April 16, 2003, 12:00 PM
The issue is what gun and when to buy.
Situation: I am a poor college student getting ready to graduate in a semester. I learned on Ruger Mk II's and S&W 41's and bought my first last year (Colt 1991A1 w/ new rollmark). Can't carry on campus nor the job I will have (80 hours in 9 days), so carrying right now is not a big issue for me. The 1911 is great, but eventually I would want something lighter for the real hot summer time carry.
Like many of you I want many, many guns! :D So I am trying to decide once I get out of school, which gun to get first (before I start the long process of paying off my student loans).
Here are my options:
1. Compact 9mm carry gun (Sig 225/239, S&W 3913, Kahr K9/P9)
2. Full/medium size 9mm (Glock 19/17, Beretta 92FS, CZ75/P01)
3. Used .357 wheel gun 3"-4" (S&W 19/65 or Ruger SP101/GP100)
4. Ruger 22/45 4"-5" bbl
Reason for option one is previously stated (light weight carry).
Reason for option two is to get more familiar with the 9mm round with a full grip, full size auto (sight radius and recoil absorption).
Reason for option three is to shoot .38 cheaply and for possible carry (3" only). Seems like the most affordable 'utility' weapon.
Reason for option four is the obvious cheap a$$ .22 round and they are just plain fun!
Well, I know there are a million posts like this, but each one is personal and different!
Have fun with it! Justify your answer.
Random extra info: I am 5'11'' 150 lbs., Cost is a major concern!, Also eventually want a Snub 2" or less but will cary a compact auto before a snub. Carry rig for my 5" 1911 is a Don Hume J.I.T with a Don Hume belt. It is pretty good, but still needs some breaking in. Also if you ever order a belt from them, get 2"-3" more than your pants size!
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April 16, 2003, 12:15 PM
Since you live in a carry state and you already have a full size I would say ignore the full-sized 9mm option for now (later it is a must).
-In the compact 9mms don't discount the possibility of the 908 as well. It is basically a 3913 with a slightly less machined slide and frame (the corners aren't as rounded), a slightly cheaper finish (not really so w/ the 908S) and a few other cost cutting options (plastic guide rod, no amibidextrous controls, cheaper sights).
After that I think a used S&W 3913 is the best deal, however the Kahr is very nice too.
-For the revolvers I can't say enough for the 3" K-frames. That is probably my favorite. My 65LS is very handy and would be fairly easy to conceal plus it gives enough sight radius for quick and easy aim. A 4" would probably be acceptable for most CCW situations as well. Since you are in a carry state I'd wait on the GP100 but the Ruger SP101 wouldn't be a bad choice either (though if you want to think about a snub I'd say go nicer and get a S&W or cheaper and get a Taurus, both choices are smaller and lighter).
-The .22 is never a bad choice. You already have a 1911 in .45acp, a great defensive choice and a gun that is easily thin enough to consider for carry (assuming it isn't too heavy for you) so a defensive gun (assuming you can carry) isn't the only option. The cheap shooting you can do w/ the .22 will make you a far better shot.
-I do think you should strongly lean right now towards carry options. You are in a carry state, and even though your job situation will limit the amount of carry you will do, it would be nice to be able to carry during your free time and when you run errands. Also, what are the laws in your state for keeping a gun in the car? You may be able to buy a lock box to keep in the car to keep your gun safe and carry to and from work even if you can't carry while there.
Given your situation, any I highlighted would be good choices but I'd lean towards the S&W auto or revolver used. Especially, with the revolver you can find really good deals used, it is probably your best "bang for the buck" of your options (you could probably get two for the price of one of the others). Maybe if you can find a really good deal on a used auto you can get both the auto and a used revolver right now, that would be the ideal situation (a mid sized used auto and used J-frame revolver would give you the most carry flexibilty followed only by a used K-frame and used J-frame combo).
April 16, 2003, 12:29 PM
Oh, being a poor college student another option you may want to consider to give you a lot of "bang for your buck" and a lot of flexibility isn't on your list. Get the K-frame revolver. It is a good range gun, HD gun and decent carry gun (esp. w/ the 3" barrel) and you can get good ones for pretty cheap used ($200-250 for a good .38 here and $250-320 for a good .357 here). Then add a Bersa Thunder in .380; it is very reliable and accurate, it is an acceptable (but not great) self-defense caliber with good ammo, it is pretty small and light (you could carry it in a pocket) and it is cheap (around $200 new).
If I was in your situation right now (not a lot of money, have some holes in the collection, student loan payments coming up) I think I would look for an option that is relatively cheap and still gives me as much flexibility as possible (i.e. ideally gives me two good guns for the price, or less, of one new Kahr or S&W auto).
April 16, 2003, 03:24 PM
Go w/ the fullsize 9mm...of your options in this category, I'd recommend te 92fs
April 16, 2003, 06:29 PM
Boiler_G- Come on over sometime and I'll let you try on my holster and belt. You'll be able to carry your 1991A1 in the hottest of weather with a good carry setup. I've been working like a dog lately but I should be more free in the summer (even though I'll be working 7 days/week! :eek: ) Just give me a call and you can try my stuff on.
April 16, 2003, 08:19 PM
The CZ P01 would be a good choice... smaller and lighter than a full-size 1911, but still big enough to be fun to shoot.
April 16, 2003, 09:46 PM
Get a compact 9mm. You already have a full size pistol, what you want is something light and small. Small revolver's in the .38 to .357 flavor hurt when you shoot them. In a stress situation, you'd probably never notice, but you will at the range. My hand would ache for hours after shooting a box of 50 rounds of 357 through a Ruger SP101 I once owned, and the SP101 in not exactly a lightweight. I carry a Kimber CDP Pro when I can, but for those hot winter days, I carry my Kahr P9 and my PM9, or for any even lighter carry combo I'll carry the PM9 and a Keltec P32. None of these are hard or painful to shoot.
April 16, 2003, 09:56 PM
Get a SIG Sauer P225 first.:cool:
April 16, 2003, 10:31 PM
It's a toss-up between the SIG239 and the Kahr P9.
I'd get the SIG first ;)
April 16, 2003, 11:39 PM
Another Beretta vote.
April 16, 2003, 11:47 PM
Another vote for the CZ P01
April 17, 2003, 12:10 AM
The title of the thread drew me in. I thought that you were asking for or listing justifications for the next purchase. Those alway come in handy as I am married.
Buy a 9mm. Ammo is way cheap.
April 17, 2003, 12:46 AM
I voted for the "Used .357 Magnum Utility Gun"!.
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
April 17, 2003, 12:58 PM
I say get a Glock 26 for carry, range, and home protection. You won't go wrong with that choice. Or a Glock 19 is a great carry gun as well if you can conceal it. I own both and the 26 conceals a bit better though, but I do keep a 15 round G19 mag as a spare. :)
April 17, 2003, 03:26 PM
Daniel Flory, What holster do you use?
In general, I'd say go for a lightweight 9mm. When you carry, if you're as lazy as I am, you may find yourself either leaving the 1911 at home or wanting to in favor of a lighter gun. Concealment isn't as much of an issue as the weight. I got to the point where I was pretty much carrying just a P32 and I'd much rather have a Kahr P9, Glock 36, SIG 239 etc...
April 17, 2003, 09:44 PM
cratz2- You can call me Dan. I just use a Sparks Summer Special with a Rosen 1.5" contoured belt. It works out very well for me and I'm amazed at how well the rig conceals the gun on my body. If you're ever up in Boilermaker country, give a holler!
April 17, 2003, 09:58 PM
BTDT (no, really, I do remember that many years ago). IME, why not another copy of the pistol you now carry?
Of those listed, why not a used .357 revolver? I see a blue million of them here and at Indy gun shows. I purchased a Ruger "Police" Security Six in Indy recently for $200.00.
cratz, a pistol is not comfortable, but comforting.:D Get a good rig like Dan (I used the Executive Companion from Milt Sparks) and you'll be just fine.
April 17, 2003, 11:45 PM
I voted for the medium-sized 9mm (Glock 19). However, I would encourage you to consider a Glock 23. It's the same medium-sized frame, but in the more potent .40S&W. I've owned one for two years now. It's extremely comfortable to shoot. The double-stack fills my hand better than the full-size frame and the longer grip is more comfortable than the pinky hanging off on the sub-compact frames. I haven't been able to get my CCW yet (lousy MN may-issue laws), but it's very comfortable and easy to conceal when I'm wearing it at the range (just to clarify, concealing as a test, not sneaking around the range armed). My $2*10^-2...
April 18, 2003, 02:44 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone! I have already narrowed my gun list down (as you can see there about 15 guns listed, so I don't need any more). My compact 9mm's are selected due to the single stack config. I like the narrowness of my 1911, so the single stack 9mm is a prime selection for me. I have dry fired a Glock 23 and hated the trigger, but will get a glock some day, just to have a 'glock'. Personally it is coming down b/t a compact 9mm and a .357/.38 used revolver in a 3" bbl. Good leather is very important and can make a world of a difference. Since I am not in a stable job market (aerospace engineer) I will not quite know where I will be in 2 years or so, so this effects the purchase. I currently do not have my CCW (just lazy about getting it, but since I am at school, I can not carry, and since I live in a small town, I am not worried about 50 BG breaking down my door and attacking me or mugging me. I have my .45 and my shotgun waiting at home). I am 22, but very young looking and feel the the local LEO's will give me trouble. I am, however friends with one of the K-9 sheriffs, so maybe he won't give me so much grief (concerning getting my CCW). I will probably go with what feels best in my hand, since there aren't many chances to shoot around my area. My only concern is the Kahr P9. It is super light weight, but i am concerned with reliability and recoil. The K9 is no heavier than the Sig 225, Sig 239, or S&W 3913 (+ or - 2 ounces).
Keep the votes and comments coming!
April 18, 2003, 10:41 AM
I voted for the .22lr, but I'd suggest the Browning Buckmark over the Ruger....
1. Buckmark controls more like 1911 than any of the Rugers.
2. .22lr ammo far & away cheaper than even 9mm.
3. Makes a great "understudy" gun for extensive practice.
4. Everyone should have at least ONE .22...:D
Second on my list would be the .357. If you can find one, a Ruger Security-Six would be ideal...:cool:
April 18, 2003, 12:50 PM
Every one should have:
Mouse gun auto or revo
Serious combat revo
DA &/or SA Large bore revo
You have a 1911, I would go with either the 3" 357 "serious fighting revo" a S&W 13 or 65 fits this nicely
Second get a SIG 239 or S&W 3913
definitly get a reloading set up makes loading 38/357 real cheap.
get 22 asap is what most will say but I shoot more 357 cause I reload....
April 19, 2003, 01:58 PM
if your really set on a 9mm auto pistol,impact guns have the springfield xd 9mm or 40 s& w for $400.
a used taurus revolver in 357 flavor would be slightly cheaper,and even if bought used carries the lifetime warranty.
I'm sure the springfield will forever cure your glockitas.
April 19, 2003, 11:35 PM
I am a poor autoworker and I just got a Witness Tactical II .40 for $299.....best bang for the buck since my Mak. Looks like I will be carrying it alot.
April 20, 2003, 05:59 AM
I would get the .357!! Why??? I just bought one myself.
You are not gunna carry a .22, at least, I hope not!! Get one of those at your leisure, after you have chosen something you are going to carry and have gotten good with it
Full size 9mm's are fun, but believe me, they're a pain to carry!! I know from experience. I have several fine quality full size 9mm service pistols from the walther P5 to the Taurus PT92. Fun yes. Pain to carry?? YESSER!!!!
A compact 9mm such as the Kahr MK9 ( I carry one of those) or the Glock 26 (That's my wife's) is a good choice also. However, Glocks and Kahrs tend to be rather expensive!!! Which leads me full circle back to the .357mag.
My FFL (http://mandallshooting.com) has gotten in a shipment of police trade in S&W revolvers. He is selling them in the $250-$300 range. Give them a call, ask for Howard. Explain what you want. He'll set you up with the purchase and transfer to your local FFL.
Hope this helps!! :D
April 20, 2003, 03:02 PM
I would get a nice High Power same manual of arms as the 1911,
but the CZ is also a great choice.
as for the full size Carry
get a nice IWB like a Milt Sparks, or a Lou Alessi, and a GOOD belt
you will be quite comfortable
April 21, 2003, 03:10 AM
Get the all around gun you can carry first........Sig 225
I can always use a good carry gun:D
April 24, 2003, 09:02 PM
Female shooter here -- I have two compact Beretta M which I love. My permit won't allow me to carry really so this is it given the restrictions of what I can buy. Berettas are a great, inexpensive gun that are a hell of a lot of fun. The 9mm will give you plenty of range time as the Winchester value pack makes it easier on the pocket. It's also fantastic for home defense and if I had the right to buy the 92FS -- it'd be in my collection, one in black and the other in inox.:D However, unemployed going on three years yet I was able to save enough for two Berettas. Don't regret a thing and love the guns.
When you're out of school, and hopefully have a job -- a Sig would be a great next gun or a Glock 19 or a H&K or a .....:D :D :D
April 25, 2003, 11:48 AM
I was considering the Beretta, but its dimensions put it way down on the 'points' list for me. It is the thickest (slide width) gun I am considering at 1.5" and the heaviest at 30.9 oz. I think the berettas are beautiful guns and will some day have one, but for carry, I think I have some lighter, more concealable options. I am probably going to go with the S&W 908s or 3913. Thanks for the replies!
April 25, 2003, 02:16 PM
If you want/need pure utility-for-the-buck, then one of the 3 -4" K-frame Smith or Ruger Security Six .357 revolvers will be hard to beat. As Tejon said, there're a lot of them out there in great shape at fire sale prices.
It still gives you the widest spectrum of ammo choice options for recreation or defence of any single weapon. They're extremely rugged and reliable. Accessories and upgrades are cheap and universally available.
There are compact 9x19 choices out the Wazoo. Virtually every manufacturer makes a variation or seven. Go to the next "1500" show in Indy and handle as many different models as you like. Chances are you'll run across something that meets all of your criteria and feels good in your hand.
There are lots of options for 9x19 defensive ammo, from "standard" pressure to +P+. When it comes to practice/plinking ball ammo, no other centerfire is cheaper or more plentiful. It's also the one handgun caliber that you're almost certain to be able to find SOME kind of ammo for anywhere in the world.
I've been carrying an old Star M43 "Firestar" 9x19 as a mild weather "primary" for many years. There are many newer, lighter, "tricker" models now, but I can't seem to part with it. It's been 100% reliable functionally with a wide assortment of ammo, puts an entire seven round magazine of 124 gr. Hydra Shoks into about 3 1/2 - 4" dead-on POA as fast as I can shoot it at 20 yds, and all of the controls work exactly like my beloved 1911's. The extra weight makes it a bit more of a load to carry, but make it extremely easy to shoot well quickly.
9x18 Makarovs and .380s have their adherents. For a bargain-basement CCW, the Bersas and the Maks have some merit. The sights on the Makarovs plain suck: they're tiny, shiney, and really hard to pick-up quickly. That can be remedied, but it's medium expensive and not your kitchen table project. Younger eyes than mine might get away with some enamel on the front blade. I only spent $115 for a like-new Bulgarian a couple of years ago. I didn't find out just how accurate it could be until I had a set of standard-dot XS sights put on it in a fit of extravagance. With Hornady's new HP load, it'd do.
For a rimfire, since you already have a 1911, you can get one of the excellent Ciener .22 conversion units for about $200. Very accurate, reliable, and great fun. Practice with your 1911 for $0.02 per round!
If it's any comfort to you, most of us are in the same boat with you: so many choices; so little cash!
April 25, 2003, 02:34 PM
Sig p-239.. no surprise there,huh?:D
April 26, 2003, 09:28 PM
Not every pistol is thick -- the Beretta M is a very slender grip and the mini-cougars are great too. The Sig is another nice choice and all come with a slender grip and in 9mm option which you'll find is the cheapest ammo for the range. However, it's your decision and ultimately your money. I'm sure you'll make the right choice for your needs. Best of luck.:D
April 26, 2003, 09:38 PM
Well since you're a "poor college student" and carry is not really an issue, I am torn between the Glock 19 and the Ruger 22/45. Both would be cheap to shoot. The .22 would be a tad more fun, and cheaper to boot, while the Glock is probably a bit more practical. But yet, I always say, a person needs at least one good .22.:confused:
April 26, 2003, 09:55 PM
I'd go with the Glock 19 -- you can always come back for the Ruger and in the meantime, you have a great defense gun. I agree with your statement that if he's a poor college student, why bother with carrying. A good home defense gun is the better way to go and a 9mm will allow plenty of time at the range to get good...but's my 2 cents worth.:D
April 30, 2003, 04:32 AM
1911 for me
April 30, 2003, 05:21 AM
I shall probably be buying a revolver for my next handgun purchase. Hmmmmm, now which one should I get? It wil probably be a used one as I like to get a bargain and the classics are so much fun to own and shoot!
April 30, 2003, 07:47 AM
I'd buy a 4" bbl. S&W 686 first , then a Sig P225 or P228 for range / carry use
May 8, 2003, 09:00 AM
The Sig 225 is a great weapon, but the limited capacity gets old. I would recommend the 228 as it is about the same size, but you can stuff an extra 5 rounds in each clip. The 225 is a great carry gun, though. I should know, my wife and I each carry one everyday... but I am still saving for a 228. :cool:
May 8, 2003, 03:32 PM
I don't know if you've made a decision, but I would probably skip the full-size 9mm for now. You already have a full size gun and a fine one at that (assuming it runs right) that should allow plenty of shooting.
I'm not a big fan of revolvers other than snubbys for carry so I'd also skip the revolver for now as well.
If you can't conceal the 1911 or if you would rather not (and I understand this, I just switched from a 1911 to a Kahr P9 as a carry gun) then I can see chosing the compact 9mm but I would suggest to try to carry the 1911 for a while - say, for a year. Get a good holster and belt. Hopefully, it will work out for you and if not, it will certainly make you appreciate the compact if you decide to go with that.
In the mean time, you could either get a Ruger MKII or a conversion for the 1911. Shooting will be way way cheaper than even the cheapest 9mm and if you go with the conversion, you will have the added benefit of being able to practice with your carry piece. I'd suggest the conversion.
If you haven't already, I'd suggest you ask around at every local gunshop if there are any local smiths that do trigger work for a reasonable cost. If not, and you're still in Indiana, there's a guy that works at Plainfield Shooting Supplies in Plainfield, just west of Indy that does very decent work for little cash and he's usually done in two days. You could even pick up a different trigger if you'd prefer a different one. If he's going to be doing some trigger work, ask him to polish the gun up a bit inside and do a reliability job. And if you're gun is anything short of 100% reliable with a good carry ammo (Gold Dots, Golden Sabers or Rangers) I'd suggest you get at least three 7-round MetalForm magazines with rounded followers.
PM me if you want the guys name and phone number.
May 11, 2003, 02:40 PM
My vote is for the .357 Mag.
If you are not carrying it then size isn't an issue.
You have a nice 1911 already, which is another must have pistol.
You can find a used 357 for a really good price and have extra money for ammo. Which is another reason.
The 357 can shoot the cheaper 38 Special and 38 +p ammo
A stainless 4" S&W M66 or 686 is a mean looking gun!! It has that look about it. It means businness!
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