Have any of you bought a gun without shooting it first?


desert gator
March 7, 2009, 05:12 PM
I am getting ready to purchase my first gun. It will be for ccw. I am looking at

1. Walther PPS 9MM
2. Springfield XD subcompact 9MM
3. S&W MP 9MM
4. Glock 26

I really dont think I can get the chance to shoot them all, so I am wondering have any of you bought a gun just based on how it feels in your hand and on your person concealed alone?

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March 7, 2009, 05:16 PM
Of the dozens upon dozens of guns I've owned over the years most were bought without trying them first.

I wish I could have tried out every gun I've ever bought before buying but in most cases it just wasn't possible. That's why good research and careful consideration is always a good thing before buying.

Forgot the second part of your question...

All of your choices sound pretty good. I've owned XD's, Glocks and M&P's and all were fine handguns. The PPS is intriguing to me but I have no personal experience with them. Personally I really like the trigger on the M&P as well as the fit, finish and ergonomics. It's a very accurate gun with a nice low profile and tame recoil even in the larger calibers. So my vote goes to the M&P.

March 7, 2009, 05:18 PM
Go for the PPS I have one in 9mm and plan on buying one in 40 as well.

March 7, 2009, 05:22 PM
I bought my Walther PPS without ever firing it. I'm glad I did too, I love it. Bought my M&p without firing it too, love it as well.

Between those choices, the PPS would be an easy pick for me. The PPS works much better with my body type and clothing style. I could probably conceal one of the other options if I tried, and replaced most of my clothing, but I wasn't willing to do that. The PPS is an amazing shooter, and I can and have concealed it in the front pocket of my sweat pants.

March 7, 2009, 05:24 PM
I've bought many without shooting first (just today I bought a Micro Desert Eagle, and hadn't ever seen one until today).

March 7, 2009, 05:46 PM
I've never bought a gun that I've shot before buying it.

desert gator
March 7, 2009, 05:53 PM
OK I was just making sure there was no cardinal rule of shoot the gun before you buy it.

March 7, 2009, 06:02 PM
same here every gun I own I bought before shooting. I don't regret any purchases I made alothough I would def. shoot a weapon first If i considered buying another one.(which probably won't be for several years). I'd check with local ranges and gun shops near you, alot of them have rentals so you can try a few out then go with what you shoot best.

March 7, 2009, 06:08 PM
OK I was just making sure there was no cardinal rule of shoot the gun before you buy it.

Not a cardinal rule, but it's a good idea if you have the opportunity to shoot it first, to do so. With exception of the Walther PPS, all the models you listed should be available for rental at most ranges.

March 7, 2009, 06:12 PM
Every gun I've ever bought was done so with out benefit of firing it first. And a couple I've purchased over the internet I hadn't even held before making a committment. Of course holding and firing first is always preferable.

desert gator
March 7, 2009, 06:24 PM
Yeah I dont really know anyone who has handguns, and I checked with my local ranges, they have these guns in bigger sizes, but not in compact.

March 7, 2009, 06:32 PM
Well shoot the bigger sizes, and handle the smaller versions. Other then recoil you can feel the differences between the larger sized version, and the smaller concealed carry version just by holding it.

March 7, 2009, 07:33 PM
Gator -

By all means, if a range in your area rents these models, then fire some rounds through them all and see which handles best. If that isn't practical, go to the local gun dealer and hold each of them, and your hand will tell you which one fits best and points most naturally.

I went through this last year and settled on the M&P9c. No complaints whatsoever. It's a fine handgun.

March 7, 2009, 07:46 PM
I didn't shoot any of the guns I have before buying them but I've done a lot of research and asked a lot of questions before putting my money down. None of them have been a disappointment.

March 7, 2009, 07:59 PM
I bought my first gun without firing it. My XD 40. I love that gun, i got it based on the feel and kind of liked the safety features. I have never had a problem with it and love it. It was funny to see my brother not get a good grip and try to fire it. :neener:

Hungry Seagull
March 7, 2009, 08:00 PM
Nothing shot prior to buying. I feel that if you like heft, feel and overall fit of gun in your hand go for it.

I did almost trade my Rem 870 back in after experiencing the Mag 3" with it's 5 foot fire and bell ringing recoil. Now I wont trade it for anything LOL.

March 7, 2009, 08:05 PM
Research is the key. I try to learn as much as possible about a new gun before making a decision. I have a hard time letting a gun go after I've bought it. If it doesn't move me, it's probably in the back of the safe somewhere. Who knows, someday I might find a use for it!

March 7, 2009, 08:15 PM
I have never prefired any gun that I bought or traded for.

March 7, 2009, 08:25 PM
If possible to rent, go for it.
If possible to handle before buying, do so.

If you have to order without even a chance to handle, do your research and proceed with caution.

Of our 4 handguns, we got to shoot one before buying. MrsBFD and I both loved the ergonomics of the gun (surplus Walther P1) and the shop was willing to let us shoot it on their range - either we bought it, or paid a cleaning fee.
For the other three, we have one gun she likes and I don't, one gun I like and she doesn't, and one we both love shooting. (Walther P22, Walther PPS, and Ruger mkIII respectively).

desert gator
March 7, 2009, 08:35 PM
Im glad that you like the walther pps. Its funny but my top two choices are the walther which is the most expensive and the glock 26 which seems to be the cheapest, so that puts a big wrench in the system

March 7, 2009, 09:07 PM
If it feels good in my hand then I just might buy it. To answer your question YES many.

March 7, 2009, 09:10 PM
Have you at least handled them?
Sadly, I'm no Glock expert, so I can't compare and contrast the two in a meaningful way.

March 7, 2009, 09:22 PM
I have seldom pre-fired any weapon that I purchased. For the most part, used ones at a range that you can test fire feel some what different than one NIB.

March 7, 2009, 09:29 PM
I see the gun. It's exactly what I've been looking for. I buy it. After awhile I find it's not quite what I thought. I buy another gun, etc. I always thought that was why so many of us have so many guns!! The stores where I've bought mine say the guns are new, and if we shoot them they aren't new anymore, they're now used! When you buy a car, you can (usually) test drive the actual "new" car you're going to buy---not guns! I'm satisfied. I like the idea that I know my "new" gun really is new, and hasn't had 1000+ rounds through it in "test rides."

March 7, 2009, 09:34 PM
Sad to admit, but not only have I never purchased a gun AFTER firing it, I currently own guns I have had for 2+ years that I have NEVER fired. When I find a deal, I buy it & never seem to find time. When I do get to the range, I spend that time staying proficient with my CCW's. Those of you with property & the ability to step outside, set up a backstop, and blast away are truly blessed.

March 7, 2009, 09:48 PM
I have not ever test fired a gun but I did test fire my bow befor i bought it in januiary. Usually I just read reviews and find out what everyone else thinks about whatever gun i am looking at then after multiple trips to the local toy store I make up my mind weather I am going to buy it or not.

March 7, 2009, 09:56 PM
1. Walther PPS 9MM
2. Springfield XD subcompact 9MM
3. S&W MP 9MM
4. Glock 26

THR is about personal opinions, right? IMO, I would add a few other options for you to consider. Unless you are planning to pocket carry, the mid sized Glocks (19,23) are as easy to conceal as your choices above, and are inline with the M&P size wise. I carry a G27 as my primary CCW in a front pocket, but when clothing permits belt carry, I really wish I had a G23 or G19in the stable; If belt carry is what you are planning, these mid sized CCW's are much easier to shoot. If I can indulge one more opinion, many do not have any more difficulty controling a .40 over a 9mm. At the risk of starting a thread war, whatever gets shot will not easily tell the difference between a 165 gr Gold Dot .40 and your choice of .45 ACP. The 9? Different story.

desert gator
March 7, 2009, 10:06 PM
Im glad to hear that the glock 19 is easy to conceal, I like it better than the 26 but worry about it being bigger though. I have heard, and I dont know if there is truth to it that bigger guys can conceal a bigger gun better than smaller guys. Im 6'3" 275lbs so maybe the glock 19 is not a bad idea. The reason for wanting a nine is because I am new to guns and plan on eating up allot of $ learning to shoot. Next year I will "graduate up" to a bigger caliber

March 7, 2009, 10:10 PM
Private purchases yes . It is just easy to do in this part of Pa. I have not yet found or heard of a shop that alows you to shoot a gun before buying it. I have bought my last 5 guns without shooting them first. I always read about them & then handle them & then if I like it, I buy it. That is if the price is right.

March 7, 2009, 10:13 PM
I've bought a few guns before firing them.
3 of the ones on your list, actually:
2. Springfield XD subcompact 9MM
3. S&W MP 9MM
4. Glock 26

I love all 3 of those. My personal favorite is the glock (right now), but they are all great shooters and fit my hand well.
I sold my fullsize m&p to get the g26, the smaller size is totally worth it. still shoots great, and conceals MUCH MUCH easier. and i'm a big guy. the G19 is only slightly smaller than the fullsize (4.25") m&p, that's why i went with the 26.

However, I've also bought a few others without shooting them first that didn't turn out too well (CZ82...cool gun, but I just couldnt shoot it well from the get go. didn't invest too much practice in it, either).

IMO, as long as you know what you like, and you have an idea of how you shoot and what is comfortable, it is possible to buy without shooting.

However, nothing beats the assurance of shooting before you buy to make SURE you'll like it the best.

March 8, 2009, 06:50 AM
I don't think I've ever bought a gun I fired first. As a matter of fact, I've bought guns I've never seen before.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy any of the ones on your list.

March 8, 2009, 12:27 PM
I've borrowed someone's 1911 at the range before. Love at first trigger squeeze :D But that's about the only time I've fired a weapon before buying one of my own.

March 8, 2009, 01:43 PM
If I had to pick from your list I would pick the Walther PPS, it is a fine gun, however, I like the Walther P99compact in 9mm better.

My buddy has a PPS and a P99 Compact in 9mm, (I just have the P99 compact).

The beauty of the P99c is the option of a 15 round mag. A heck of a lot of fire power in a small 18.7 oz. CCW.


March 8, 2009, 05:52 PM
Nearly every gun I've ever bought I never shot. Some I didn't even hold. I just saw them, knew the reputations, closed my eyes and jumped! :what:

Wesson Smith
March 8, 2009, 06:05 PM
Like others here, I've never test-driven any of the firearms I own.
I almost always buy new, and it's not possible with a new gun,
at least not here in my neck of the woods. Most FFLs don't want
to have to clean the thing after the customer decides he/she doesn't
like or want it. I don't blame 'em a bit.

March 8, 2009, 06:24 PM
I own a Glock 19, Glock 26 and recently added a Glock 29. I am 5'8" and weigh 190 lbs. So, I am about as wide as I am tall. The 19 is my pistol of choice, and I have shot lots and lots of pistols. With that said, I carried the Glock 19 for a couple of years before I bought the Glock 26. It is now my daily carry gun.

I was able to shoot all of the Glocks before purchasing, because I have friends that owned them. I own 30+ other guns and never shot any of them before I bought them.

Texas is hot. We have 4 seasons, pre summer, summer, post summer and deer season. I spent the day at the range today, 81 degrees. I usually pocket carry the Glock 26 in a DeSantis Nemesis holster. I work in a "business casual" environment. That means I wear a starched and pressed button down and Docker type pants. It's just too darned hot to wear any type of concealment garment other than the occasional Hawaiian shirt, so it's pocket carry most of the time. The 26 is better for this. I shoot the 26 as well as the 19, but it took some range time to get used to the "dangling pinkie". I don't even think about it now.

Both are top notch combat pistols. For someone your size, the 19 should be perfect.

I carry the 29 in deer season.

March 8, 2009, 07:23 PM
But I do extensive online research first. Magazine articles, questions on forums, etc. My research usually pans out.

March 8, 2009, 08:04 PM
I have, but it's better to shoot one first if possible.

The ones I bought without shooting first:

Springfield M1A Loaded rifle- I had only handled one, never shot it. Love it. Shoots great. My favorite rifle.

H&K USP45 "Custom Combat"- I had never shot one of these, but had handled one in a store and liked the feel of it. The gun runs like a top and is dang near indestructable. Mechanical accuracy is excellent, but I don't shoot it as accurately as some of my other guns.

Dan Wesson Classic Bobtail "CBOB"- Bought it sight unseen (no one around here had one to even look at). By far my favorite pistol I own. 100% reliable out of the box, shoots like a dream, and conceals very well.

I've gotten pretty lucky with my "blind" purchases, but it could have easily gone the other way.

I think Kevin summed it up pretty well: do your research. It will at least leave you with a gun that you could easily sell based on its rep if it disagrees with you.


Big Daddy Grim
March 8, 2009, 08:09 PM
If i'm not sure about grip size or if it will be good for me I drive to Impact Guns and try out the same model then buy the new one if it feels good to me if you are not completely sure then I recommend this route.

March 8, 2009, 08:12 PM
Yes, often.

It did not always work out, but hey, you don't know if you don't try. :)

March 8, 2009, 08:38 PM
all but one of my many

March 8, 2009, 09:10 PM
I"ve bought most of my guns w/o shooting them first -- but after a while, you know what you like & what to look for when purchasing an addition. Since this is your first, it may be tougher...Of your choices, I'd go w/ the G26 -- for a sub compact, it's the easiest to shoot well & there are alot fo accessories for it

March 8, 2009, 09:20 PM
Every single one of my handguns I bought before shooting, but then again I also knew I wanted them beforehand while it seems like you have your eye on several

March 8, 2009, 09:49 PM
Hey come on, it's not like your buying a pair of shoes or something. ;)

March 8, 2009, 09:59 PM
Im 6'3" 275lbs so maybe the glock 19 is not a bad idea.

Dude--You could conceal a tank. I'm 6'1" & 250lbs, and I have no trouble concealing full-sized 1911's in a high-ride pancake holster under an un-tucked shirt. Weighs nearly twice as much as the mid sized Glocks; The G19 would be a snap.

desert gator
March 8, 2009, 10:03 PM
Im glad to hear that, I am really leaning towards the glock 19. The subcompact sized guns just feel to small in my hand. I have gathered that glock has a good rep for being reliable, and they are cheaper than all the other guns I am looking at

March 8, 2009, 10:18 PM
I've bought almost all my handguns without firing them. If it feels good, and is the caliber I want, I buy it. By now I know pretty much what the recoil factor will be.

March 8, 2009, 10:54 PM
Every gun I own was purchased before it was shot.

March 9, 2009, 09:44 AM
bought and traded multiple times with just a feel of the grip and a quick look,had 1 junker jacked on me,but i remedied that situation,im a smith wesson steel man but the m/p is a growing on me.

March 9, 2009, 11:54 AM
I impulse-buy guns all the time.

Can't think of one that I actually shot before I owned it.:o

I've never shot any of the guns you listed.

But I would choose the M&P if I had to.

I'm not a fan of the back-strap safetys, and the glock's grip angle is too aggressive for my taste. (I have a Steyr M9-A1 with a slightly less agressive grip angle and even that is too much for me.)

March 9, 2009, 11:59 AM
Almost every gun I have ever owned was purchased before firing it or even an example of it.
In 56 years (I've lost count of how many hundreds of guns purchased), I have only bought two guns for which I had the chance to test shoot examples of first; a Kel-Tec P3AT pistol and a .20 Career PCP air rifle.

March 9, 2009, 12:00 PM
Most of the guns I've owned were bought without shooting first.

I;ve owned all the firearms you've listed. All are quality pistols, but the only ones I still own are the XDsc and the PPS.

March 9, 2009, 12:13 PM
I purchased a CZ 2075 RAMI 9mm without prior test firing. I purchased this gun for CCW based on research, ergonomics, & size. I have NO regrets.
Don't rule this gun out. This gun was $50 less than what I paid for my stainless XD40.

March 9, 2009, 02:25 PM
First time Ive shot a specific Design, Was after ive purchased it! this has been the Case 8 times.

March 9, 2009, 02:35 PM
Didn't shoot any of mine prior to purchase.

March 9, 2009, 02:51 PM
Only 1 - beretta 92. All the rest - I handled most of them. 2 CZs I bought without even handling and I love them. But I'm not real picky when it comes to guns - unfortunately I like them all!

March 9, 2009, 03:17 PM
Every single one.

March 9, 2009, 05:02 PM
Only accurate firearms interest me, but how do you fire a NIB gun before the purchase? I got rid of lots of guns that I purchased without firing.
I have kept a few too.

March 9, 2009, 05:18 PM
I have rarely fired the actual guns that I've bought first, but I've sometimes fired the kind of gun I'm buying so I know what to look for.

RE: your choice of pistols, from your original list I've only got firing experience with the XD and G26. My ex had a XD subcompact 9mm, and I have a G26. The G26 is already a brick, the XD is a little worse, IMO. I've had a G19 and G23 as well, and I find that I can conceal the G26 only a little better than the either of those. On the plus side, the G26 isn't any harder for me to hold onto during firing than the G19 was.

The PPS I've handled and do not like it. No idea what it's like to fire it, but the magazine release seems so foreign to everything else I have.

Good luck with your choice.


March 9, 2009, 07:16 PM
I bought both of mine sight unseen.

March 9, 2009, 07:45 PM
I've just barely come to the age where I can purchase Handguns. I try to research a lot about a firearm before I got ahead and purchase one. I own 3 and I didn't shoot any of them before I purchased them. My first handgun was a glock 26, and i'm very comfortable with it. I had a good idea what it would feel like after experimenting with both a glock 19 and 27 beforehand. I was really tempted by the Walther PPS, but in the end I'm glad I stuck with the Glock 26, its amazingly accurate and eats anything I can find to feed it.

March 9, 2009, 08:24 PM
Only once have I test fired and that was a G17 I bought from a friend.
If it feels good in my hand I go home and research it. Unless it's a good deal, then all bets are off.

March 9, 2009, 09:43 PM
The PPS I've handled and do not like it. No idea what it's like to fire it, but the magazine release seems so foreign to everything else I have.
You get used to it rapidly, actually. It is sort of oddball, but the advantage is no button to accidentally push while drawing or riding in the holster. It helps to have a P22 to practice with - same concept for the mag release, including the tendency to fire the mag away. Both are well beyond "drop-free".

As far as being foreign to other methods, we already have both heel and button releases on handguns, so we are used to sizing up the release method at a glance.

March 10, 2009, 10:35 PM
I've shot only one single gun before buying it, a S&W model 28. Every other one was bought without shooting it first. A couple I never would have bought if I had.

March 10, 2009, 10:47 PM
I'm guilty too. The only one I shot before buying was my first, a 686. Not sure of the fact that i had fired a 10/22 and MK1 when I was a kid counts toward my MK2 and 10/22. But I bought my glock purely on reputation and the fact that it felt ok in my hands. Even worse I bought my Gold Cup without ever even HELD a 1911 before. I don't regret it though.

March 11, 2009, 10:59 AM
I have rarely, if ever, shot a gun before buying it. I have shot other guns like it, or different models within the brand, or variations of the sme model, but off the top of my head I really can't think of a handgun that I've shot before I have bought it.

March 11, 2009, 04:10 PM
Yup. But I insist on a lifetime warranty and a company with good customer service.

March 11, 2009, 05:08 PM
I always dryfire them & rack the slide a few times before I buy. The types of handguns I tend to buy are the types I've shot at the ranges many times, and the only surprises at this point are the way the triggers break.

March 11, 2009, 05:41 PM
I have a friend who had an SP-101 and after I shot it I had to have one. I had a GP-100 and he had to have one after firing mine.

My brother shot my Colt Anaconda .44 mag and he bought one.

I shot a Kimber PRO CDP II .45 and had to have one.

Bought two Ruger Mark II's after shooting a friends.

Bought a Kel-tec .380 after shooting one that an off duty PD officer had in the stall next to me a the range.

Moral to the story...don't fire a gun you don't intend to buy. :)

March 11, 2009, 10:21 PM
I bought both my Ruger 22/45 and my Kimber Custom II before I fired them. I don't regret the decision one bit. I did handle them extensively before buying though.

March 12, 2009, 09:11 PM
History/reviews of the model + what feels best in your hand should be good enough.

March 12, 2009, 09:12 PM
Bought a lot of mine NIB over the net, so I didn't fire them either. Didn't have any rental ranges at those times....never had any issues, like my G26

March 12, 2009, 09:41 PM
I have never fired any of them prior to purchasing. You have some really good firearms on your candidate list. I own a PPS 9mm and an XD9sc both are great guns. The PPS is much easier to carry and conceal than the XD. Godd luck with your purchase.

March 12, 2009, 10:31 PM
yes. XD's :D

March 14, 2009, 10:05 AM
A number of them. I've never shot my Reid's "My Friend" .22 knuckleduster and never will, though I was most happy to buy it more than 40 years ago. I also recently bought a Ruger 10/22 and haven't had a chance yet to take it out the range. It's not that I haven't shot Ruger rifles and carbines before; I grew up with the .44 mag Deerstalker and wanted a nice match for it, which is how I ended up with the 10/22. (It's a good reminder; I'll try to get it out this weekend.)

Now that I think some on it, there's been more than a few through the years that have made their way to the gun safe without getting an initial test run, including some nice P.38s, a NIB P88C, a NIB P5C ... gee, the list is a long one, in fact. :)

Guns and more
March 14, 2009, 10:08 AM
I never shoot before I buy, but I always make sure it fits my hand.
This is far better than buying on someone else's recommendation.

harmon rabb
March 14, 2009, 10:17 AM
****, i've never bought a gun having shot it first. :o

my first gun purchase was a sig sauer p226 9mm, without having shot it, and i LOVE that gun. fits perfectly in my hand and i could shoot it all day without discomfort.

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