Beginner 9mm question (basically a which gun to get-thread)


November 16, 2006, 05:43 PM
Hello all,

Sorry for making such a silly thread but I have so little experience gun-wise that I thought it might be a good idea to ask for the advice of actual shooters.

So, I'm getting my first gun soon, my permit is due in a few weeks. I've decided on a 9mm as a first gun and I'm almost decided on which gun to get but a few that I have NOT tried are still making me wonder.

I'm most interested in the CZ 75B SA. I've shot a regular CZ 75B and I loved how it shot, the recoil, how it fit my hand etc. The single action is even better what with ambidextrous safety (I'm ambidextrous), SA trigger, straight trigger, and otherwise same as the 75B which I liked a lot.

I have also tried the following guns:
Browning Hi-Power, Walther P-99, Glock 17, all in 9mm. Of those I liked the Browning the best but not as much as the CZ.

Now, I've been wondering about SIG-guns. Say, the P229 or the P226. How does it compare to the CZ 75B SA? Or just the 75B, even. Which would/do you prefer and why? What are the pros/cons of both guns?

The purpose of this gun is to be a general-purpose gun, both for self protection and practical sport shooting (IPSC).

Thanks in advance and all the best,

Edit: I've also tried the H&K USP 9mm but that didn't fit my hand too well.

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November 16, 2006, 05:46 PM
Sorry man, but you opened a can of worms. Everyone has thier preference, the best thing to do would be to go to a gun store/firing range, and hold, and if possible, shoot the other guns you are considering.


November 16, 2006, 05:54 PM
I know but I've noticed that while one person says one thing and the second person says something else there's usually truth somewhere in the middle. :D

And this thread isn't so much about what gun to get but, rather, the differences between a CZ 75B-type gun vs. a SIG P226 or 229-type gun:

1. How do the grips differ?
2. What about sights?
3. How about recoil?
4. Which works better as a CCW? Why?
5. Which is bigger/heavier?
And of course, which do you prefer and why but this last question is far less important than the first five questions.

November 16, 2006, 05:57 PM
Hehe, have you looked at the Beretta 92 as well?

November 16, 2006, 05:57 PM
1. How do the grips differ?
2. What about sights?
3. How about recoil?
4. Which works better as a CCW? Why?
5. Which is bigger/heavier?

Except for 3, they are all easy to determine, either from manufacturer specs, or by seeing/holding the gun, and 3 just needs you to fire it a couple of times.

Good luck with your search, just trying to get you to do a little research.

And, while you didn't ask, I prefer the Ruger P89, but that is my preference, and not one of your choices, until now ;)


USMC Tanker
November 16, 2006, 06:03 PM
IMHO, you won't be disappointed with the CZ. If you liked it so much, pick one up.

There will always be future firearms purchases!

November 16, 2006, 06:22 PM
Find a Qualified Instructor at a range that has a SLEW of Guns, including 9mms.
Learn all about the gun fit to hand, trigger finger, Manual of Arms, Nuances....

Narrowed down a bit

Take a piece of typing paper and fold in half, then folk again.
Set this target at 5 yards.
Only load 5 rounds in a gun.
From concealment is best, low ready works.
At the buzzer, fire five rounds.

Do this with all the guns you have. Now look at group sizes, look at times, look in wallet.
Groups and times will reveal what gun affords you quick accurate hits under stress.
Peering into wallet shows you what you can afford.


November 16, 2006, 06:31 PM
i'll chime in b/c i am as new as yourself. i just (tuesday) purchased my first firearm and bought a springfield xd 9mm service model based on info i read on this site and some others. although i was looking at others, the factor that conviced me most to purchase an xd was that many LE agencies have approved these pistols for personal purchase by officers. my logic was if these pieces perform well enough for law enforcement (which in my mind translates to world class performance) it should easily be something a novice like myself can be confident and grow with. i understand there are many good pistols LEO's also use, and nearly everyone here can give you much better advice, but research and testimony like this is what swayed my decision.

if you haven't already found them, here are some other web sites that helped me in my decision making:


November 16, 2006, 06:36 PM
Thanks for the replies so far! Keep 'em coming guys. ;)

sm, that's unfortunately not possible. In my country shooting is quite a marginal sport and even the central city's most well-known club doesn't have many guns for rent. That's the place where I've tried out most of the guns I've shot. CZ, Glock, USP, and Browning. The Walther was a friend's. Unfortunately they don't have a SIG or I would've tried that too.
Also, none of the FEW gun shops around sell SIG so I can't even handle one let alone shoot one. They can order them but if you order you buy. That's why I'm asking.

Edit: Cirrus, the CZ and the SIG are both widely used by law-enforcement agencies around the world so both guns fit that criteria.

November 16, 2006, 06:51 PM
I own the Sig 226 in 9mm. Like you I was torn between it and a CZ75. Both have great ergonomics.

Reasons I bought the Sig:
- I liked the over under two white dot (Stavenhagen?) style sights of the Sig vs. the small, pale green , harder to see, three dots in a row, conventional sights of the CZ

-Crimson Trace made laser grips for the Sig, but not for the CZ, and I wanted the option of getting those. CT recently came out with grips for the CZ, so that issue is now a wash.

And that's it. Most would say not much of a reason to spend a couple hundred $ more for the sig than the CZ, but that's what I did.

Having said that, I still really like the CZ, and probably will end up getting one of those too. One thing I've learned is that the 226 (and CZ75) are both a little on the large and heavy side for concealed carry. Were I to do it over again I'd almost certainly buy the CZ PO1, which is a reduced size, lighter weight gun, that still has wonderful ergonomics, and a 14 round magazine. I've tested it out a couple times and it shoots great, points very naturally for me. Recoil is somewhat stronger than the larger guns, but not bad. Check it out.

If you plan to carry this gun think about how you are going to do that (inside the waistband?, outside?, etc..) and factor that into your decision.

Also, CZ makes a .22 conversion kit for thier pistols. So you can practice with cheap low recoil ammo. Obviously don't do all your practice this way so that you also know how to handle the 9mm recoil. Still, it is a cheap way to get two for one. As far as I know Sig doesn't offer this option.

November 16, 2006, 07:05 PM
Just get the CZ. Sounds like you really like it. Besides, you make this sound like this will be the ONLY gun you ever buy.

Trust me my friend, that is far from the truth. ;)

November 16, 2006, 07:34 PM
Don't forget to take a look at Springfield Armory's XD-9. Comes in three barrel lengths. (3-4 & 5 inch).

That said, you won't regret your CZ choice. If I ever shoot USPSA production again, it will be with a Angus Hobdell CZ75 SP01 standard. Or the CZ75 SP01 Shadow when USPSA puts it on their "Production Gun" list.


November 16, 2006, 07:42 PM
Haha, daysleeperx, this definitely won't be my only gun! :D BUT as I'm on a student budget it will be my only gun for quite a while. Won't start earning decent money for atleast two more years, alas!

KAR120C, yeah, I've thought about the P-01. However:
I don't need the light rail. So folks tell me to go for the PCR instead. Well...I've read that the P-01 has better quality control than other CZ weapons. Is that true?

A couple of other things that've kept me from settling on the P-01:
It doesn't have ambidextrous safety
It has a DA trigger (I prefer SA)
It will have harder recoil due to the lighter weight

Do you think it would be difficult/expensive to fit ambi-triggers for it and change the trigger from DA to SA? Or is it too much hassle?

Also, I don't think there would be holsters for an ambi-safety P-01 while there ARE holsters for the 75B SA.

Hmm, what about the SIG P228? I'd take that over the P229 because I'm settled for the 9mm.

I've come to understand that the SIG costs about double when compared to the CZ. I'm wondering whether it's slightly [very slightly] better reputation quality-wise is worth it?

The SIG is 832grams, the P-01 is 771grams, and the 75B SA is 997grams.

Damn, this is a hard choice! It would be much easier if I got to actually handle, even shoot the guns.

November 16, 2006, 07:52 PM
You said it yourself... You liked the CZ best, followed by the Hi-Power.

Sig's are very expensive, the single actions modesl being more, unless I'm mistaken..

Investigate the CZ.

November 16, 2006, 07:54 PM
I'd get the browning. I've got one in 9 mm and love it. That CZ looks like a cheap knock off of it, buy the original!

November 16, 2006, 07:54 PM
Yeah, but I haven't shot, even touched a SIG so that's why I'm wondering.

What's the safety like on SIGs? I couldn't find much info on those on their website. Is it manual or more like those in Glocks or what?

By the way, concealability isn't that big a deal since most of the time it's cold enough here that you have to wear a jacket anyway. That's why I don't worry much about concealing the 75B SA. The couple of months in the summer when it IS too hot for jackets might prove a tad more difficult, though...

Edit: Kontiki, it's not quite like that. The CZ is its own design. The HP just didn't fit my hand as well plus the recoil wasn't quite as soft.

November 16, 2006, 07:55 PM
Damn, this is a hard choice! It would be much easier if I got to actually handle, even shoot the guns.

Good advice there! Even the cheaper CZ is a big chunk of cash if you are on a student budget. Don't rush into the decision; find a way to get some test fires with the guns you have put on your short list.

Might be some THR members near you that have the guns you are considering. I'm in southern AZ... drop me a PM if that is close enough.

November 16, 2006, 07:59 PM
I don't think you can go wrong with a Sig either. That'll be my next piece, a Sig 226 X-five. Gotta save up for a bit for that one though.

November 16, 2006, 08:00 PM
If you have to choose between the CZ and the Sig and you are strapped for cash it seems like the CZ is the way to go. I don't think you could go wrong with either one of them. If you have the chance to shoot a Bersa Thunder give it a chance. That is a high quality weapon that is very affordable.

November 16, 2006, 08:05 PM
If you have shot a few & still find the CZ as your top choice...get the CZ :D

November 16, 2006, 08:11 PM
Froggy, unfortunately I live in Finland so you're about half a globe away but thanks for the offer. :cool:

Well, it seems like I'll be going for CZ, dunno whether it'll be the 75BSA or the P-01 or the PCR but I'll still try to find somewhere where I could shoot the SIG as well because I can save the money for it in a few months so it wouldn't hinder my gun-project too badly. Hm, I'll start calling around the local shooting clubs first thing tomorrow.

One more question I have for you who have handled both guns (CZ and SIG, doesn't matter which models):

How does the aiming differ? It looks as if the barrell is quite a bit higher on the SIG..?

November 16, 2006, 08:23 PM
Telesway, except for the strictly SA models, the SIGs are DA/SA with decocker like a CZ-75 Decock variant. I would not buy a gun that I haven't at least handled an example of to check fit and dry fire to check the trigger pull. I like my BHP and my 1911 in auto loaders. The CZs are really nice and I like the ones I've handled.

Given that you've tried what's available and like the CZ best I think that's your best option right now. Given the consideration that you have the student/budget only pistol you'll buy for a while constraint that further says stick to the CZ that you know you like. Good job on doing as much hands on research as you could too, you made a very informed post.

As far as LE/Military use/approval goes, CZ's website claims that the CZ-75 has been adopted by more militaries & police agencies world wide than any other pistol. I don't know of it's true, nor how to verify it. However, given the number of Eastern European militaries & state/national police agencies that have issued them - combined with the Turkish clones built by Sarsilmaz, Italian Tanfoglio built clones, and the Israeli Jericho clone - it isn't hard to believe. The Canadians still carry Inglis Hi-Powers, the Indians build an Inglis type Hi-Power, the Brits did/do use them, and the Argentines built a licensed FN Hi-Power. Then there are still the Belgian and Belgian made/Portugues built Hi-Powers from FN, along with the FEG Hungarian clone, and the Bulgarian Arcus Hi-Power based pistol. Needless to say both the CZ-75 and FN/Browning Hi-Power are widely used well proven.

Hopefully all that rambling helps you out, and Welcome to THR!

November 17, 2006, 12:32 AM
Ah, get used to the cash flow!

I have a Sig 229 in .40. Worth every penny ... and, with tritiums and a LaserMax, a few more (well, a lot more) pennies.

Mine's DA/SA --- if you have clutzy fingers, uh-oh. SA shoots like a target model.

Why, when I'm not on a hostage team?

Because it's there!

(And, because it'll take a 357 Sig barrel, and a 9mm conversion. Maybe Bar-Sto will figure out a 45ACP mod? Just kidding. About the 45, I mean.:) )

November 17, 2006, 08:45 AM
Don't get too hung up on the specs of each gun.

You said that you liked the CZ the best. If it fits your hand and fits your wallet I wouldn't worry too much about your decision. Practice and you will definitely be outshooting others with mre expensive guns. That has been the case at the range for me. Two days ago I was at the range with my humble G17 shooting at 15 yards and doing well and the guys next to me with their fancy, stainless steel .40s and .45s would shoot 10 shots and be all over the target (which is about 15" wide).

Moral of the story - it doesn't take an expensive gun to be accurate. It just takes a quality gun (like the CZ), quality ammo (not expensive, mine shoots great with WWB) and PRACTICE!

If you like the CZ and can afford the should buy the CZ!

November 17, 2006, 11:18 AM
Well I don't own a CZ but I do own a clone, the Baby Eagle. The CZ-75 and its variants are well built and an excellent gun for the money. I hope to one day to purchase a couple of CZ. You won't go wrong with CZ's check out there is a lot of valuable info here for each model.
Good luck and be safe!

November 17, 2006, 08:15 PM
The CZ is anything but a HP knock off. Pistols look alike but that is where the resemblance ends. The CZ has the D/A feature which provides you with double strike capability if you need it. In S/A mode mine breaks cleanly. They are built like tanks and mine came with better safeties than the HP, (I own 3 HP's). The CZ is far more versatile, will last you your life time and in every respect is a quality modern steel gun.

The HP is a good service pistol in 9MM and continues to serve with distinction. It just is not as versatile as the CZ. (IPSC/IDPA).

Take Care


November 17, 2006, 10:55 PM
You said that you liked the CZ the best. If it fits your hand and fits your wallet I wouldn't worry too much about your decision. Practice and you will definitely be outshooting others with mre expensive guns.

Very true.

My first gun was a 75B. I was steered in that direction by a Marine that was my general manager at work. He was a pretty serious gun guy to boot.

The day I bought my 75B we took it to the range along with his Sig 226 and Beretta 92. He got better groups out of my CZ than he did with his own pistols!

None of the pistols on your list are bad ones. Pick what you like and what you can afford. Get the others later. :D

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