Hello to All...Provide Some Info


April 22, 2003, 02:02 PM
Just joined The High Road today and I must say that I am pretty impressed.

I am just a young guy at age 23 and only own one gun (Walther P-22), a graduation gift from my future father-in-law and fellow new member to The High Road, Kingknives. I also own a couple of knives, and just got myself a SureFire.

Now that I graduated (U.S. Merchant Marine Academy) and got myself a job, I am looking to purchase a weapon with a little more punch than the .22. and also get my concealed permit.

I will probably get a 9mm or a .40 and would appreciate any feedback on what I should look for in my first purchase. Remember I am a young guy with not a whole lotta cash flow after all my bills are paid.

Thanks in advance.



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April 22, 2003, 02:19 PM
Hi Bill, welcome to THR!

The best thing to do is to look for a gun that fits your particular set of needs, as well as your hand. What feels comfy for me may not for you.

When shopping for a new pistol, there are always a couple of things I do:

1)Ask the guy behind the counter if you can dryfire a couple of shots with the gun. Do it slowly, making sure to pay attention to how heavy the trigger is, as well as the take-up and overtravel. (The overtravel is the distance that the trigger moves after the shot has been fired.)

2)Establish your natural point of aim. Take a comfortable stance, feet about shoulder-width apart. Get a good, comfortable grip on the gun. With your eyes shut, bring the pistol up as if you were aiming it. When you have it at the point where you think it should be aiming straight ahead, open your eyes. If the sights are aligned correctly, the pistol fits your hand well. If they are not, then move on to another model. When you do this, please be sure that the gun is pointed in a safe direction, and not at the person behind the counter!

Also, if you haven't yet already, memorize the four basic rules of gun safety, and follow them at all times.
For a link to the safety rules, go here:

Oh, and one other thing:
Don't disparage shooting a .22. It's cheap and easy to learn to shoot with, and if you learn to shoot a .22 pistol properly, you can shoot just about any pistol accurately.

April 22, 2003, 02:36 PM
Kp ...... welcome to THR ..... :) .... some good words there from Justin.

I'll add tho . and naturally here I am biased! ..... In terms of value for money . IMO .. the P95 (I have the DC) Ruger in 9mm would not be too bad a place to start .... much as anything because you'd have a tough (if a tad ugly!) semi ..... and as long as you practice for a double action first shot ... and then S/A follow ups .. it'll serve you well.

If size is a prob with that (and in summer i do switch to a M85 snubby) ... then maybe the Kel-Tec P32 or NAA Guardian might be worth a look at, if smaller cal not a prob.

The P95 should be obtainable if you look around for well under $300 .... as maybe a new/used .... or even in some places new might be available for around $300.

Good luck.... and good shooting.

April 22, 2003, 02:39 PM
I was in much the same position as you a little over a year ago - looking to purchase my first pistol.

Now, just 13 months later, I am the proud owner of a constantly growing collection (and a much thinner wallet!)

I spent about a month shopping for my first pistol before making a decision. I wanted a full-size 9mm with good reliability for less than $500.

I considered the Taurus PT-92, a used Glock or Beretta 92, and the Ruger Pxx guns.

I ended up buying a Ruger P89, decocker only, blued finish.

What settled me on the Ruger were the following:

1) Legendary reliability - I like things that last, even if I don't take the best care of them.

2) DA/SA action - I don't care for DAO or "safety-action" pistols; that's a personal preference.

3) Feel - while a lot of people rag on the Ruger P-series as having poor ergonomics, the P89 fits my big bear-paw hands perfectly. It also has a good solid heft to it that I appreciated.

A P89 should run you around $350-400 new.

In terms of performance I have been very pleased - it is combat accurate, perfectly reliable, and eats any kind of ammo.

All that said, if I had known about the CZ75 prior to buying my P89 I probably would have gotten it instead.

I guess the only word of warning would be that a P89 (just like any other service 9mm) is pretty hard to conceal.

For concealed carry I got myself a Kel-Tec P11 (despite my earlier comment about DAO pistols). Mine is reliable, small, and light, but it is very inaccurate in my hands (I have been told it will get better with lots of practice).

I have also heard good things about the Kahr lil' pistols, and Makarovs are great too (although technically not a 9mm, being 9x18 makarov)

Whatever you decide to get, just make sure it something that feels comfortable in your hand, and that you will shoot alot. That matters a lot more than brand names.

Safety First
April 22, 2003, 02:53 PM
Welcome to THR Bill, Most here know far more than me about handguns,but I settled on the Sig p-239 and it is the only defensive handgun I own..great for concealed carry,lightweight and single stack mag..check it out,should be at or near the top of your list when you finally decide...good luck....

April 22, 2003, 03:13 PM
Welcome to THR! :D

Now go get yourself a Beretta!;)

April 22, 2003, 03:53 PM
You should be getting a revolver and not a pistol. :D

4v50 Gary
April 22, 2003, 04:00 PM
Welcome Bill.

Congratulation on graduating from the Merchant Marine Academy. We've got one of those in Vallejo, CA. My friend's buddy got a scholarship to play b-ball there, but turned it down. :mad: I told my buddy that graduating from that academy pretty much guarantees a job as a swabbie officer. I said even as a boiler operator, he could work as a stationary engineer and get $50k a year. My friend was not happy at his son's decision.

What's the salary like?

April 22, 2003, 04:14 PM

The money has the potential to be very good if you are one to go out on the vessels and sail around the world. The good thing is the money, with engineers starting at about 60K for 6 months work and getting as high as probably 200K for a Chief Engineer with a good company. the bad thing is being away for 3 months at a time and not being able to really have a family.

However, I chose to stay shoreside because being gone for 3 months at a time wasnt too much fun when i was doing it. I am working at a Repair Shipyard now but havent closed my thoughts to going somewhere that would offer more green. As a requirement to the government I have to stay in the Naval Reserves for 8 years and also work in the maritime industry for 6.

Thanks to all for the info. I will do more research and see what I like best I guess.


April 22, 2003, 04:38 PM
Wecome aboard.

April 22, 2003, 05:27 PM
Thanks to all for the info. I will do more research and see what I like best I guess.

Go to a gun show and fondle the guns. See what you like, what you don't etc... I recently decided on my first pistol, a Steyr 9mm. You can ge tthem for under $400, but some people love them, some hate them, some think they are unsafe. Glocks also have a large following and many people claim to have never had a jam. A revolver is a great option too. They're reliable and often times cheaper (at least around here). My point in all this was, start your research at a gun show and see what you like.

April 22, 2003, 05:46 PM

Bill, I'd suggest a different tack. Consider starting with a used .357, something in 3 or 6 inches. This'll be pretty cheap to feed, and give you proficiency with sighting and trigger control. I'll go so far as to suggest something that'll give you real pride in ownership, like a minty Colt Python

After that, I'd suggest a good 1911 variant, as the slab-sided .45 is a joy to shoot and very reassuring in the hand. A Colt 1991 won't ruin you financially, and will accept any & all upgrades you may ever want (at the hands of a good shop, like ROBAR).

As the Baretta is the standard military sidearm, schedule one in a purchase plan and get real expertise with it.

When it comes to CCW choices in a marine environment, I'll advocate either a compact Glock or the HK USP Compact, both in .40 S&W Either will swim in that salt air and just keep smiling!

The HK accepts the UTL tactical light, or the M3 with the GG&G adaptor - well worth considering (I'm familiar with docks and yards, having spent +5 years offshore in Marine Exploration - and a tac light would've been a comfort!). If I'm not mistaken, the sub-compact Glocks don't have equipment rails - though it would be useful to keep a SureFireG3 on your belt for work.

Congratulations on your achievement! That's no small feat! If you're going to stay shoreside for the forseeable future, get enrolled in a good martial arts academy ASAP - it'll serve you well when the Captain has to put an entry in the log, "Incident with ship's cat."


Welcome to THR!

April 22, 2003, 06:04 PM
Welcome. I'm probably not the best person to offer advice on handguns. I was raised around 1911s, I currently carry a polymer Kahr and a KelTec P32 and I rather like Glocks with a couple changes. I've put more round through a Taurus PT99AF (Beretta design) than any of my other guns and didn't hate the one SIG I had. The USPs seems a bit too bulky but would feel confident carrying it if need be. I carried a Makarov around for a couple weeks and think a 2" 38 or 357 with a short hammer makes a great pocket gun if your pockets are literally big enough. :p Seems like I'm easy to please but I find fault with pretty much every design. :rolleyes:

So, you want a 9mm or a 40. Any preference to size or steel/alloy/plastic frame? In general, I'd recommend you go to a gunshow or gunshop with a good selection and handle as many different guns as you can. One thing that many folks don't address is how well the pistol lines up with you draw it. I've been shooting 1911s for a long time so when I draw a SIG, I line it up so that I'm looking at the back of the slide and can't even see the front sight. With the Glock, I end up lining the front sight where it should go but the rear sight is too low. The 1911 and the Kahr seem about right. Never played with a Springfield XD or a Walther P99 but would like to do so before the end of the year.

As for specifics, all things considered, if I didn't have any guns at all and wanted to start over, I'd look at getting a Springfield Light Weight Compact. Light trim package, the best platform :p , comes ambi for righties or lefties, has factory night sights, packs 7 rounds of a potent cartridge and isn't too expensive.

Here's a pic I'm borrowing from D Hart, a member over on 1911forum.com


April 22, 2003, 06:36 PM
Welcome to THR!:)

I suggest that you decide which gun you want, then figure out how you're going to come up with the money.

April 22, 2003, 07:08 PM
I second the recomendation of a revolver.

Revolvers are not necessarily seen as the coolest gun to have, but there are many advantages to using them.

a .357 in 3, 4 or 6" would probably be the most versatile handgun you could own.

Personally, I would go for a 3"

The cool thing is - you can load up some hot rounds for hunting, and you can use cream puff rounds for plinking and they all work.

Also - no magazines to lose and especially when you are in the low dollar range, a revolver is much more likely to be reliable than some inexpensive autos.

I have a couple of S&W .38s that I really like.

Do not rule out used as well - you can find a lot of really good deals on used revolvers if you look. Find one that looks spiffy and then do some research - thats what I did.

Andrew Wyatt
April 22, 2003, 08:37 PM
It doesn't matter what the gun is.

two things matter.

1. the gun must fit.

2. the gun must work.

as long as those two conditions apply, whatever you pick will be fine.

El Tejon
April 22, 2003, 09:09 PM
Welcome to THR!:)

What Andrew sez. Can you get to a rental range down yonder?

April 24, 2003, 03:33 PM
Well thanks to all that replied and gave their advice. through the guns of my son to be father-in-law I have shot many different size rounds. I have shot the his revolvers but am probably going to select an auto.

Thanks again. The gun show is here in Tampa this weekend so I am going to go and see what I like with all your suggestions in mind. :D

April 24, 2003, 04:38 PM
Hey Kp, congrats on the graduation!!
All advice above is good stuff, I'm just going to add one thing. You've already got a Walther, check out the Walther P99 in 9mm or .40 S&W. I just picked up the latter in the OD version and love it. Not the smallest gun, nor the biggest, so you may be able to use it for CCW and you should be able to find one for under $500 if you look around. Just my .02

good luck and let us know what you end up choosing!!

Be safe


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