Little help deciding on a SD pistol


September 18, 2010, 04:49 PM
Hey guys, I'm looking to purchase my first handgun, and I was hoping you could help to decide which. My priorities in order are:

9mm (a must, because cost of ammo)
less than $1,000 (a must)
made in these USA
comfort (I realize that only I can decide this when I feel it at the store)
ease of cleaning/ field stripping

The models I'm caught between are (in alphabetical order):

Beretta 92A1
Beretta Px4
Glock 19 (c?)
Ruger SR9
Sig Sauer P250 compact
Springfield XD 4"
Swith & Wesson SD9

This gun will be for concealed carry/ self defense (either in the 4 o'clock or kidney position). I know the concealability is near the end of my priorities, but I can always change my clothes if needed.

If you have any other suggestions, I would be happy to hear them.

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September 18, 2010, 04:52 PM
In my opinion, I would suggest the SR9c or the Glock 26.

September 18, 2010, 04:54 PM
Awesome choice on the 9mm.

I would go with the Glock or XD, because polymer frames are much less to worry about (rusting, scratches, etc.) on a carry gun. Not to mention reliability...

If you do go with the Glock, try the '17 and '19. The main difference is the distance between the trigger guard and first finger notch. The Glock 19 pinches my middle finger, YMMV.

Be open to other carry positions. I never thought I'd be comfortable packing a Glock 17 over my apendix, but it is by far the most comfortable, concealable, and accessable place to pack.

September 18, 2010, 05:47 PM
S&W M&P9c, you'll get four mags after the rebate (magazines can run $50 each for some pistols), it's light weight, accurate, concealable, plenty of holster options, lifetime service policy, DEPENDABLE and well under $1,000.

I'd rule out the Sig 250 on reliability, the SD 9 on price difference (you can get a $50 rebate instead of the extra mags with the M&P), all of the full size choices for bulk and swap the Glock 19 and SR9 for compact models as PT suggested.

With the M&P 40 you can purchase an aftermarket barrel for $150 and shoot 9mm with a new magazine (you could get those with the rebate). Under $700 for two calibers and enough left over for reloading equipment.

September 18, 2010, 06:49 PM
I was at a gun shop today and saw a used 250 in 9mm for $299! For some reason, these guns haven't caught on. The Smith is a great gun and can be had NIB for under $400. My current carry is a Glock 26 but if I had to switch I think it would be the Smith...maybe the XD. All 3 guns are exceptionally reliable and that's really the key.

September 18, 2010, 08:44 PM
MADE IN USA Rules out The Sig & Beretta As far as Choice the SR9c Or the S&W herd great things about it & Well under Said price ; )

Sebastian the Ibis
September 18, 2010, 10:42 PM
It's hard to go wrong with a glock as your first pistol. They are fantastic out of the box, but any accessory made for a handgun, is made for a 9mm glock. The mags are cheap and the whole system is rugged. If you have a problem, every smith, R/O & gun shop owner knows how to work on it if you have an issue. If you go glock, join the GSSF ahead of time and buy it for the LEO price, then use the $100.00 you save to go to a glock armorer's class. Can't go wrong.

September 18, 2010, 11:02 PM
MADE IN USA Rules out The Sig & Beretta As far as Choice the SR9c Or the S&W herd great things about it & Well under Said price ; )

Actually there are Sigs and Berettas made here in the USA. Look on the gun; it should say. My Glock says Austria, but I don't have any problems sending money towards europe; particularly possible relatives.

Of those you listed, I think the Glock 19 will be the best; small and light.

Beretta 92 would be second choice.

September 19, 2010, 01:11 AM
Glock 19 witgout the "c" would get my vote due to cost, ease of shooting, ease of maintenence, ease of concealment, cheap mags, and huge aftermarket support. It is small enough to conceal but large enough to do okay with in practical shooting if you wish. They are very easy to modify yourself if you like.

September 19, 2010, 01:20 AM

September 19, 2010, 01:36 AM
Beretta 92A1 Made in Italy. World class pistol, but takes dedication to EDCCW.

Beretta Px4 Made in Italy. Good choice.

Glock 19 (c?) Made in Austria. Finest general purpose fighting pistol in history (along with the 23.) No C.

Ruger SR9 Have no experience with this model, but Ruger is an excellent arms manufacturer.

Sig Sauer P250 compact Never heard a good thing about the P250. I don't have any experience though.

Springfield XD 4" Made in Croatia. People love this gun for some reason.

Swith & Wesson SD9 No experience. Add the M&P....

September 19, 2010, 01:37 AM
I'm guessing he never put his hand on a CZ 75...

September 19, 2010, 01:53 AM
The S&W M&P (US Made & US Owned Company), just got awarded, along with Glock, an multi-agency future purchase contract after passing ATF trials. That should satisfy your ruggedness / reliability requirement.

Beretta 92A1 - Could be made in Italy, or along side US Military M9s in Maryland, but still an Italian company

Beretta Px4 - Made in Italy, by and Italian company

Glock 19 (c?) - Made in Austria by an Austrian owned company, distributed in the USA from good ole Smyrna, Ga.

Ruger SR9 - American Made & Owned, but no major Mil / Police contracts that I'm aware of.

Sig Sauer P250 compact - Swiss/German ownership. Not sure if the P250 is made in Exeter, NH; or in Germany. This pistol was eliminated from the ATF trial listed above where Glock and S&W M&P endured to a draw and were both awarded the contract. The P250 is not the same quality as the exceptional metal frame P series.

Springfield XD 4" - US distribution of the Croatian HS 2000 pistol

Swith & Wesson SD9 - new, and unproven. The S&W M&P is, however, just a bit more expensive, and has quite a track record for a fairly recent entry in the service pistol segment.

The Lone Haranguer
September 19, 2010, 02:20 AM
made in these USA

Beretta 92A1
Beretta Px4
Glock 19 (c?)
Ruger SR9
Sig Sauer P250 compact
Springfield XD 4"
Swith & Wesson SD9

Your definition of "made in USA" must be pretty loose. Only the Ruger and S&W are 100% US-made, by US companies. Anyway, you should add the S&W M&P to your list, although the SDs I've looked at are impressive for the money.

September 19, 2010, 02:39 AM
The most important thing when selecting a pistol for carry or defense is that it works right for you. Hold a few examples, and if you have the chance rent them and fire them. Almost all of the major brands make great quality weapons. I own a P250C among other weapons, and It works fantastic. Never had a hiccup. Make sure you get the new frame style with the 1913 Pic rail. As the first production 250's with the rounded rail had some teething problems. It is the current issue of the US Air Marshalls, and yes the P250 is a very high quality Pistol, as I own both the P250 and metal frame P series as well.

September 19, 2010, 05:01 AM
Point by point answered by the M&P:

9mm: yes
< $1,000: yes
Made in the Greatest Country on Earth: yes
Comfortable: yes, textured, rubberized grips in 3 sizes standard (no XD cheese graters)
Reliable: yes, just passed BATF trials and awarded open agency contracts (my first one has 1700+ rounds to date with 0 failures of any kind with varied ammo)
Accurate: yes, even I can hit an 8" target at 50yds. with my 9c
Rugged: yes, see S&W commercials or ATF trials mentioned by UGAARGUY
Easy to clean/disassemble: yes, lock the slide, rotate the take down lever, release the slide and pull the trigger (there's a lever that lets you skip the trigger pull but it's easier to ignore it). The recoil spring is flat so it won't fly across the room like a 1911's, the barrel falls out after that and everything else can be reached from this point.
Concealability: yes, smaller, thinner and lighter than the Berettas, Glock, Ruger...ok, all those listed, with two magazine designs provided: flat base and extended pinky, 12rnds.
Accessories: yes, one of my favorites. For holsters I've got a Galco IWB and a DeSantis pocket holster, plenty of other options though.

The M&P 9c should be on your short list, the Glock should round out the list, one or the other will be the most reliable pistol you will ever own.

September 19, 2010, 07:17 AM
Do yourself a favor.... go with the Glock 26. (It's the smallest 9mm Glock.)
Compact. High capacity for its size. Proven reliability. Rugged. Easy to clean. Easy to field strip. It's easy to maintain. Lots of spare parts found in every gun shop.

If I was forced to use a 9mm for SD straight out of the box (without prior testing) , I would choose a Glock gun.

If I was forced to use a 9mm for SD that had fired 1000 rounds previous without any cleaning, I still would choose the Glock brand.

The good news is that you can buy a new Glock, keep it cleaned regularly, and feed it good ammo...and you would have a great SD gun.

Shawn Dodson
September 19, 2010, 10:35 AM
Glock 19. It has the best out-of-box reliability.

I also suggest you avoid compensated handguns for self-defense because the hot gas jet may unexpectedly impinge on your body or face if you have to fire from retention position or from a compromised position during a physical struggle.

With a Glock you can carry a "happy stick" (33 rd magazine) in your car, backpack, or on your person, if you felt the need.

September 19, 2010, 12:25 PM
It takes many many many many guns to finally know what you really like. So for a first handgun, I suggest something that retains value so if a year later you don't want it, you can sell it.
Also this is your first gun, and may be the only gun you can go to if something happens. So go with a GLOCK or XD. Go with something easy to take apart and easy to put together. Something easy to fix.
1000 dollars for a 9mm is a lot of gun, so you have a real good budget and can virtually buy everything in the 9mm.

September 19, 2010, 02:35 PM
I recommend a Glock 19 or 26 if you're planning on carrying. If just for target shooting or as a nightstand gun then I'd go with the G17.

Glocks are great starter guns because they're so simple.

September 19, 2010, 03:02 PM
MADE IN USA Rules out The Sig & Beretta As far as Choice the SR9c Or the S&W herd great things about it & Well under Said price ; )

Also rules out Glock and Springfield.

September 20, 2010, 09:40 AM
If it must be made in the USA, then the S&W M&P line is the best thing going in my opinion.

September 20, 2010, 10:28 AM
For a carry gun AND made in the USA.

Ruger SR9c.

Works for me.


September 20, 2010, 12:00 PM
The Glock 19 and 26 fit all your requrements except made in the USA, however they are assembled in the USA and thus create jobs. Both conceal very well and no breakin required. The first two shots fired with my 26 accounted for head shots on two Copperheads that I came across while clearing out a fence row near the house. I have NY1 triggers on mine. I am an old revolver shooter and they feel right for me. $1.99 at Midway USA and the Glock tool is less than $10. Videos abound on the net on how to change them out.

September 20, 2010, 12:18 PM
If you want all of your criteria to be met, then the M&P is the best option, in my opinion, provided that it's a good fit for you.

September 21, 2010, 12:47 AM
CT Gunner that wasnt a 250 you saw it was a frame and slide kit. They look like the complete firearm. They sell the caliber conversion kits for that price regularly, the Complete weapons are still around 475.00 avg, and damned well worth it.

September 21, 2010, 02:17 AM
Glock or Smith and Wesson SD. I haven't handled an M/P yet but I've heard nothing but positive talk.
I popped for the Sigma and other than a somewhat stiff trigger its been great.


September 21, 2010, 04:54 AM
The Glock 26 would be my first choice. If it absolutely must be made in the USA, then I'd try a S&W M&P9c.

In any case, rent as many as you can before you decide on 'the one.' The Glock 26 may be just about the perfect 9mm handgun on Earth for me (and it is), but some folks just hate 'em. Best to try before you buy.


September 21, 2010, 09:48 AM
I have two smith M&Ps, so I'm a little biased. I carry a 9c and I have a full size 40 bedside. I think they're great - not a hiccup with either. The 9c is extremely accurate for a compact and the 40 is one of the better handling 40s I've come across - not as good as my Sig 229, but not that far off.

I think the Ruger is a great choice as well. Never shot one but I've handled them and they are a very well balanced pistol. Lots of people on these boards swear by them and Ruger, if anything, stands behind their products.

If the Made in the USA requirement is loose, then the Glock 19 is a great choice, as is the CZ P01 and P07 (-P01 has a metal frame, P07 polymer).

The SD9 is a revamped Sigma from my understanding, which is not a bad choice, I just like the M&P better. I've never been a fan of the XD - in my hands it just feels too chunky, but it's another well liked, proven platform.

The beretta 92 is a great pistol - it was my first, still have it, IMO it's as iconic as the 1911. Heavy for a CCW but great for the range and home defense. Accuracy with the 92 is tough to beat for me.

THe sig 250 - I have just read too many things about it that turn me off. No experience with it, and the concept is interesting, but there are so many proven platforms out there, the 250 just doesn't interest me.

Hope this helps - good luck and be safe!

September 21, 2010, 12:32 PM
I'm very happy with my M&P 9s- full size and compact. The full size, in fact, is my favorite range gun-cheap to shoot and extremely accurate.

September 22, 2010, 12:06 AM
I've got the S&W MP9 and MP9c as well as .40 cal Glock 22 & 27. The M&P is the better gun to me in handling and shooting.

Plus 2 free mags sweeten the deal. I paid $500 on special so for $1K you can get a gun, 2 spare mags, holster, and 500 rounds of practice ammo, plus enough carry ammo to test gun and fill your mags for carry.

Finally you get a lifetime warranty.

September 22, 2010, 12:14 AM
By your criteria I would go with the Ruger SR9c.

September 22, 2010, 12:33 AM
1) Glock 19 some mags and ammo
2) Sig 229 in 9mm
Enough said...

Jed Carter
September 22, 2010, 04:52 AM
For $1000 bucks on "my" first handgun I would get a Browning Buckmark .22lr. From your list I would then get the Glock G19 and 5-6 extra magazines, and still be less than the price limit. I started in 1978 with a 9mm S&W model 39, wish I started with the .22. I developed bad shooting habits that took years to correct with the 9mm. Start with a decent .22lr target pistol, it will make you a better shooter in less time and expense than with a 9mm, You can and should have both.

Grey Morel
September 22, 2010, 08:58 AM
My personal preference would be for the Beretta PX4.

But I was impressed recently with the changes S&W has made to the 'Sigma' in order to generate their new 'SD' Series, without changing the price much:
- Dovetail sights
- Lighter trigger pull
- Nicer finish

September 22, 2010, 09:37 AM
Shoot and shoot and shoot the XD, px4 and the Glock extensively at the local gun store if you can.

I shot an XD better than the Glock, as well as the px4. Glock's reputation and simplicity has me sold. I really love the fact that I can tear down a glock completely with a small punch/allen wrench and a flat screwdriver in a matter of minutes. I really love that I was able to modify my trigger group with proven, reliable parts with little effort. I really love the plethora of aftermarket sights, holsters and whatever other accessories. Glocks are so prevelant, it is easy to find reviews on products that I want to buy because somebody out there has already bought it and blogged about it.

That being said, I never realized that I wanted an XD until I bought a Glock. The trigger is acceptable on a Glock from the factory and up to par...and for under $50 you can buy a lot of parts to make it much better and install them yourself without specialized tools and make the trigger a lot better. But when I go and shoot a buddy's box stock XD (not even an m), I now notice how much I like the XD trigger. It is smoother, breaks cleaner and I like the reset better. It just feels like a higher quality piece to me. The grip safety is a non issue for most folks, myself included.

If I had bought a Glock 23, I may be singing a different tune. I could stomach the less than optimal (for me) trigger if I knew I could keep a 357 barrel and extractor in the range bag so I could easily switch back and forth. I do love that kind of versatility, and 357 SIG ammo isn't drastically more expensive than 9mm.

But to each his or her own. Everyone has different tastes. Some folks prefer the Glock trigger and I honestly have no clue why. You just won't know until you shoot them all, a lot. You may not even know until you spend 1000 rounds or so getting to know your new purchase.

Edit: The XD is just a tad larger than the 19. I love the size of the 19 for ccw or the range. The size difference is very small, but then again so is the size difference between a 19 and a 26...and just look at all the recent threads here discussing the 19 vs 26 for ccw. Just a few millimeters sparks a 2-3 page debate in this area.

September 22, 2010, 08:39 PM
My opinion would be the Glock 26 or an Springfield XD. God Bless :)

September 22, 2010, 08:58 PM
CT Gunner that wasnt a 250 you saw it was a frame and slide kit. They look like the complete firearm. They sell the caliber conversion kits for that price regularly, the Complete weapons are still around 475.00 avg, and damned well worth it.

I should have mentioned that it was a 'used' 250 for $299 at my local shop...complete gun. It wasn't flying off the shelf at that price either which shocked me. I considered buying it just because it was so cheap but I would rather have an M&P if I ever purchase another 9mm compact.

September 22, 2010, 09:15 PM
id go with the m&p as it fulfills all the criteria and its a great gun. really awesome trigger and fits nicely in the hand. second choice would be a glock 19. can never really go wrong with glock, and the 19 is small enough to carry but large enough to shoot comfortably.

October 2, 2010, 11:49 PM
My wife has a G19. Too small for me really, but for what it is, I can't complain in the least.

I have wanted to try an SR9 though. Just to try it. There are a lot of guns out there, but this one is calling my name.

I also like a Browning Hi-Power. A little big for your purposes maybe, but I want one!

I really don't like Berettas. Shoot one for work. To much I don't like about them to list here.

October 3, 2010, 01:14 AM
If it wasn't for your 'made in the USA' caveat, I'd say C-75 all the way, or better yet CZ-75SA (single action).

Ruger has never made a centerfire auto loader that I really like. They are tank tough, easy to clean and strip, but I have never liked the look and feel of them. Great gun for the money, just never fit me well.

Glocks are ugly & square to me, but they are also simple and reliable. The G17 is a tad large for CCW. The 19 is a better fit for most people who carry one daily. Glock is probably the most carried brand by law enforcement in the US right now and with good reason.

If you're willing to shop used, a Police trade Sig 226 is one of the best values out there.

Springfield makes a dandy 'EMP' that uses 1911 styling, scaled down for the 9mm. This is one concealable (single stack) pistol.

October 3, 2010, 01:53 AM
Smith and Wesson M&P fits the bill.

Its what a Glock would be if Glocks actually had a modicum of style. ;)

October 3, 2010, 02:12 AM
I have an SR9, and I like it just fine. I have carried just a couple of guns over the years, most recently and most frequently a revolver, but I recently bought my buddies Glock 26 off of him, and it's nice and handy.

Truth is, not a single gun that you listed (with the possible exception of the S&W since I have absolutely zero experience with that model) is going to be out and out bad. You may have a personal preference for one over the other, or one may be ergonomically better for you or something, but in terms of performance they are all going to work just fine. Oh, sure, there are some virulent fanboys that will always tout one thing over another, or guys that will scream about how they will NEVER buy from Company X again, but I think most of us know that it's pretty tough to buy a bad gun in todays gun market. We will give you opinions based on experience and personal preference because you may have similar preferences, but ultimately only you can decide which one you like the most.

October 3, 2010, 09:35 AM
When it comes to self defense weapons I have only one priority, how well can I shoot it!

For self defense I like my SR9 best.

Mike J
October 3, 2010, 10:00 AM
Out of the ones on your list I have an XD-40. I like it & it works for me. I haven't shot a G-19 but I have shot me neighbors G-23 & I liked it. If you are serious about buying American made I would say go with the Ruger or the S&W. Renting & shooting as many of the choices on your list as possible will let you know what works best for you.

October 3, 2010, 10:42 AM
IMO, I'd stick with something that's (DAO) striker fired like the glock. If it's your first handgun it'll be easier to learn how to shoot it well as opposed to a SA/DA trigger pull like the Beretta's. I never really became a fan of SA/DA triggers... I hate the looonnnggg squishy feeling they tend to have.

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