New to Handguns


PDA






Baldman
December 9, 2012, 11:28 AM
Gentlemen, as the title says I'm new to handguns. I've shot several over the years but never owned one. I'm now looking to finally purchase one and that's where I need your help. I'm pretty sure I'm looking for a 9mm because ammo is plentiful and the caliber will be something my wife can handle as well.

I'm looking for suggestions that fit the following:
Reliable [probably an older name brand (colt, s&w, glock, sig, colt, etc)as I'm not up on "new" brands]
Simple to breakdown / maintain
Ability to add a laser sight (my eyes aren't what they used to be)
Easy to handle (not too heavy / easy to aim)
Price tag +/- 500 - 600

This would be generally used as a range gun and HD (hopefully never used for that). I don't plan to carry it so a short barrel isn't a must.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

If you enjoyed reading about "New to Handguns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
mesinge2
December 9, 2012, 11:59 AM
Adding your price range will help us give you suggestions, but:

A S&W M&P, Springfield XD or XDm, Glock 17 or 19, Beretta 92A1 / M9A1 or Px4 Storm, Ruger SR9 or a number of other makes will do you just fine.

The best way to tell is to make a list and try them out until you find one that fits YOU.

The one you're most comfortable with at the range. I personally prefer the M&P series from S&W and the 92 series from Beretta but a Glock, Ruger, or Springfield will do you just fine if it is what fits the bill.

Also, my list is far from inclusive as there are many many more, like CZ for example.

Skylerbone
December 9, 2012, 12:22 PM
My best advice would be to buy based on your wife's needs first. Size, weight, ergonomics and ability to manipulate controls are often bigger hurdles so make sure she spearheads the decision.

Size. Intuition leads us to compact and that can lead to disappointment. Overcoming an extra 4-6 lbs. of force with a stiffer recoil spring makes for a frustrated wife, I know this firsthand.

Weight. Lightweight pistols exhibit more felt recoil. Even in 9mm with its snappy signature can lead the shooter to believe controlling the pistol is impossible.

Ergonomics. It's more than can she grip it firmly or reach the safety. Are the slide serrations too aggressive and "cutting" while racking? Is the magazine release easily depressed?

If I were privy to the usage of a time machine and could go back a few years my wife might have been shooting a SigPro 2022. I say might because the mission to find her the right pistol left a few wrong candidates on my side of the safe. Still not sure that benefit was worth the frustration and the initial turn-off for her with shooting.

Bottom line in my opinion, getting her involved means better odds of both of you staying active in shooting. Patronizing as I learned is met with resistance.

ku4hx
December 9, 2012, 12:29 PM
Some ranges rent guns and some gun clubs sponsor new shooter programs. I'd suggest you and wife investigate both.

Tcruse
December 9, 2012, 01:16 PM
Rent as many as possible, then make your choice.
My suggested list to try is
1) Glock 17,19,26
2) Ruger SR9, SR9C, P95
3) S&W MP9
4) Baretta PX4, 92FS
5) Tarus PT92
6) Caracal F, C
7) Springfield XDm (I really am not a fan of this gun, but seems that may like it)

There are several list on the web, search google "best 9mm Pistol".
http://www.best9mm.com/ is one list that I have used several times.

el Godfather
December 9, 2012, 01:18 PM
Based upon your conditions- Glock 19 period.

BearGriz
December 9, 2012, 01:30 PM
Based upon your conditions- Glock 19 period.

Exactly! Because all other options are ridiculous...I don't even know why other manufacturers even try. What works for some other people is bound to work for everyone. The grip angle, balance, pointing of the Glock, etc. are going work perfectly for the OP because Glocks are da' bomb...period!

The Glock 19 is a great weapon (my father has had one for years), and I like it a lot. I might own one someday. It definitely should be one that the OP looks at and considers, but I think they would be best served to handle many of the great options out there (as others have suggested) and see what fits in their hand.

Tcruse
December 9, 2012, 01:38 PM
Well, lets not forget about the Glock 17 and the Glock 26. The last person that I convinced that the G19 was the right choice, did not like it at all. Instead, he picked the Gen4 G17.

Ehtereon11B
December 9, 2012, 01:42 PM
Since when is Glock an older name brand? Compared to Colt, Smith, and Springfield...Glocks are the angry punk teenagers with purple mohawks.

I will say go off your wife's needs first. If it is going to be a firearm that you both are going to be proficient on, it will be harder for her to find something she likes. Just don't get something all pink to appease her. It doesn't look good at the range.

Reading your criteria I can't help but think J-frame. Then I see 9mm, that makes it harder. Taurus makes a 9mm revolver called the 905. Would fit all your needs including the ability to add a grip laser.

Larger pistols such as G19, 17, 92FS will be harder for your wife to use since they have a much larger grip. I would recommend a pistol with removable back straps which narrows down the list quiet a bit.

BearGriz
December 9, 2012, 02:49 PM
Reading your criteria I can't help but think J-frame. Then I see 9mm, that makes it harder. Taurus makes a 9mm revolver called the 905. Would fit all your needs including the ability to add a grip laser.

I love my Taurus 905, but I have to admit that it kicks pretty hard (harder than a semi). The wife might not like that. Also, don't let 5 round capacity on the 905 scare you. They have some moon clips that make reloading wicked fast.

Plan2Live
December 9, 2012, 07:37 PM
Take a look at the XDm 3.8 Compact. It meets all of your criteria. It is nearly identical in size to some of the other suggestions but has some extra features one brand in particular doesn't have. The grip safety on the XDm adds a certain peace of mind, especially when holstering if you do it the right way and take advantage of the grip safety. The visual and tactile loaded chamber and cocked indicators beat the heck out of a "press check". And, you don't have to pull the trigger to take it apart for cleaning. We had a 62 year-old gentleman fatally wound himself less than two weeks ago at a local indoor shooting range while "disassembling" his.....extremely popular semi-automatic pistol that requires the trigger to be pulled to take the slide off the frame.

My XDm Compact has been 100% reliable, is easy to take apart for cleaning and feels like a tank. Take a look, you wont be disappointed.

Walking Dead
December 9, 2012, 08:11 PM
I think you just described a Glock 19.

Kabal
December 9, 2012, 08:33 PM
I wouldn't propose a compact handgun for the range or home defense.

Neither situation requires the pistol to be particularly small or light-weight.
On the contrary. In general, handguns with longer barrels/slides and a little more weight are easier to shoot accurately. They also tend to have less recoil, which might be good for the wife.
My girlfriend weighs 105 lbs and has no problems shooting my CZ Viper, which weighs close to 3 pounds with a few rounds in the magazine.

I'd take a steel frame gun over a polymer gun. My vote goes to the CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow.

However, personal preferences seem to be quite different (cf. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=685886), so the best thing to do would be to try out as many of the guns mentioned here as possible before buying one.

BYJO4
December 9, 2012, 08:34 PM
Based on your price range and intended use, a Glock could very well meet your needs. Several models to choose from. Good luck finding what you like.

Shadow 7D
December 9, 2012, 08:51 PM
A RANGE THAT RENTS GUNS
seriously
you are going to buy one,
find out what you like better
buy another
then another

the perfect gun don't exist, but it's fun looking....

el Godfather
December 9, 2012, 11:33 PM
Beargriz, ha ha aha. Thats all I can say.

To OP, again, "based upon your condition" in mu opinion Glock 19 period.

For FYI
I own over 100 handguns and they are not all Glocks. I recommended Glock because in my opinion it fits the bill. Had he more budget an want gun for some other elaborate use I would have recommended something else.

Just saying go try them all is just passing the damn buck. Off course he can and should try other pistols, but he is here on THR and asking for our advice rather. Which is what we would pick under the conditions laid out by the OP, and everyone here has the right to respond- OP has the option to go with the advice he finds best for him.

tarosean
December 9, 2012, 11:49 PM
Since when is Glock an older name brand? Compared to Colt, Smith, and Springfield...Glocks are the angry punk teenagers with purple mohawks.

You meant Zikha & Co., Saf-T-hammer, and Reese Surplus? Their names live on, but all are relatively "new"..


As for the OP, go to the largest dealer you can find and hold every gun in your price range.

ActionJax
December 10, 2012, 12:02 AM
For DA/SA, Sig p229 (or p226) in 9mm. Also available is a .22LR kit for practice, cheap ammo, and wife-friendliness. I have one and love love love it.

For extra simplicity, a Glock G17 would be my second choice (or similar Springfield XD)

Hunter125
December 10, 2012, 12:08 AM
Be cautious with the Caracal, they were recently recalled for not being dropsafe. If you are interested in a Caracal be sure to do your research.

coolluke01
December 10, 2012, 12:24 AM
I'm looking for suggestions that fit the following:
Reliable [probably an older name brand (colt, s&w, glock, sig, colt, etc)as I'm not up on "new" brands] All those are good brands, but some have guns that will not fit the bill for you. Most make a reliable gun that will suit your needs

Simple to breakdown / maintain There is nothing more simple than a Glock to detail strip

Ability to add a laser sight (my eyes aren't what they used to be) I would say Glock again. Front rail and more aftermarket parts than any other gun

Easy to handle (not too heavy / easy to aim) Most polymer guns will fit this. Low bore axis and grip angle will be things to look at. Learn a proper grip before choosing a gun. Testing a gun with a poor grip will not likely lead you to the gun you should have.

Price tag +/- 500 - 600 There are many guns that will fall in your price range. You don't need to spend more to get what you want. You could buy used to save some money.

I would look at the Gen 4 Glocks for the replaceable backstraps. This will help you and your wife shoot.

Good luck and shoot as many as you can before you choose. Don't worry about used guns. It can be a good way to get a first gun.

Plan2Live
December 10, 2012, 06:41 AM
Since the OP is new to handguns, let's keep him focused and provide full disclosure.
Simple to breakdown / maintain There is nothing more simple than a Glock to detail stripDetail strip differs from field strip. Field strippping is all most shooters will ever need to do to keep their guns clean and functioning properly. With that in mind, the XDm field strips easier than the G-lock because the XDm does not force you to pull the trigger to remove the slide. On very important step eliminated.

Ability to add a laser sight (my eyes aren't what they used to be) I would say Glock again. Front rail and more aftermarket parts than any other gun A rail is a rail. A rail mounted accessory does not care which frame it is riding under.

As many have stated, there are numerous options for you. As you described your situation you need to meet the needs of two people. So the two of you need to go out and SHOOT as many guns as possible before making a decision. Find a rental range and rent a few different platforms including Double Action triggers, Single Action triggers, Hammer Fired guns and Striker fired guns or go to a local public range and watch other people shoot and ask them about their guns, many will probably offer to let you shoot their guns.

Then, go on Youtube and search your top picks. Search things like field stripping. Watch closely and make sure you want to perform each of those steps as a new shooter.

Baldman
December 10, 2012, 08:38 AM
Guys,

Thanks for the responses, sounds like I've got more options them I thought. Looks like we'll be doing some test driving some guns in the next few weeks, I think that might be just a little bit of fun. I'll let you know what we end up with.

Kahr33556
December 10, 2012, 08:49 AM
smith M&P 9, springfield XD 9,Glock 19, CZ also makes a nice gun

Tcruse
December 10, 2012, 09:38 AM
"Since when is Glock an older name brand? Compared to Colt, Smith, and Springfield..."
Yes, but Springfield that is on the market today is only an importer (and some assembly/fitting on the high end 1911s). They make nothing, just import guns made in countries with cheap labor. SpringField XD is made in Coatia and was orgininally sold for much less before the "Springfield" label was added.
When speaking of modern non-metal frame guns, Glock is the first that has been successful.

ATLDave
December 10, 2012, 10:01 AM
A small suggestion: when you buy your 9mm, go ahead and buy a .22 pistol along with it. You will learn to be a much better shooter if you spend most of your time with the .22. Ammo is so cheap that it's almost free (~$8/100 rounds for very good quality stuff), so you'll practice more, but you'll also be able to overcome any flinching issues you or your wife may have much faster if you have a .22 to work with.

Pilot
December 10, 2012, 10:01 AM
You don't have to just stick with a polymer framed gun, especially since you won't be carrying it. I suggest looking for a CZ-75B, or other CZ-75 variant like an SP-01, or P-01. These are accurate, reliable, and comfortable pistols to shoot at the range.

Others to consider:

Sig P226/P229 (aluminum alloy framed)
Beretta 92FS (aluminum alloy framed)
HK USP (polymer framed)
EAA Witness (CZ clone, steel framed)
Glock G17/G19 (polymer framed)

mesinge2
December 10, 2012, 10:28 AM
A small suggestion: when you buy your 9mm, go ahead and buy a .22 pistol along with it. You will learn to be a much better shooter if you spend most of your time with the .22. Ammo is so cheap that it's almost free (~$8/100 rounds for very good quality stuff), so you'll practice more, but you'll also be able to overcome any flinching issues you or your wife may have much faster if you have a .22 to work with.
Good advice, and you can often either find a conversion kit or complete gun in the same platform/size/~weight as your primary. For example:

.45 ACP Colt Combat Elite

http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc401/mesinge2/My%20heaters/My45ACPColt1911CombatElite2.jpg



.22 LR SIG 1911-22

http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc401/mesinge2/My%20heaters/My22LRSIG1911-221.jpg

BearGriz
December 10, 2012, 12:08 PM
Beargriz, ha ha aha. Thats all I can say...Just saying go try them all is just passing the damn buck.

And just saying "You want ______. Period." not only has the hint of fanboy, it doesn't offer much compelling information. I don't doubt that you have loads of guns (seriously 100? that is impressive and...wow). I guess I just tire of posts that say "What you want is this!!" without any additional information.

In your second post you offered some added information that helped make your case and gave more information to the OP (like your background, experience, and some reasons why the Glock fit the bill). I like posts like your second one more than your first one; but, like you said, we're all free to offer opinions and thoughts (brief or extensive).

In the end it looks like the OP now has a more focused list of possible handguns that he can go and test drive (and he sounds satisfied), so everyone wins! :)

otasan56
December 10, 2012, 03:17 PM
I'd get a 3rd or 4th Generation Glock 17 or 19. It can accept laser pointers and flashlights, and they are 100% reliable. They can handle +p+ ammo just fine. I have owned a G17 since 1989.

Shadow 7D
December 10, 2012, 08:03 PM
USED guns (honestly, most guns get shot VERY little)
Stoeger Cougar (same gun (Beretta 8000 series) built on the same equipment, in a cheaper labor market - Turkey)


Try before you buy, or accept you will 'move' through a number of guns

And DON'T expect one gun to do it all
cause we all know that is what a laser pistol in the 40Kw range is for...... (it don't exist)

targetshooter22
December 10, 2012, 11:04 PM
Hey, I know this is the Autoloader part of the forum, but have you considered a revolver? In your price range there are some pretty nice Smith's and Rugers, and with the exception of the laser sight, nearly all your stated requirements are met. In addition to those, a revolver is likely to be most accommodating to small hands and easy operation.

B!ngo
December 11, 2012, 02:22 AM
Based upon your conditions- Glock 19 period.
That. I suppose you could rent one to be sure, but if you're a new shooter, it will take some time to work through the vagaries of all of the options. The sure fire (sorry), lowest risk, easiest handling, value retaining, accessories available, less-than-$500 shooter is the Glock 19. It's hard to imagine you can go wrong.
If you want to spend the time and run through the complete science experiment by testing (renting) all of the ones listed above, reading all of the review on same, by all means do so. But it is most likely that you will end up with the same one, and if you choose another, in six months you may be saying, 'Well, I really should have just purchased that G19'.
I don't even own one, but everyone I speak with, and every comment I read leads me to the same conclusion.

el Godfather
December 11, 2012, 02:58 AM
Over the years I have bought and sold many handguns, but since 1990 Glock 19 has stayed with.

rskent
December 11, 2012, 05:04 AM
Glock 19, You could do a lot worse.

Kabal
December 11, 2012, 04:51 PM
I am curious as to why so many of you guys recommend the Glock 19 instead of the Glock 17.

The Glock 19 is obviously a little easier to carry and to conceal than the Glock 17, but the OP clearly wants a gun for target shooting, not CCW.

Does the 19 fit your hands better than the 17?


By the way, I'd still get a Gen 3 model, unless the Gen 4 backstrap feels significantly better in your hand.

If you enjoyed reading about "New to Handguns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!