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Complete Newb Advice - Opinions and Help Please

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by koji, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. koji

    koji Member

    Venerable members of THR:

    Sorry in advance for the somewhat long post. I need some advice and trust the opinions on this board after searching and reading many threads. Here is basically what I want: an autoloader in 9mm with a decent selection of holsters and pre-ban clips that is:

    a) Easy to field strip, clean, and re-assemble. (My biggest worry)
    b) Reliable.
    c) New shooter friendly. (easy to point, external safety)
    d) A good value. (No sense spending more than $400 dollars when I can’t shoot for crap.)

    After reading a ton of threads I’ve come down to:
    FN – FNP
    Ruger P95
    CZ 75
    Taurus 24/7

    One note: No Glocks. I know I can get a used one in the right price range but they just feel weird to me.

    The background:

    I’ve never owned a handgun in any caliber ever, though I’ve shot quite a few at the range about 6 years ago. I would just go there now and see what I like, but after a couple of “rent a gun – shoot yourself” incidents at my local range they stopped renting unless you already own. Since I’ve never owned a gun really, I’ve got all kinds of concerns you guys would probably think are silly but bear with me.

    I want to learn responsible gun ownership, handling, safety, and defensive shooting for a variety of reasons I won’t get in to. I plan on taking several classes to that effect once I have a suitable weapon. I figure a 9mm is a good place for me to start because it’s cheap to shoot and there are tons of options. And should I happen to need it, it’s a decent enough defensive caliber.

    I’ve never disassembled a firearm, and so for whatever reason, that aspect and maintenance worries me. I am mechanically inclined – I’ve done all my own automotive work for fun since I was 16 including engine rebuilds and such. But a car won’t kill you if you’re an idiot or a newb.

    I want something that will allow me to learn to shoot, handle and maintain a firearm until I get comfortable enough that I can actually discern what I like in a gun and get something else. The list I have above seems to qualify based on posts I’ve read but I’m open to other options. With all that in mind, please let me know what you think.

  2. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    Simple to teardown, falls w/in your budgetary restraints, fun to shoot and are good guns???
    My first thoughts were of the Beretta 92fs (I bought one used for $400) and the BHP (I bought mine w/ 4 extra mags for $425). Of the group you mentioned tho, I'd go w/ the CZ
  3. Froggy

    Froggy Well-Known Member

    The CZ 75 meets all your stated criteria at a good price and, IMO, is probably the best pick on your list. There is a real good chance you won't feel a need to replace it.
  4. koji

    koji Member

    Is the BHP a Beretta? Sorry, I've never heard of that one. :banghead: My newbieness is an irritation to me as well. ;)
  5. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Well-Known Member

    BHP = Browning Hi-Power

    The original 9mm hi-cap pistol, from 1935. Single-action only, which means you carry it with the hammer cocked and safety on.

    Another vote for CZ. The 75 is good if you want full size, and the PCR, Compact, and P01 are also great variants. All these CZs are between $375-475 brand-new. Just try and feel out the possible models to see how they fit your hand, and go with the one you like.

    Oh, with the CZ you can also buy an extra slide in .22 caliber (the "Kadet"), and get in inexpensive practice with .22 ammo. The slides just swap right out in ten seconds.

    Concur with the choice of 9mm, the most affordable and lowest recoil.

    Holsters are widely available for any gun that's not completely obscure. There are also several prolific custom grip-makers for the CZ.

    Why the need for pre-ban magazines? Does your state restrict current-production ones? Were you aware that the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired, and only a few state-level ones remain?

    Mechanical inclination: I can barely put a chain on a bicycle, but I have no problem disassembling and reassembling pistols and rifles. They're very simple, mechanically. Also only a partial disassembly is needed for anything short of a post-disaster cleaning. On a CZ, you slide out one pin (the slide stop), pull the slide off the frame, take off the recoil rod and it's spring, and slide the barrel out of the frame. Done.

    IRT Classes: very good call. Are you having an easy time finding classes in your area? If not, just ask here on THR and folks will set you straight.

    Welcome aboard,

  6. 51Cards

    51Cards Well-Known Member

    Don't worry too much about the maintenance. Manuals are pretty good, and a good dealer will run through it with you. Most folks would rather have you ask than run into trouble.

    Most stuff in the defensive range is also designed to be dealt with in less-than-optimal conditions. Field stripping/maintenance is less intimidating than you think.

    Find someone who has some experience and have him/her go through it with you.

    Buy what feels good in your hand. If it feels the best and has three more parts --- learn what the parts are :D !
  7. koji

    koji Member

    BHP = Browning Hi Power - Ha! I should have known better. There seem to be many 1911 afficianato's here. I would love to own one; that gun has served our country well. I am absolutely positive I will purchase a 1911 as soon as I get comfortable but I don't want it to be my first. I need a "practice girl" first.

    Ah yes, I recall now that the ban has lifted. No, my state does not restrict them. I think I had that ingrained as meaning "more than 10 capacity" since the last time I fired a handgun.

    The local range (which is 4 miles from my house) does offer the classes discussed and has good instructors by all accounts. I think that's probably more important than the ultimate firearms choice. Thanks for the suggestions thus far - please keep them coming.
  8. Control

    Control Well-Known Member

    Another vote for CZ75


    I would recommend the CZ75.

    Honestly, everything on your list is a good choice. However, the CZ75 is probably the most accurate and ergonomical. Others will disagree but it’s been selling for 30 years and Jeff Cooper (god bless his soul) admired the pistol greatly.

    I hate to add to your list, but if you can live without the external safety, I would consider a Springfield XD9. In my opinion (and others), it’s the best sub $500 9mm available today if you don't want a Glock.

    >> But a car won’t kill you if you’re an idiot or a newb.
    Cars kill more people than firearms by a large margin. Just something to keep in mind.

    Good luck with your decision and please join the NRA if you want to keep your gun after you buy it.
  9. Mortech

    Mortech Well-Known Member

    My vote is for the CZ75 , you can't go wrong with that as for carry single action weapons , they require a lil more mental comfortzone for most newbies to carry but don't be afraid of trying it out .
  10. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Not really within your price range, but before you make a decision be sure
    and try too find a SIG-SAUER P228; as its the mostly perfectly balanced
    [and natural pointing] weapon (along with its big brother, the .45 caliber
    P220A) that I have ever held. Generally speaking, you can still find these
    starting at about $475 (used, but not abused) too a high of 'bout $650
    for a LNIB weapon. :cool: ;) :D
  11. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Well-Known Member

    Cool, much CZ supportiveness. But do check out the other sizes if your shop has them available, especially if you have small hands. I'm pretty slight, so picked the CZ PCR.

    The PCR is also cool because it has a decocking lever, which is good if you don't feel comfortable carrying cocked-and-locked. Also good if you, like me, aren't fond of safety switches. The PCR takes a 15rd magazine, not sure about the CZ75.

    Since we've brought up the BHP anyway, many consider the CZ to be the modern descendant of the BHP.

    Hope you enjoy the class; the confidence you'll get from learning things the right way will be well worth it.

    Do come back and let us know what gun you pick. Once you find the right one, folks can give some advice on the right holster, grips, etc. to get it to suit you just right.

  12. ceetee

    ceetee Well-Known Member

    Can't really go wrong with any of the above. Best bet if to find a range that rents out handguns, and fire them all, to see what fits your hand the best. Personally, I like the way the CZ and Ruger feel in the hand, but it just seemed like the controls were a bit too far away for me.

    See here for my review of the Taurus 24/7.

    Good shooting!
  13. DogBonz

    DogBonz Well-Known Member

    From the ones that you listed,

    I'd go with thw CZ. But I'm with 10Ring that the Beretta 92FS would be a great choice. Also, you might be able to find a SIG 226 used for around that price, maybe a few bucks more, but if you can, snatch it up, and trust me, you will love it.
  14. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    From what you listed, I would go with the CZ. I love the Rugers, and they would be my second choice here, But I really feel that the CZ is the better gun. I owned a 24/7, and it was a good, extraordinarily comfortable gun, but not so great when it came to take it apart to clean.

    If I could throw a suggestion into the ring, consider a Taurus PT92 or 99. I have 2, and they are great guns. Pretty much the same as the Beretta 92 except that the safety is in a different (and some say Better) location. Also, it is considerably cheaper than a 92. Takedown is about as simple and as easy as you are ever going to find.
  15. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    They're more like $500, but I was quite impressed with the S&W MP 9mm I rented yesterday.
  16. koji

    koji Member

    Thanks so far for the suggestions; CZ seems to be a good choice. They're almost universally liked on this board. I've never held an XD9 but know what they are. I'll check one out when I have an opportunity along with the Beretta/Taurus 92/99.

    From my recollection my favorite guns to shoot the last time I did so were the Sig P228, and The H&K USP. However, they're upwards of $600 new and like I said I need to learn to get comfortable and shoot first.

    Thanks for the help guys - keep the suggestions coming.
  17. koji

    koji Member

    Oh, and I joined the NRA already. :)
  18. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    I'd go with a Springfield XD 9mm. They are probably one the best feeling/shooting guns ergonomically, they are good for concealed carry or target shooting, and best of all for your situtation they are really affordable. I've seen them go for around 450 brand new all the time at my local gunshops.

    Doesn't have a manual external safety, but it has awesome built-in safeties that do a good job of preventing accidents. A grip safety, excellent loaded chamber indicator, cocked firing pin indicator, and a trigger saftey make this thing almost impossible to fire off accidentally, but it still has no external safety so whenever you need it you can intentionally squeeze off a shot in a hurry without having to flip any safeties. The XD is probably the best beginner's gun out there IMO.
  19. koji

    koji Member

    What's a grip safety? Does that mean that you must be gripping the gun with a certain firmness before you can fire? How does it accomplish this - a lever or something? It sounds interesting. I could live without the manual safety if that's the case.
  20. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Well-Known Member

    The CZ with the Kadet kit is an excellent choice, though the two combined will get a bit spendy. If you shoot a lot, the money you'll save buying .22 ammo will help offset the cost, so if you can afford the initial investment, it's a good choice.

    Gander Mountain is advertising used Sig 226s for $335 last week. Functionally the Sig is quite similar to the CZ (for better and for worse). Both have some functional quirks, but both also rank among the highest-quality, most-reliable firearms on the market. You could trust your life to either one. And $335 is a heck of a good price for a 226. I need another 9mm firearm like I need a third nipple, but at that price I was tempted.

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