month for my birthday.

October 2, 2005, 07:59 PM
Consider a revolver.

Specifically, a S&W model 19. Reliable, accurate, has adjustable sights, and a simple manual of arms in high stress self defense situations. It can shoot inexpensive .38 Specials at the range, and hard hitting .357 Magnums in a self defense situation. Available in 2.5", 4", 6". The 4" should be a good balance between a fun range/target gun and a self defense piece. They are no longer being produced, but there are many excellent condition ones that can be had for around $400-$450.

If you prefer stainless steel, here is a nice model 66:


October 3, 2005, 08:33 AM
I considered a revolver, but i think that will be more of a second or third gun for me. I really want a semi that is capable of fairly good size mag.

On a side note, when my wife fired the glock 34 it jammed while autoloading on her twice out of 2 10 clips. It never jammed on me, so I thought that was interesting. She had a solid grip on it but it kept kicking her hands way up each time so I think she was absorbing too much of it.

October 3, 2005, 09:19 AM
She's limp wristing the Glock. Not an issue with a revolver. ;) :D

Pros' & Con's of a revolver:

=Ultra reliable, very, very rarely does a revolver not go bang when you pull the trigger.

=The fixed barrel of a revolver makes them inherently more accurately than most auto-loaders (though in all honesty, unless you're a remarkable marksman the difference in accuracy between the two is moot).

=Typically can handle a wider range of bullet designs than an auto-loader.

=Ultra simple manual of arms in a high stress, life or death, self defense situation.

=The longer, heavier trigger pull of revolver makes them less prone to negligent discharges, especially when compared with the short, relatively light trigger of the DAO Glock. (Yes, if you follow basic gun handling rules negligent discharges won't happen, but it's not a perfect world, mistakes do happen, but a revolver makes those mistakes a little harder to make.)

=With a revolver you never have to worry about bad magazines, replacing magazine springs, or replacing recoil springs.

=Imagine that a badguy was breaking into your house/apartment while your wife was home and you were away. She picks up the trusty Glock, and in a moment of anxiety/panic takes a shoot at the BG. Now say she misses or gets a non-stopping hit, so she pulls the trigger again. OMG! The Glock's jammed from limp wristing.... :what: Revolvers don't fail due to limp wristing, ever.

=When a revolver does fail it's typically more difficult/slower to fix than an auto-loader FTF/FTE (though again a revolver failing is very, very rare).

=Capacity. At six rounds (usual) a revolver does not have anywhere near the ammo capacity of a double-stack auto-loader. At the range that shouldn't be an issue. In a self-defense situation, the spray and pray method is far from ideal, especially if you miss your target and accidently hit a loved one in the next room. (Most centerfire cartridges will go through an internal wall like a hot knife through butter.) Also, if you can't hit and stop your attacker with 5 or 6 rounds, frankly, you probably ain't gonna make it with 12, 13, or 100 rounds. :uhoh: And if you think that a high capacity auto-loader will help you survive multiple assailants, unless you're one helluva steely-eyed pistolero, you're not going to survive such an encounter with anything less than a long gun.

Whatever you pick, best wishes and shoot safe.


October 3, 2005, 10:10 AM
Thanks for the summary :) I was thinking of getting a 9mm now, and a 22 later (for her target shooting, and for her home defense) If she has 10 or 15 22 shells, and ever has to shoot at a bad guy, I know she is accurate enough to get at least a few of those into him (and at 7 yards, I know she could get most of them into his heart/lungs_

October 3, 2005, 05:06 PM
Bold = Shot
italics = held

Beretta 92FS $530 15 rounds

Glock 17 $508 17rounds

ruger P89 $320 15 rounds

Sig 226 $708 15 rounds

HK USP $690 15 rounds

Springfield XD $460 15 rounds

CZ75 $380 15 rounds

Taurus 24/7 $321 15 rounds

S&W Tactical 9mm

These are the guns Im looking at... bold ones Ive fired.. italicized ones Ive held.

Right now Im not impressed with the glock or USP for the price.... I want to get a close up look at the 24/7 and P89 to see if they are something I would be interested in.. any feedback on those two as viable options?

Ala Dan
October 3, 2005, 05:15 PM
but the two you have listed (Ruger P89 and Taurus 24/7) along with the Taurus Millineum Pro lead all sales within our shop~! Between the P89
and the 24/7, I would lean more towards the Ruger; as you get both
price and quality. :uhoh: :D :cool:

October 3, 2005, 05:28 PM
What quality lackings would you attribute to the Taurus, so I can make sure and check that out when I go in to a shop soon.

Also are the prices I listed normal, or +/- what I should expect to pay in a local shop for the taurus/ruger

Thanks! :)

October 3, 2005, 10:08 PM
Love my 75B, two 16 round mags and one in the chamber should run any BG's day...

October 3, 2005, 11:44 PM
How do you like the CZ for grip and target shooting?

October 4, 2005, 01:19 AM
In my book the variables you list make for a pretty clean decision...


9mm is a GREAT Weapon Caliber for Self Defense and Conceal Carry, AND the Ammo itself is cheap enough to shoot with Great Frequency - Academy Sports sells CCI Blazer 9mm for Less Than $4.00 per 50 rounds. Never had any problems with the CCI loads (although some ranges do not allow CCI use to prevent contamination their brass - CCI uses aluminum casings). Winchester White Box (WWB) 9mm is Less than $5 per 50 virtually Everywhere.


For a NEW 9mm - and a Great Value to boot - the S&W SIGMA Series in 9mm - the SIGMA SW9VE is an Awesome Weapon (16+1 Mag Cap, Accurate, Lightweight, Never a FTF or malfunction) for an INCERDIBLE Price - Brand New with extra mag is Less Than $300.00.

Another GREAT Weapon in the Budget 9mm family with a Great History and high capacity is the Kel-Tec P11. Again, less than $300 Brand New and a GREAT Lightweight Workhorse!

Of course, both of these questions will always receive very subjective answers - Great Fodder for Great Debate!

Just my opinion - Good luck in your qwest - let us know how you end up!

October 4, 2005, 09:07 AM
Thanks for the headsup, I hadnt even seen this listed yet, and it looks like a decent value.

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