Help deciding on first handgun


August 18, 2006, 01:24 PM
Hi. I just joined this board a day or two ago because you all seem very knowlegable and I feel like I can learn a lot from all of you. Next month I turn 21 and will be getting my first handgun. My dad was in the military for a while and loves Sig, Taurus, H&K just to name a few so these are some I started looking at. I think I will almost definatley get a .45 and am deciding mainly between Sig and Taurus (H&K is a bit pricy). I like the Taurus PT145 and also the Sig 220. Of course Ive yet to shoot either so Im mainly going by looks and what my dad recommends. Im looking to keep it in the range of $300-$500 (Im sure I can find some good ones used at my gun range here). So I was just wondering what all of you thought of these or even if you had any other suggestions. Thanks

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August 18, 2006, 01:27 PM
don't forget to try a 1911.

August 18, 2006, 01:45 PM
When you are at the range talk to people, ask about they guns they are using and what the short comings are. In a lot of cases they will let you shoot their weapons which is really the only way to go. Don't limit yourelf to .45 ACP as you might find something else more to your liking. Don't rush into buying just for the sake of buying a handgun. I disliked the Glock handguns for many years and didn't even want to hold one never mind BUY one. I was forced to use one when my other auto developed problems at a IDPA match and I have become a BIG believer in them. Try as many as you can.

August 18, 2006, 01:54 PM
Ill definatley be trying a few different ones. Those are just a couple I really like, but one thing I notice a lot of people talk about on here is how it felt in their hands so I know I want to handle it first. Next week Ill be taking the CHL class and next month I turn 21, so Im just tryin to get some input. I think Im gonna look into the CZ too since I see a lot of good things about it on here. Thanks for the input so far.

August 18, 2006, 02:35 PM
Don't listen to my opinion, cus i am very new the handguns, but when purchasing my first, i was told by many people that the pt24/7 pro would be a great first gun.

August 18, 2006, 02:47 PM
Take your time, I was once in your shoes but I turn 22 in three months and still havent made my decision yet, there are more options then you will ever know.

That being said get as much experience & handling time with any gun you can get your hands on and find one that is a natural fit for you.

Im sure someone will be along in a little with more help for you.

August 18, 2006, 04:12 PM
Get a feel for as many of them as you can, by handling them, and looking down the sights. make sure they fit you, and feels good in your hand. While you are out at the range ask people about there guns and such, like was said above, but also ask if you can shoot there guns, I personally let almost anyone i meet out at the range shoot my guns if they want to. There are alot of good people ou there that would be glad to help you in all aspects. I reccomend handle all of the ones you are interested in and, try to rent some if there is a place around you that does that!

August 18, 2006, 05:06 PM
I don't know about the cz in .45, but the cz75b (9mm) was my first autoloader. It hasn't been perfect, but very close. The ergonomics are what I based my purchase on. Fire both .45 and 9mm before deciding. I recently added a .22 conversion ...sweeet.:)

August 18, 2006, 05:29 PM
The problem you'll probably run into is that you like too many guns...that's why so many of us have an extensive collection!

Some things to consider:
- Size (if you are going to CCW)
- Accuracy (how well you shoot it...not anyone else)
- Accessories (how easy is it to get holsters, grips, etc.)
- Cost to feed it (.45 ACP costs a lot more than 9mm)

You can see from my signature that I like a variety of pistols. My first pistol was a Sig P228 (which I have since sold). If I had to pick a favorite out of my current collection, it would probably be my Beretta PX4. In a .45 ACP, the CZ 97B is a very nice pistol and very smooth shooting.

You've gotten lots of good advice...the best thing is to avoid the "fever" and pick something you'll like. And remember -- you can always change your mind later and get a different gun. If you get a quality firearm (and everything you listed qualifies) then you won't lose too much in the trade.

Good luck and shoot safe!


August 18, 2006, 09:19 PM
Desperado, Welcome to THR. Navy87Guy has said it as well as it can be said; very good info.

August 18, 2006, 11:07 PM
There is a lot of good advice, and I would follow it.

Just to put a seed in your head -- try out the new XD .45s

August 18, 2006, 11:34 PM
don't forget to try a 1911

Totally agree. Try one, and you'll want one. :D

Taurus' are nice, and very reasonably priced. The 24/7 series have a great feel. I also like the Springfield XD series. I love the way they feel in my hand.

August 19, 2006, 12:11 AM
Thanks for all the info folks. Very helpful information. Im definatley gonna consider everything yall said. I may go with a 9mm instead due to ammo cost, but I guess well just see. Ill definatley a 1911 too. Thanks again.

August 19, 2006, 10:42 AM
You haven't really said how experienced a handgunner you are. Perhaps you have used others' handguns enough to be past the beginner's stage of shooting even if you do not yet own one. I am a newbie here to the forum as well as to handgunning but a mistake I think I made was not first buying a .22 handgun, either auto or revolver, with which to learn and practice, practice, practice the basics. I just a bought a .45 LC revolver and now have a 9mm on layaway. I now realize I should have first bought a .22 so I could practice my hold, trigger squeeze, etc with really cheap ammo. So, I say, go with a .22 first. Then get a centerfire. As an alternative you could buy the CZ or Beretta that has a .22 conversion. You essentially buy two different calibers of the same gun when you do this. But I see the conversion is as much as a seperate model .22. (New anyway, perhaps there is a used one out there.) Anyway, you get the point. Moe U. S. Navy 1960-67 Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club 1965

August 19, 2006, 10:50 AM
My friend has a Charles Daly 1911 which he bought for 200 dollars used. Its fairly accurate, and 100% reliable with good ammo and proper magazines. Nobody seems to like CD 1911's, but I can promise you that you would like it if you bought one.

August 19, 2006, 11:16 AM
I think you've already narrowed it down to the right one >> Sig P220.
The taurus never did anything for me.

August 19, 2006, 11:26 AM
man i thought i wrote this thread! yea im going to turn 21 in a month and a half! i also asked everyone and im going on looks also... and i narrowed it down to the sig p 220 all stainless. :) ive heard tons of great stuff about it... there is another thread also where there is a good article on it.. they did a 10,000 round test on it with no problems... im going to rent it first at the ranger along with a couple others and if i like the way it shoots im going to get it...

August 19, 2006, 11:29 AM
I have shot revolvers and have a .357 that I bought from my grandpa (someone owed him money and gave it to him). As far as semis go, I havent got much experience with those at all really. I shot my friends Springfield .40 but thats about the extent of it. Ill look into .22 as well though. Thanks.

lee n. field
August 19, 2006, 05:25 PM
don't forget to try a 1911.

Or a Ruger. Ignore the nay-sayers -- the P90 is a good gun, though bigger than some like.

Strictly a range gun?

make sure they fit you, and feels good in your hand.

Ditto on that advice. Ergonomics is important, and very individual.

In the sub $500 range you've got lots of choices, but leave some money for magazine, hosters and misc. accessories. And you are going to take a class in this, right?

1 old 0311
August 19, 2006, 05:28 PM
I realize I am in the minority here but I recommend a wheel gun to new shooters. Easier to learn THE BASICS. These will be the foundation of your shooting the rest of your life. Good luck with your choice.

August 19, 2006, 06:35 PM
yes I am taking the class, either Saturday, August 26th or Sept 9th.

August 19, 2006, 06:41 PM
Welcome to I read this thread, I see you've already contributed w/ 6 posts! Contrats & welcome again
As for your first pistol. We all gravitate towards the 45 acp...fine guns shoot that caliber and the round itself is very versatile. That said, as a new shooter, I'd recommend a caliber a little less expensive so you can get more trigger time in so you can master your pistol...You've got your dad to help you decide & to shoot with...have fun, you're picking from a nice list.
See you on the boards :cool:

August 20, 2006, 12:33 AM
Thanks. Like I said above, my dad likes Taurus and Sig which is part of the reason Im leaning towards those. I also am leaning twoard Taurus because they are fairly cheap but good quality from what I hear, at least the pros are. I was handling my dads Sig when I was at his house a few weeks ago and really liked the feel, so thats another reason I threw it in the list. But whatever I decide, Im not just gonna pick up the first one I see. I will definatley try them first, since thats one piece of advice everyone here agrees on;)

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