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Best First Handgun

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Soldier0117, Nov 25, 2007.

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  1. Soldier0117

    Soldier0117 Member

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    Hey everyone I'm new to forum and new to shooting but I wanted to know what is a good first handgun. I need it both for fun and home/self defense because right now there is a problem with a violent family member. I need something in 9mm and so far it thinking either a Glock 17, Springfield XD 9mm, Smith & Wesson M&P, or a Beretta 92. I have shot the Glock, handled the XD, and handled the Berreta. I have not even seen the M&P yet. However I'm actually leaning toward the M&P quite a bit because I've heard nothing but good things about it and my dad and I like the features alot. Especially the internal lock. I may not have handled it yet but that doesn't bother me because all the other guns felt comfortable in my hands and considering that this ones grips are changeable it should certainly not be a problem. Also I like the look of it. But I want to hear suggestions and If you have an M&P and like it please tell me about it because I'm hoping that would be the one to get. Thanks.

    P.S. My other firearm is a 12 gauge Winchester model 1200 defender shotgun. I know this is best by lightyears for self defense, but my dad and I would still like a handgun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2007
  2. JP from Phoenix

    JP from Phoenix Member

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    My vote goes for the beretta because it is probably the most simple gun to dissasemble and put back together. they are all good choices though a 9mm isnt the best home defense gun though, I'd recomend a .357 or a .45. that'l stop em for sure

    honestly though if you have a problem with a violent family member I'd lean towards something non lethal like a taser or something, a stranger is one thing but i would find it hard to live with taking out a family member even if he deserved it
     
  3. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    I am going to give you fair warning: Gun people HATE internal locks. Some, like me, just choose to ignore them, but others just flat out hate them to the point where they just won't buy a firearm with them. If you like them, thats OK, but I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of commentary about that...

    Now, to answer the substance of your question, you picked a good group of guns to be interested in. It really just boils down to what you like. Everyone has their favorites, but the truth is, your probably not going to go wrong with any of those guns, at least from the perspective of function. My personal choice of what you have listed is the Beretta, but thats largely due to the fact that one is sitting about 1.5 feet away from me as I write this. (It is a Taurus PT99, but the design is essentially the same, with the exception of the safety). Practically, it has a lot going for it. It is pretty easy to shoot, spare magazines are easy to find, holsters are easy to find, grips are easy to find etc... It is also by far and away one of the easiest guns to disassemble for maintenance. Downside, it's big and some people find it too bulky, and I personally like the sights better on the Glock and the XD.

    I support your right to defend yourself, and I support your right to buy a handgun to do that, but make sure that you are, in fact, buying the gun for that reason. If your buying it so that you have a pistol to wave around, thats not a great reason. Shooting someone is the absolute last line of defense, and if you know you have a violent family member, your probably better off pursuing other ways to rectify that situation.
     
  4. fourrobert13

    fourrobert13 Member

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    I am a Glock fan personally. The M&P is okay IMO, but I find the trigger a bit gritty. The XD is a good choice also, but again IMO, the trigger isn't as crisp as the Glock trigger.

    From the sounds of your post, you are going to get the M&P, but if you can, handle and feel one first.

    HK makes a great pistol with interchangable grips also, the P2000. You can even choose your trigger variation with it.

    I am a Glock fan though, and I say, get a Glock!:D
     
  5. fourrobert13

    fourrobert13 Member

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    My bad, double post.
     
  6. LanEvo`

    LanEvo` Member

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    Best bet for a first handgun is the S&W M686 (stainless steel) or M586 (blue steel) revolver hands down. Works perfectly for home defense, personal defense, target shooting, plinking, and even hunting. Accuracy is phenomenal. Trigger pull is excellent, both DA and SA.

    And they're flat out gorgeous...

    [​IMG]

    Load it up with .38 wadcutters for practice and .357 mag for anything else. A 4" 686 is probably the single most versatile handgun you'll ever find.
     
  7. Soldier0117

    Soldier0117 Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I know that 9mm isn't the best defensive caliber but being a first gun its what my dad wants. Also we do have a less than lethal solution, but this is for the worst case scenario and recreational shooting as well. I saw that one of you said not to buy a gun just so you can wave it around, don't worry as we are taking this more seriously than almost anything else, I understand and respect the power of firearm and I am very safe minded, I promise you this is not for the wrong reasons. More thoughts would be appreciated. Also why do you not like internal locks, we liked the idea because it stops unauthorized people from using that firearm, and safety is a huge concern with my dad and I. Further thought on that would be nice.
     
  8. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    Well, since I was the one who said that bit about the locks, I will explain. I personally don't care about them, because they are easy enough to ignore, but it really boils down to a couple of issues:

    1. People have had locks fail while shooting, which isn't great.
    2. Tactically, the lock is a bad idea. The goal is to get your gun up and running, not to be fiddling with finding the key, getting it unlocked, etc.


    What it really boils down to is common sense. If someone is close enough to you that they can grab your gun, they are probably too close to you to give you sufficient time to unlock the gun and fire, which is bad. There are other options out there, like nightstand safes, that offer great protection against unauthorized use without seriously impeding the speed with which the gun can be brought into play. For the record, I now have 4 pistols with locks, and have not had a problem with any of them, although I don't use the locks at all.

    It's good that your thinking about safety, but remember that the only safety that matters in the end is you. Guns don't fire themselves, so if you act in a safe manner, you have a safe gun. With that being said, maybe the Glock wouldn't be the best choice for you, since outside of the trigger safety, it doesn't have a manual safety of any kind. Let me state clearly that I am not saying that the Glock is an unsafe gun, rather I am simply saying that some people don't feel comfortable unless they have a slide/frame mounted safety that they can positively flick on and off.
     
  9. Soldier0117

    Soldier0117 Member

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    Thanks everyone I give it some more thought based on these points you brought up. The lock shouldn't be an issue of speed, because we have GPS on this person and early alert systems set up. I am now leaning toward the beretta though because about 2 people said they were easy to clean. So ease of use is nice.
     
  10. strat81

    strat81 Member

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    Glocks are incredibly simple to disassemble and clean. A Glock 17 or 19 would be a great defensive firearm. The drawback is that grip: some people find the size and angle of the grip unsuitable.

    The M&P offers interchangeable grip panels, so sizing is less of an issue.

    If you're interested in an internal lock AND a manual safety, check out the Taurus 24/7 Pro 9mm. I have one and love it. I also have a Glock and love it too.

    And don't let others kid you: 9mm, esp. in +P varieties, is very good for self defense.
     
  11. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    See if you can go to a range and just test drive everything and get what you like the most. My Beretta 9mm sucks on paper (especially limited to 10 rds) but it's what I am the most comfortable with.
     
  12. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    I would opt for the Glock of your listed choices. I am biased though because I own one and love it dearly. If I had to pick a last ditch gun, thats the one. It is utterly reliable, affordable, accurate, durable, and easy to shoot. The downsides are the trigger; very reliable and safe but gritty. Then there is the polymer guide rod on the recoil spring and the stock sights. Replace them both and the gun truly is "Glock Perfection".
     
  13. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I would sugest either the XD as top of the class in polymer guns or a CZ75 if you want a steel gun.
     
  14. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    I don't know if they're still out there, but my first hand gun was a police trade in S&W mod. 10. Bought it for the princely sum of $150 about ten years back. That police transistion to autos period was a beautiful time.
     
  15. Liko81

    Liko81 Member

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    Nobody's mentioned Ruger, probably because OP didn't. I would highly recommend a P89 (bigger all-round, fat grip, been in production for almost 20 years) or a P95 (newer design fixed some flaws of earlier P-series, Picatinny rail, slightly smaller "mid-frame"). My first gun is a KP95PR (stainless). I could not be happier; it's easy to shoot, easy to clean, and totally reliable. Grab a Hogue slip-on grip and you'll get a very clean, solid feel to it. Mr. Ruger's politics aside, it's a great target/HD weapon.
     
  16. redneck

    redneck Member

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    I like the beretta off your list. I haven't handled all the guns listed, but most of them are primarily designed as lightweight carry pieces. Easy to carry and easy to shoot are often two very different things.
    The beretta is a large, heavier framed gun, that is a very soft shooter in 9mm. Easy to control,accurate and reliable. Its also very easy to strip for maintenance. I have shot several actual berettas, and I own a taurus PT 92. Its a great gun for range use, home defense etc. even though its not ideal for ccw.

    As far as the issue of your family member. You know this person, and apparently you know their whereabouts. That is a much better step towards defending youself than buying a gun. Situational awareness, and avoiding trouble are key.
    And on that same note, I'm another one who doesn't like internal gun locks. A home defense weapon should be accessible in stressful situations. If you can get your hand on it, you should be able to shoot it. Guns are not for threatening, and a locked gun is just an empty bluff. You may be forewarned about the family member, but not about drug addict randomly breaking into houses in the middle of the night.
     
  17. Soldier0117

    Soldier0117 Member

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    Thanks everyone this was a big help so far, but as long as people want to keep posting I'd love to hear even more thoughts because I want to keep learning. Also I'll try to at least see all the guns you guys recommended, I'm still leaning toward the beretta but I will look at all of those recommend anyway because they seem like fine firearms too.
     
  18. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    CZ75 with a kadet kit.
     
  19. Soldier0117

    Soldier0117 Member

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    I was looking at the Taurus 92 and I began to wonder if Beretta or Taurus is better gun with that design what do you guys think?
     
  20. FM12

    FM12 Member

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    Whatever you buy, get a copy of Massad Ayoob's book "In the Gravest Extreme." Then, you and your dad should read it separately and then together.
     
  21. R&J

    R&J Member

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    Glock 17 or 19, whichever fits your hands better.

    Note: Glocks are incredibly easy to field strip and clean, and are far more forgiving of neglect than most guns.

    Consider getting a big dog... :eek:

    --Ray
     
  22. dwmilton

    dwmilton Member

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    Soldier,

    I was going to suggest you consider the Taurus PT-92, then I saw your latest post. If it's a first handgun, I'd consider it over the Beretta simply for economics. My current pistol is a Sig P229 I bought used for ~$400 a couple years ago. I have smaller hands, if you or your father do too, maybe consider a CZ-75 or one of its copies. Look at the EAA Witness pistols, inexpensive, but good guns.

    The best thing you can do is visit several gun or pawn shops, and hold various pistols to find what feels the best.

    Here's a couple links, the first one has some good general info on 9mm pistols, the second typically has good prices on used or un-issued guns:

    http://www.best9mm.com/

    http://www.summitgunbroker.com/index.html
     
  23. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    Well, some people think that the Taurus is a better gun, solely because it has a frame mounted safety as opposed to a slide mounted safety. Having shot both, I own the Taurus. Other than that, they are pretty much the same gun. Oh, and Beretta and Taurus magazines are NOT compatible, though they are close.

    Glocks are pretty easy to take down, but there just isn't any easier auto to take down than the Beretta/Taurus 92. Also, I am going to say what everyone else is thinking: What kind of family member is so bad that they have GPS and an early warning system on them? I don't want to be nosy, but I want to hear more of that story...
     
  24. mekender

    mekender Member

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    might look at the CZ-75b which is a great weapon

    or the new Ruger SR-9, also a promising weapon

    the problem with the beretta, is that while its is a tried and tested design, it is very large and bulky...
     
  25. Soldier0117

    Soldier0117 Member

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    I can't say much of this but I can tell you a little. This family member has had a bad history that always enraged him and made him do some wrong things. But the reason why we are taking all these measures is because he has committed 3 crimes involving a gun against us. The last was the worst when he actually shot his way into our house but luckly no one was hurt
     
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