First Handgun


February 2, 2010, 06:50 PM
Hello High Road,

I am an x-ray tech by profession, active duty army. I have grown up around firearms, but have never owned anything but hunting rifles, and have always wanted a handgun. Being as the areas around post are rough, and I am getting married soon, I have come to the conclusion that I would like something for peace of mind... and because I love to shoot... well mostly because I love to shoot.

Note that I am not about carrying on my person. The state in which I am stationed considers the automobile an extension of the home in terms of firearm concealment. The pistol will stay in the console.

I have researched the internet tirelessly, searching forums high and low for advice and solid reviews, and have landed here at the high road, because it seems like the greatest little firearm forum on the net, go figure. I have posted this in the auto-loading section, because while I have never owned a handgun, I have experience handling them and do not like revolvers. Don't ask me why, they just feel tedious to me.

I have found several options that I think would suit my needs, but I would love to run the ideas by the experts here on the forum.

1. I am very attracted to any of the 1911 style weapons, they have a reputation for reliability, accuracy, and class. Being as most of them tend to be very expensive, my eye was drawn to the Taurus pt1911. My local gun-broker had one in stock, and I was immediately drawn to the heft and feel of the weapon in my hand. I find that in my own head this weapon remains number one on my list. Novak sights.

2. The gun-broker also had in his possession a FHN 40 that I liked very very much. The polymer grip threw me at first, but I liked the grip and swing of the slide. The weapon carries a high capacity magazine, and to me, when loaded possesses an excellent feeling of balance. This weapon possessed night sights.

Other than those two, he told me to come back in later this week to see if his Springfield XD supply would be back. So I find myself curious as to your opinions!

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February 2, 2010, 07:06 PM
You can do a search on any handgun ever made and find good feedback on this forum.

This is probably not what you want to hear but the best thing is to go to a range and start shooting different models.The more guns you fire the more you can compare guns against each other, finding what you like in the process.

Most times with a question like this, people just tell you their favorite weapon. After 4 pages, you have ever handgun on the market as a possible answer to your question.

Back to your post, the 1911, FHN 40, and XD Series are all great guns. They can all serve target shooting, Defense, fun...etc. However, they are all very different as well. Go buy some ammo and start having fun with them.

February 2, 2010, 07:09 PM
Go to the range and rent some guns. Choose a wide variety of styles and actions. This is the only real way to see what you like and can shoot the best. My opinion is to get the FNH out of your choices. If you really want a 1911 I would spend more money and get a Smith and Wesson SW1911 basic model for 800ish. They are very reliable out of the box in my experience and they shoot very well.

Jed Carter
February 3, 2010, 07:24 PM
If I had to put it all on the line, I would pick the FNP 40 over the Taurus 1911. If you want an inexpensive 1911 to stuff in the console then a Mil-Spec 1911 would be my choice. No sweating scuffs and dings, and this type of 1911 tends to be reliable out of the box. One factor to consider with the 1911 is it's sweet trigger and light pull could make for accidental discharge in the hands of a novice. A good DA/SA service pistol FNH, SIG or H&K would be my choice, with the FNH being the most affordable, all are great reliable firearms.

February 3, 2010, 07:28 PM
If you have a 1911 itch, it won't go away until you scratch it.

I recommend get to a rental range where you can try some different designs and calibers, you might surprise yourself. You may find you need more than one for one reason or another.

Also, start looking at getting the army's pistol training out of your head. It is inadequate and VERY outdated, not geared in reality.

February 3, 2010, 11:05 PM
If you are looking at the Taurus 1911, do look into STI Spartan.

You will enjoy the gun most when you shoot it and STI may give you more enjoyment than the Taurus.

BTW, I have competed with 1911s in matches and shot many other shooters' 1911s (Colt, Para, Kimber, Ed Brown, Springfield, STI, etc.) and STI gets my respect, especially at Spartan price.

Don't rush into a gun purchase ... talk to as many actual gun owners as you can - they will often tell you tiny aspects that may be big for you.

February 4, 2010, 09:50 AM
Some good advice so far. Search the forums for guns you are interested in. Take what you read with a grain of salt. There is no handgun mfr. out there that hasn't produced a lemon. As soon as that happens you are bound to read about how bad the company is on a gun forum. Try our various guns at your local range. Take some classes, and shoot often. The rest will fall into place.

Welcome to THR.

Arkansas Paul
February 4, 2010, 10:09 AM
bds is absolutely right. Don't rush into something. Take your time. Do you have friends that would let you try out their weapons at the range? It's been said several times, but there's no substitute for going out and shooting. Handling them is fine and good, but you won't know until you put some rounds downrange with it. And don't let someont else convince you of what gun to buy. Only you can decide what is right for you. Welcome to THR by the way.

February 4, 2010, 10:12 AM
Try or at least hold as many as you reasonably can. Don't bust the bank on the first purchase. You might also want to consider a revolver. They're a bit easier to learn -- and cool as heck.

February 4, 2010, 10:15 AM
go to a range and rent what interests you. good luck and have fun

February 4, 2010, 10:22 AM
Take your fiance' to the range with you and let her shoot along with you. If you get her into target shooting it will be a whole lot of fun. Get what you like, get what she likes. Try the XD

February 4, 2010, 12:47 PM
Actually... for shame... the girl shoots better than I do, and already has a concealed carry. She packs 9mm, and is the armed one. Good catch right?

February 4, 2010, 01:54 PM
Don't let go.

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