Hello all.


March 10, 2008, 01:32 AM
I've been wanting a pistol of my own for a long time now. I don't plan on going into competitions or anything like that. And hopefully all I will use it for is target practice. That said, I want something I can keep handy and will be ready if/when I need it. On occasion my friends and I spend a day at a target range. So I want something I can hit targets with, at range, fairly consistently.

My budget is around $500. What I am looking for is a gun that is accurate, easy to maintain, has adjustable sights, and fires affordable ammo. It doesn't have to be big so a 22cal would work. Although I have fired a 40cal dessert eagle and loved it. Also I don't want a revolver, I want a semi-auto with a clip. In time I would also like to add a laser sight.

I have done some searching and I REALLY like the Sig Trailside PL22. But it seems those are hard to come by.?. I have also read good things about the CZ 85 Combat.

I don't expect to get everything I want, if there was a perfect gun out there everyone would have one. I just want something I will get plenty of enjoyment out of and is simple to maintain.

Any suggestions or opinions will be greatly appreciated!

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March 10, 2008, 01:48 AM
Are you planning on concealed carry, or a pistol you will keep handy at home only?

Welcome to THR!

Glock G21
CZ 75B
1911 - Kimber, Colt, Springfield, Dan Wesson...
Sig 225/P6 is a great deal at www.aimsurplus.com right now

PLUS a .22 autoloader - Ruger MKII or Browning Buckmark

March 10, 2008, 09:42 AM
I will not conceal it because I don't have a permit for that yet. I might one day though.
I do want it to be small enough that I can put it in a holster or keep it in the car. In Missouri it is legal to keep a gun in the car without any kind of permit.

Thank you, I will look those up.

March 10, 2008, 09:43 AM

The SIG Traiside is no longer in production, although you can still find them at some of the larger retailers. By looking at your requirements, you might be better served by the CZ85. Available in 9mm (which is some of the most affordable ammo you can find); and capable of using the CZ Kadet .22LR conversion kit, it would make a great choice for using the same platform for both practice and home defense.

March 10, 2008, 12:51 PM
Ok I looked around a little more today. I think I've decided on getting a 9mm. I feel a 22 would be a little under powered. It might also become a little unsatisfying after a while since this will probably be the only gun I own for some time.

I also feel that a 40 or 45 might be overkill for what I will be using it for.

So what I've heard so far is that the cz75 or CZ85 combat, 1911's, and sig's are the front runners.

I've run across some terms I am unfamiliar with. Like decockers. I'm not going to run around with the gun loaded let alone cocked. I do want a good safety, of course, but I want it to be easy and intuitive. One other consideration is that I have fired pistols that just made me feel like it was going to pinch my hand. I'm not sure what style they were though.

Any thoughts?

Just so I can get things strait in my own head, here is a little more ironed out version of what I want.
Accuracy / consistency
Easy to maintain, take apart
Easy to expand or customize

Thank you for your replies thus far!

The Lone Haranguer
March 10, 2008, 05:38 PM
How about the CZ and then - later, as it will go over budget - the Kadet .22 conversion unit? Two guns in one.

Really, for a brand new shooter, the conventional wisdom is to start out with a .22. They are cheap to shoot and you can learn the basics without getting hammered by noise and kick. A Ruger, Browning Buckmark, etc. can be had for well under $500. Then you can work your way up to the bigger calibers over time. The .22 pistol, if you bought quality the first time, will still be a keeper.

March 10, 2008, 09:31 PM
post about the CZ Kadet and then getting the .22 conversion but there is also the Beretta 92FS 9mm that has a 22 conversion also. Or maybe, the Beretta does not otherwise qualify for the buyer.

March 10, 2008, 10:03 PM
From what I've seen I am liking the CZ 75's. I think before I do any more looking on the internet I will go down to the local CZ dealer and check them out.

Thank you Haranguer for your wise advice. As with anything it is always best to start small and work your way up. I have fired several calibers, larger and smaller then the 9mm. And because of that I feel comfortable learning the 9mm. Also I have family who would be happy to help me learn the ropes. And are fully capable of doing so. If I had never shot anything bigger then a 22 it would be a different story.

And thank you all for he advice!

The biggest hurtle now is convincing my wife I need it. ;)
One or two more shootings or robberies near our house should do it.
Speaking of which it's getting dangerous just to get gas around here. :o

March 10, 2008, 10:17 PM
zcar.300 have you thought about glock?i have a glock26 subcompact
i never thought a sub-compact could be that accurate but it is!if you want full-size go with the glock17....theres a smith&wesson mp out there you might wanna check out 2 i have a mp45 and i'm very happy with it both the glock and the mp are with-in your price range.....check them out!

ice monkey
March 10, 2008, 11:03 PM
Hey zcar.300,

It sounds to me like getting out to a range, one that rents pistols would do you a great service. Yeah I know itís a pain and it can cost a small fortune :banghead: Ė BUT - what youíll discover for yourself will be priceless. :)

Fit is key.

March 10, 2008, 11:08 PM
Will do, thank you buckshot.

Ice, I'm not sure if there are any ranges around here that rent guns. You're right though, it's something I should look into.

ice monkey
March 10, 2008, 11:13 PM
Good luck :)

March 10, 2008, 11:15 PM
I don't expect to get everything I want, if there was a perfect gun out there everyone would have one.

Don't sell yourself short by thinking this. There are so many manufacturers making so many models in so many configurations, you should be able to find something that is everything you hoped for.

Your initial inclination to go with CZ is a good start. Excellent pistols. On that note, if you like the CZ pattern, check out the Baby Eagles as well. They fit some people better, as the grip ergo's are a bit different than the CZ. The Tanfoglio Witness is also a CZ pattern gun, but I see no reason to go with a Tan over a CZ in 9mm; The Witness's are more for those of us who want a CZ in a chambering that CZ doesn't offer.

March 10, 2008, 11:58 PM
zcar - for your needs, you will probably like a full-sized 9mm. With no need for concealed carry, a larger gun is a lot more pleasant to shoot. It absorbs more recoil. Just make sure the grip is not too big for your hands.

The more guns you can try before you buy the better. The biggest considerations IMHO are the grip and the trigger. There are all sorts of triggers. A light trigger usually means better accuracy, but more complications to shoot and handle safely.

3 main trigger/action categories:
1. Heavy double-action-only triggers that do not necessarily need an external safety. Designed for ease-of-use - particularly when your nerves are jangled. Just pull the trigger. The long and heavy trigger pull makes it difficult to pull the trigger accidently. example: Glock.
2. Light single-action triggers that have an external safety you WILL need to engage and disengage frequently - requiring a lot of practice for muscle memory. example: 1911.
3. Decocker actions that attempt to give you the best of both. These also require practice and burning in muscle memory. example: Beretta 92FS w/ decocker.

With a lot of variants in between.

You can't go wrong with almost any recommendation you get here. Once you buy something and get in some range time, you will start to know what you like and you will likely have more opportunities to try other pistols from fellow shooters.

For the 9mm, I'd add Browning Hi-Power, Beretta 92fs, Glock 17, Walther P99. And the CZ75B again.

I've posted this numerous times on THR, and I will again: If you spend $300-$400 on a Browning Buckmark, 2000 rounds of ammo and range time to shoot through the 2000 rounds, you will be a better pistol shot than 99% of the people on the planet.

You will also have a more informed decision when you move to a larger caliber. And you will own a good .22 with its cheap, easy to carry 1000 rounds of ammo - which will always be useful.

Best of luck and shoot safely!

March 11, 2008, 12:05 AM
1. Heavy double-action-only triggers that do not necessarily need an external safety. Designed for ease-of-use - particularly when your nerves are jangled. Just pull the trigger. The long and heavy trigger pull makes it difficult to pull the trigger accidently. example: Glock.

Glocks aren't DAO.

Should actually explain how the mechanism works for him anyway.

Single Action (SA)

-trigger performs one function; releasing the sear.

-Advantages: short, light and consistent trigger pull; good for range work

-Disadvantages: Gun needs to have safety on or chamber empty. Both are a consideration under stress if it is to be a defensive gun

Traditional Double Action (TDA or DA)

-Trigger performs two functions; it both cocks the gun and releases the sear. Can also be used in Single action mode by manually cocking the hammer for the first shot if the hammer has been lowered for carry; this will be done automatically when chambering the first round and for subsequent rounds.

-Advantages: Gun can be safely carried with a round chambered and safety off.

-Disadvantages: First trigger pull will be heavy if hammer is not cocked; this often causes people to shoot low on the first shot or high on subsequent shots due to compensation. Also, TDA pistols typically have a longer, heavier trigger pull than a single action pistol, even when firing in single action mode.

Double Action Only (DAO)

-Trigger performs two functions; it both cocks the gun and releases the sear. Unlike a TDA gun, you cannot manually cock the hammer on a DAO gun.

-Advantages: Gun is safe for carry with round chambered, and there is no need to de-cock. Consistent trigger pull on every shot.

-disadvantages: heavy trigger pull

Striker-Fired pistols

-Can be Single Action, Double Action or Double Action Only. In SA type striker pistols (Glock), the striker is partially cocked by the rearward movement of the slide. In DA striker pistols, the striker is partially cokced by the slide also, but if the striker fails to detonate the primer, the trigger will perform the entire process of cocking and releasing the striker on the subsequent pull. To my knowledge, only Taurus has this second strike capable mechanism. A DAO striker pistol is just like a DAO pistol with a hammer; the trigger cocks and releases the striker on every shot.

-Advantages: Striker-Fired pistols have fewer moving parts, most of which are housed in the slide. They can be made cheaper, lighter and thinner than pistols with hammers (though you wouldn't know about the "thinner" part when holding a Glock). They are very safe for carry, as the lighweight striker cannot ignite a primer unless it has full spring power behind it. There is also no way for the striker to be driven forward into the primer if dropped, whereas a few pistols with hammer could actually discharge if the hammer was impacted hard enough (most autoloading pistols are truly drop-safe).

Disadvantages: SA striker pistols must have the slide drawn back manually if a round fails to fire, as there is no second strike capability and no hammer to thumb back. And striker pistols can never match conventional single action pistols for short, light and crisp trigger pull. All striker pistols trigger's "stack" (get heavier as the trigger is depressed further), though it's not always tremendously noticeable; Glocks can have pretty darn good triggers. Also, most striker designes require the trigger be pulled (dry fire) for disassembly. Not a big deal, but bad for complacent and negligent folks; many reports of people shooting holes in walls, doors, floors and hands when disassembling Glocks and other striker guns.

Hope this helps!

March 11, 2008, 12:25 AM
Check out the Ruger SR9 just for comparison. I was skeptical at first but after reading the good press and handling one. I must have one. Just one more gun.

March 11, 2008, 12:54 AM
Thanks for the clarification MachIVshooter. And a great overview of pistol actions. I wanted to point out the basic trigger differences as simply as I could - based on the solution sought rather than the mechanics.

But I missed a basic distinction between striker and hammer pistols. And I never realized the Glock was actually a single action. I always thought of it as a DAO.

Also a very good point on negligent discharges. I always make sure to rack the slide twice on any autoloader to ensure it's empty.

March 11, 2008, 01:54 AM
Great info guys now I just have to read it while I'm fully awake, and it makes sense. :scrutiny:

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