Okay You'll have to excuse me cause I sure a thread like this has probably already been done. Allow me to explain my situtation and then I'll ask my question. I currently work for a security company which as just decided to start trying for armed postions. Because I am in the Army National Gard I was "voluntered" (I was already looking to it too). I started looking around for something in the 9mm range. Now my supervisor has suggested I get something from Smith & Wesson I kinda like the M&P. I've looked at H&K, FNH, Glock, and some other other manufacturers. Now I know really when you boil it all down you get what you pay for, but I'm hoping to get a few good reccomendations so when I walk into my local arms shop that I don't taken for a ride. Any suggestions as far as a good first handgun and good ammo, plus any helpful tips for a first time pistol shooter?
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March 28, 2009, 03:25 PM
I'm new here as well, although a long-time shooter, so take my advice for what you will and I'm sure other senior members will chime in where I leave off.
All of the options you mentioned are reliable weapons - Glock, HK, S&W M&P, so the advice of "get something reliable" is advice you don't need (if you stick to those choices and a few others).
That said, the most important thing (in my opinion) is to get your hands on a few and see what you enjoy - what feels good in the hand.
Try this - bring the handgun up to your shooting position and notice how it points, avoiding the inclination to line-up the sights.
Some guns will simply "point" correctly for you without you trying. HK and CZ do this for me - Sig and Glock do not. If you pick-up a gun and notice you need to adjust your wrist forward or back, it may not point correctly for you.
Also, at least for Glock and HK, you can get a really reliable piece in the used/consigment section, so don't be afaird to step over there.
That said - new Glock 19 (9mm) should run you around $500 or $525 (a great price is about $480). A new HK USP 9 will be about $800 new (so buy used - should be about $550).
They are very different weapons however. If you're used to a manual safety and decocker like your M9 Beretta (Nat'l Guard, right?), you might prefer the HK.
My advice is not comprehensive, so I'll let others fill in with more... Good luck.
March 28, 2009, 03:28 PM
Anything from Federal is good ammo - look for the Hydrashock (HST).
There is A LOT of ammo out there and much is good stuff (or it wouldn't still be selling). Look for Cor-Bon, Federal, etc.
Depending on your state laws/work SOPs, you may not be able to carry hollow-points, so keep that in mind before dropping $30 on ammo.
Many here will say if you're using 9mm, you MUST have hollows.
March 28, 2009, 04:28 PM
it would help if we knew where you were located.
beware of gun shop guys trying to "upgun" you to the .40...you're better off starting with a 9mm. i'd recommend you look at Speer Gold Dot ammo. i prefer the 124gr over the 115gr or 147gr bullet.
in polymer: i prefer the way the Springfield XD feels compared to the Glock. i find it points more like my Sigs...there are some great buys out there on the Sig Pro 2202 also. a "best buy" right now is the surplus Sig P6...buy it has a alloy frame and a single stack mag
if you'd like the variable size grips, i'd look at the XDm or the S&W M&P...but it doesn't make much sense if you're just going to just use the medium backstrap anyway.
March 28, 2009, 04:37 PM
I own the M&P .45 ACP. Speer Gold Dot 230 Grain Duty and Lawman TMJ Training also 230 grains I fire with this gun. I am not yet as accurate (Practice, practice practicing....) but getting within a foot at 10 yards is plenty.
It fits my hand and I dont have to over"Thunk" anything when I draw it.
The magazine capacity is a double stack of 7 each, I usually download by two rounds for 5 total each clip. It seems to work better.
Finally but not last I have a Uplula reloader for the clips, it saves the pain, tears and gets the rounds clipped fast.
My second consideration was the Colt Commander also in the .45 ACP but price point won out in the end.
There just happens to be a Airbase down a ways in my area just looking for Armed Gaurds with the catch that they will be required to enlist or volunteer into the Gaurds and take a class prior to hire.
March 28, 2009, 06:53 PM
Philip Marlowe and jHockman: A hearty welcome to The High Road! jHockman, since you're in the military, why not opt for a Beretta 92? They're nice, affordable, accurate and reliable pistols and their "big for caliber" stigma is of little consequence if you are going to be carrying it in a non-concealed, holstered mode.
March 28, 2009, 08:01 PM
Thank you for the advice so far I reall appreciate it. Phillip Marlowe as for you question I live in Florida. As for you SwampWolf I've never actually fired the 92(M9) I held it before and done some dry firing but I've found it to be a bit on the heavy side but then again it might be because I'm not used to it.
Kind of Blued
March 28, 2009, 08:50 PM
Anything from Federal is good ammo - look for the Hydrashock (HST).
Those are actually two totally different loads/bullet designs. Just so we don't confuse the fella:
I much prefer the HST load. This photo explains why.
March 28, 2009, 10:45 PM
I'll recommend it because I own it, check out the CZ P-01 or PCR, great pistols. They're not polymer frames, but alloy and are reasonably light.
March 28, 2009, 11:32 PM
If you were volunteered by your employer for higher risk duty (protecting cash), you should reasonably expect that they pay for you to attend a handgun proficiency course. You should expect to be trained/upgraded every year. Ask for free practice ammo, and a free range membership. Join IPSC or IDPA.
If you end up paired up with another armed guard, you should train together -at a pro school- in the tactics that are relevant to the threats you might encounter.
It's not all about guns.... You should also be paid more money as you are assuming greater risk. The company should have a written policy that provides health care plus disability benefits should you be hurt or maimed, and life insurance to take care of your dependants if you die protecting other people's money. What legal services will your company provide if you end up sued because of shots you fire while protecting the company's money?
March 29, 2009, 04:11 PM
TwoFifty I wont be doing anything nearly that high risk I work at a port in my area. So ocasionally the company is asked to provide armed security and they needed a few more armed officers to cover those assignments. Plus I would like something for personal protection that has a lttle more umph that you average pocket knife, so I want some information before I buy something thats a waste of my money.
March 29, 2009, 11:56 PM
First, I recommend that you not buy a Glock. In the hands of an expert, a Glock is fine, but every federal or state agency that has adopted the Glock has seen a significant increase in unintentional discharges. In short, you're much better off with something else.
S&W has really cleaned up its act in autos, having gotten off to a rocky start with the 39s and 59s. Alas, their nicest ones followed in the 459/659 and then their 5906. If you enjoy the beauty and fine functioning of firearms, I like these hi-capacity 9mms. Their newer guns are just sort of ugly, but yet very functional, pistols. The Springfield XP is another fine choice and, if you like the .45 ACP round, the 645 is still widely available at very decent prices. Great guns, too.
What I like about the earlier pistols is that they're made of stainless steel and they look and feel great.