Good first gun


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Howser87
February 24, 2009, 01:47 AM
I am 21 and married, my wife and I just recently moved out of CA for a much easier to handle cost of living in Oklahoma, we have talked before about buying our first firearm and are looking forward to being able to head out to a range again (neither of us have shot since our mid teens). We are looking mostly at autoloaders and I have taken a liking to the PX4 because if I do decide to I can buy the CX4 Carbine for hunting/defense in the same caliber and use the mags interchangeably.

I am wondering what people think about a good starter gun for someone with no gear or recent experience, we are both going to go to classes as a refresher and to get concealed carry permits. I have also looked at the XD/XD(m) and like the grip safety. While I want a gun I can depend on I also need something that has a safety, and wont knock my wife on her rear if she ends up using it in and emergency. That and the price of ammo have pushed me to look at 9mm primarily and maybe .40

We both have rifle/shotgun experience and I have experience with the M9 and liked the slide mount safety. Overall I am just trying to figure out a good all around gun that I can start our collection with.

Thanks in advance for any advice

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BMW2
February 24, 2009, 03:35 AM
Sorry, I know this is the autoloader forum but for the modest price they go for, I got a S&W model 10 .38 special for our "house" gun. It's small enough that my wife can easily reach and pull the trigger and heavy enough to be easily controlable. It's easy to use light recoiling loads for practice and will handle +p loads for defense. Plus, although I get my wife to go plinking with me and she goes to the range with me every 3 months or so, she's not a "shooter" and the revolver is just easier to operate. That said, If your wife shoots enough to be comfortable with the PX4 then go for it.

armoredman
February 24, 2009, 04:42 AM
Find a rental range, and try several out before you buy. Then hook up with a local instructor, especially if there is a CCW permit available, get that course.
If you know the Beretta, go with what you know as a house gun. Work up from there. :)

atakawow
February 24, 2009, 04:43 AM
XD is a good choice. However, I'd look at Sig and Glock as well. In fact, I'd recommend Sig > Glock > anything else for a "home" gun. You want a gun that goes bang every time the trigger is pulled, Sig and Glock are top manufacturers in that category (as well as top in everything else :)).

If you choose a Sig, I'd recommend a Sigpro 2022 9mm (one of the most underrated pistols in my book). It is a lot cheaper than other Sig pistols, yet its performance is flawlessly. You can easily find one New or used at $400-500. They also come with factory night sights, that is a $70-120 value, perfect for a home defense gun.

I may sound bias, but I am not wrong by saying that you will not regret purchasing a Sigpro 2022 9mm.:D

rteam2
February 24, 2009, 09:35 AM
Can't go wrong with an XD. I carry XD 40, 4" in Galco holster everywhere. Easy to use, relatively inexpensive to purchase - got mine new for under $500.

NGIB
February 24, 2009, 10:09 AM
Since it's a first gun I'd seriously look at 9mm. One of the tasks ahead of you is practice and 9mm is just plain cheaper to shoot. With the various bullet weights and type of 9mm available, it's also a fine defense round. As far as what type of hardware - find a store that rents and try them all.

I like XDs myself as far as poly guns go...

PhiloebeddoUSA
February 24, 2009, 10:26 AM
You mentioned that you have experience with the M9. It is a hard pistol to beat for the price. High capacity and reliable make it a great HD weapon. Your carry will probably be a sub compact of some sort or a small framed revolver.

Gunbroker has 3 M9's listed at $549 here

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=123582267


Good luck!!

bannockburn
February 24, 2009, 11:04 AM
For low cost ammo, you would be hard pressed to beat 9mm. (Walmart has Blazer Brass 50/$8.97 and WWB 100/$19.97, on occasion). For that reason, if your budget is tight, you may want to stick to guns in that caliber. Plus some full size guns, like those made by Glock and CZ, can use a .22LR adapter kit, reducing your shooting costs even more.

Control
February 24, 2009, 12:29 PM
If ammo and handgun price are concerns, the Springfield XD is my recommendation as well. Make sure you look over the gun before the purchase. In particular, make sure the frame plastic is solid with no flaws and the dots painted on the sights are centered and make sure that there are no bubbles in the sight paint. I don't mean to say that Springfield has bad quality control but I have seen a few that I might pass on for minor cosmetic reasons. The XD is a great gun.

The Glock 19 is also a good standard low cost 9mm. Make sure to order the gun with real steel sights as the stock plastic ones are less than ideal. I have had issues with a .45 Glock shooting to point of aim but they seem to have worked out all of the kinks in their 9mm and .40 models.

I have owned both the Glock 19 and XD9 and both run great and are reasonably accurate. I still own the XD9 but sold the Glock. Honestly, it’s because my XD9 was a little beat up and the Glock was still ‘as new’ so I could get an extra $50 for it. The difference should come down to which one you shoot better so a rental range is again recommended. Customer service at Springfield is better than at Glock but both are good.

For lower cost guns I honestly cannot recommend anything better from another vendor, even if they are charging more. I have owned and do own several other brands.

For pure simplicity and utility, a good S&W .357/.38 revolver is not a bad recommendation at all. My wife prefers her mid sized .38 revolver over any autoloader.

If ammo and handgun price are not concerns, I recommend a full sized Les Baer or Wilson Combat 1911 in .45. I don’t mean to say you should run out and get one of these right away but if you love shooting and actually learn how to handle a handgun you’ll end up there eventually in my opinion.

Good Luck.

Howser87
February 24, 2009, 01:24 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys, I am definitely going to head to a rental range before buying. The nearest though is a 160mile round trip, so I was putting it off.

Any advice on taking that class as a refresher before or after heading to the range to test the guns out?

coinshooter
February 24, 2009, 02:40 PM
I really like the XD IN 9MM BUT I love my XDM in 9mm. It fits really good. Shoots sweet and just feels right.

Dorkfish
February 24, 2009, 04:27 PM
As an avid Glock shooter/owner and XD owner/shooter, I can honestly say I've never had a misfire or hangfire from a Glock using factory ammo. My first XD had only one misfire and the range tossed it into a Glock and it fired w/o problems. (pretty foolish if you ask me) "No such thing as a misfire in a Glock" were the words used.

I now have an XD9SC, from my understanding there may have been a few minor refinements made since the first few runs of the XD line. I've yet to have a misfire/hangfire out of the new XD.

Shoot everthing you can get your paws on...even if it's not your niche. You never know when you find that one pistol that works for you. Mine just happened to be a CZ-52!

1SOW
February 24, 2009, 08:40 PM
Overall I am just trying to figure out a good all around gun that I can start our collection with.


9mm, CZ, XD

Pick the model/size that fits your AND her hand, points naturally and suits your needs.

Don't just leave it beside the bed. Shoot it often.

+++ Get training so you don't develop bad habits that have to be UNlearned.

searcher451
February 24, 2009, 08:53 PM
Buying a gun on the recommendation of an internet forum is equivalent to buying a car because your favorite movie star drives it, or getting a new golf club because Tiger Woods plays it. It may make sense for the movie star, or for Tiger, but it won't necessarily make sense for you.

Armoredman had it right. Rent some guns, find one that fits your hand and your eye and your budget, and then take some lessons. It's hard to go wrong if you follow that advice.

NELSONs02
February 24, 2009, 08:53 PM
My vote for you would be for a glock or Cz, in 9mm of course. I'm not familiar with the Px4 or Cx4 but I think you'll find hunting with the Cx4 highly impractical....Be cool for defensive stuff though. I'm also not a fan of grip safeties but thats just me.

I think you'll find success with any of the pistols mentioned.

Ed Ames
February 25, 2009, 12:05 AM
The best starting gun is a decent 22. Ruger MkII, Browning Buckmark, 22 revolver, whatever feels good to you.

You need to shoot a lot to get good. Thousands of rounds. Centerfire ammo costs 10x as much as 22 rimfire.

Scenario 1: $500 XD or similar, 2000 rounds of ammo at $400. $900 total and only one gun.

Scenario 2: $300 22 handgun and 5000 rounds of 22lr ($150ish). $450 total ... then add $500 for a CZ75 and $100 for 400 rounds of familiarization ammo. Yeah, it's an extra $150, but you've got more than twice the trigger time and two guns.

Howser87
February 25, 2009, 12:54 AM
The best starting gun is a decent 22. Ruger MkII, Browning Buckmark, 22 revolver, whatever feels good to you.

You need to shoot a lot to get good. Thousands of rounds. Centerfire ammo costs 10x as much as 22 rimfire.

Scenario 1: $500 XD or similar, 2000 rounds of ammo at $400. $900 total and only one gun.

Scenario 2: $300 22 handgun and 5000 rounds of 22lr ($150ish). $450 total ... then add $500 for a CZ75 and $100 for 400 rounds of familiarization ammo. Yeah, it's an extra $150, but you've got more than twice the trigger time and two guns.

That is a decent piece of advice, we both do have shooting experience though, I had considered that and ultimately decided that while owning a little 22 might have its uses we both still want to spend some fun range time with ammo that has a slightly harder kick. Most of the 22 pistols I have fired have almost no kick, and with subsonic rounds less kick then my airguns.

Thanks again for all the help guys, we are currently planning a trip to the nearest rental range in mid march.

rougeqc21
February 25, 2009, 01:46 PM
For me it was just handling as many pistols as possible until I found the three that fit my hand the best and then shooting them. Came down to the FNP9 92FS and CZ75. I just had some kind of love lust over the 92 instantly and that is what I ended up with. All were comparable except for the FN in size.

oneounceload
February 25, 2009, 01:54 PM
For a FIRST gun, IMO, it should be a .22 in the flavor (semi or revolver) of your choice. Once BOTH of you have become totally familiar, THEN move up to a centerfire pistol in the flavor of your choice - remembering that what you like and what your wife likes may not necessarily be the same - and if the gun(s) are to be used for HD/SD as well as range plinking, that is something important to consider

Ed Ames
February 25, 2009, 03:20 PM
I'm not knocking centerfires but I can't imagine not having a 22.

I grew up in a house (in socal) where we had .22 on up covered. I didn't have to buy a gun to go shooting. I always took a .22, usually took a 9mm or .45, when I went to the range.

Before I moved out on my own I went to get my own guns. Not as easy in CA as OK. I wound up with the most accurate .22 pair (pistol, rifle) I could, a military surplus bolt action rifle (swedish mauser), and an old 45 DA revolver. That's what I could afford (and even there 'used' was the watchword). At the time that cost about $600 ... $900 or so in today's money.

Still have all of them. The .45 hasn't seen a range in 10+ years. The swede has been in a safe for 2. Both .22s were spitting fire last weekend.

Doing over, 2009 style, the .22s and swede were great choices but I'd get a taurus pt-145 over the revolver.

One of the biggest reasons for wanting at least two of each general type is that range trips are a LOT more fun when guns outnumber shooters. With two I could take a friend and set up two stations side by side. Much nicer than trying to trade off. Add "2=1 and 1=0" and it just made sense.

Jed Carter
February 25, 2009, 03:34 PM
If you are interested in a semi-auto pistol for youself and your wife, make sure that your wife can operate the slide. My wife enjoys shooting almost as much as I do, but she is tiny and cannot pull back the slides on some of my full size pistols. For instance, she cannot operate the slide on my SIG P226, but can easily pull the slide on the Glock G34 and G17.

HippieMagic
February 25, 2009, 03:42 PM
You aren't allowed to hunt here with anything less than .40 in a handgun caliber and .223 in rifle... You may want to consider that too. I wouldn't recommend hunting with a .40 either though... If you go for hunting I would use a revolver. If you wanted to buy a handgun why on earth did you move to CA? lol don't they have the strictest gun laws on the planet over there?

The Smith & Wesson M&P is a good hangun too... I don't think a .40 is a good starting point either... other than $5 more per box of ammo it is really snappy and not a good learner round.

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