1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best Pistol for rookie?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by tvst*r, Oct 7, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. tvst*r

    tvst*r Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Santa Monica,CA
    Hello all...2nd post here.

    I know the board will be all over the map on this one...but:
    What would be a good FIRST gun for me. I am 6 ft,200 lbs.,south paw...looking to use it at the shooting range here in Los Angeles.

    I think I am leaning towards a 9mm.

    My budget is up to $1500.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. CTPistol

    CTPistol Member

    May 16, 2007
    NY Metro
    you will get a million opinions.

    Thats a great budget...but you can do great in the 5-700 range and save the rest for some training and ammo.

    Try a whole bunch of pistols and see what fits for you.

    I like 1911's best, but also own and shoot Glocks, Sigs, and Berettas! - all in .45 and 9mm. Only round I am not fond of is the .40

    good luck!
  3. Big45

    Big45 member

    Oct 5, 2007
    behind enemy lines...NO MORE. Made it to Free Ari
    get a $300 used 9mm and $1200 worth of ammo
  4. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    I'd go for a revolver myself but if set on a semi-auto, the 1911 is good (I know you said 9mm but I think you'd appreciate the extra power of the .45).
  5. tvst*r

    tvst*r Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Santa Monica,CA
    I am open to a .45...what is the power difference?

    It looks like I can rent a variety of guns at the range to get a feel for
    what I like.

    Kimber looks nice.
  6. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    Look at the Springfield Armory XD series. You can get them for $500-$600 and use the rest for training, range time, ammo, etc. I like revolvers, too, but if you are looking for an auto you can't go wrong with the XDs.


    "Phydeaux, bad dog....no biscuit!"
  7. Arsyx

    Arsyx Member

    Apr 24, 2007
    I may not own a pistol as of yet, but I've fired quite a few. There's no reason to buy that expensive of a pistol for any purpose. You're a beginner so I believe the last thing you should be worried about is "One Shot Stopping Power" because it's all a lie anyways. The 9mm is an excellent choice, and you're already leaning towards it. Your biggest concern at the moment is getting your bullets to actually land on the target, and grouping. 9mm is extremely cheap compared to the .45ACP or any military caliber. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with the Glock 19, Phydeaux's choice is a good one too, just go with the one that is more appeasing to you.
  8. Leif Runenritzer

    Leif Runenritzer Member

    Aug 27, 2006
    Get something that fits your hand:)
  9. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Richmond, VA
    The best pistol is the one you're most comfortable with and no one can answer that question but you. Find a range that rents guns and shoot as many different ones as you can. Eventually, you'll figure out what you like best. Also, take a handgun shooting class or two to get some good experience with handguns.
  10. menohearclicksound

    menohearclicksound Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    I will tell you like I have told everyone else, buy a .22LR for the first handgun. Trust me you won't develope a flinch(hard to over come for some people), you can shoot it all day long and there quite fun for just all round plinking. So if you can bring yourself to buying a "dinky":neener: 22 for the first gun you won't regret it when you move up in calibers.
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    First buy a .22 to learn how to shoot correctly then buy a S&W M&P 45. The M&P 45 will cost you just under $500 real world price. The .22 auto will cost you anywhere between $300 and $500. That will leave you plenty of cash for ammo, targets, cleaning and safety supplies.
  12. tnieto2004

    tnieto2004 Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Check out the CZ SP01
  13. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Minnesota - nine months of ice and snow...three mo
    The .45 is a very fine handgun. IMHO - the best. It has sufficient defensive power and it also has a great base of support to help you improve your skills through competition.

    My recommendation...

    Sequence #1:

    -Buy a Browning Buckmark or a Ruger .22 semi-auto with a 5-8" bull barrel.
    -Buy 1000 rounds of .22 ammo.
    -Shoot said 1000 rounds of ammo at 10-25 yards.

    After this...you will be a better pistol shooter than 99% of the population. You will have some knowledge and credibility about pistol shooting and know what you..personally..like and do not like about a semi-auto pistol, targets, shooting range, loading, sights, etc.

    Sequence #2:

    -Go to a local NRA Bullseye Pistol Information session. Do a Google search on "NRA BULLSEYE" and your local ranges. Many will have weekends dedicated to attracting new shooters.
    -Go watch an NRA Bullseye event - talk to the folks there. Talk to the people putting it on and the shooters after the event.
    -Buy a 1911 .45 (I like the Colt :)) and start shooting NRA Bullseye.

    A 1911 .45 - Colt/Kimber/Dan Wesson/Springfield/etc. and a .22 Browning/Ruger semi-auto. You cannot possibly go wrong.

    The .22 is the key. Master a .22 pistol and you're set.

    By The Way -- Your .22 pistol is also the BEST survival weapon (plus a good knife) available. Think about it...you can carry a .22 pistol and 1000+ rounds in your pockets...or in a very small bag - compared to the trade-off for higher-power rounds. Those extra rounds could keep you going in a survival situation for YEARS.
  14. skeeter1

    skeeter1 Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Northest Ohio
    See what fits your hand best. Normally, I'd recommend a revolver as a first handgun, but it sounds like you have an auto in mind. 9mm is a great first choice for caliber. Not that expensive to practice with, and with the right load, it's more than capable of SD/HD duties.

    I'm partial to Beretta 92s and CZ 75Bs. Very fine handguns, and well under your price limit. Plenty of money left over for practice ammo and range fees.

    Whatever you choose, be safe and have a fun time with it!
  15. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Welcome to THR.

    Second I would and did get a Glock 19. IMHO the best 9mm ever made. Reliable Accurate and Practically Indestructible.

    You can get one NIB from Turners for $550 and a little more at Martin B Redding in Culver City.

    I'd go to a couple of ranges and choot a few maybe you'd like the XD or another gun. Try The Firing Line. They are in Northridge & Burbank and have many guns to choose from. Aslo check out the LAX range
  16. Hauptmann

    Hauptmann Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    I like that you are leaning towards the 9mm, it's a good universal pistol round with excellent firearm characteristics associated with it. Plus, I'm willing to bet that it will still be in use in another 50-100 years.

    I suggest that you pick from the more recent "classic" 9mms that have "been there, done that" so to speak. They have ironed out the bugs in the design, are used extensively in police or military service, and have an outstanding service record.

    -Glock 17
    -Glock 19(compact version)
    -Sig P226
    -Sig P228/P229(compact version)
    -Beretta 92F
    -CZ 75b(or bd if you prefer decocker)
    -CZ 85b(good for lefties)
    -CZ P-01(compact version)

    I actually recommend that you lean towards the compact designs because they are the most versitile. They offer the best combination of compact design without compromising barrel length and grip size too much. The other models I listed are standard service sized pistols.
  17. BridgeWalker

    BridgeWalker Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Lansing, MI
    I'm still pretty much a rookie myself, but ita that a .22 and something larger/more practical/more fun, plus ammo. I've been alternating between a Ruger Mark II, a Ruger Blackhawk .357mag, and a S&W model 59(?) 9 mm. The combination of guns are all helping me work on different skills. Plus, you can blow through several hundred dollars of centerfire ammo trying to hone a skill that you could've figured out with $6 or so worth of .22lr.

    Plus, it lets you switch off when one gets really overheated.
    Plus, it never gets boring :D
  18. possum

    possum Member

    Oct 12, 2005
    Concord, N.C.
    glock 19 or xd service model in 9mm. plenty of mags and ammo. they make great guns for everyone, beginer to the most advanced, they are easy to use, clean and maintain. no manual safeties, just point and shoot and that to me is a great concept especially for the newb's, but i enjoy that aspect as well, as all of my carry guns are of that variety 2 of which being xd's.

    then go attend some trainning.
  19. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

    Dec 17, 2005

    First, get a Ruger MkIII or a Browning Buckmark .22LR pistol . . . add some sound instruction to help you master the correct grip, stance, breathing and trigger and sight control. Add a pair of good earmuffs too, then practice, practice, practice until you conquer any tendency to flinch . . . and until you can really shoot well.

    Then, rent a bunch of guns, or have your firearms instructor expose you to a range of firearms for you to consider.

    Purchase one that FITS your hand too!

    Don't rush into a centerfire automatic without learning how to shoot well first with a .22 . . . or there's a fair chance that you'll never be much of a crack shot.

  20. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Pullman, WA
    A rimfire .22 in the type action you think you want in a centerfire....
  21. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Tvst*r, do you plan on using this handgun primarily for target practice or self-defense? The answer to this question will influence the answers people provide. Incidentally, welcome to THR.

  22. tvst*r

    tvst*r Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Santa Monica,CA
    Target only.
  23. chaim

    chaim Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    For a $1500 budget and a first handgun, I don't think I would suggest just one. You don't need the best for your first, just something reliable and accurate that feels good. .22lr is probably the best caliber for a new handgunner in order to get in a lot of cheap practice, and even if money is no object the recoil on the .22 is very low so you are less likely to develop bad habits (jerking, flinching). You also should get something in 9mm, .40, .45, .38spl, .357mag for home defense.

    I'd get a .22 of some kind (maybe a Ruger but they can be hard to take down) and a lot of .22 ammo.

    Then, shoot everything you can at the rental range. What they don't have to rent, try to handle at a gunshop. Handle and shoot as many different guns as you can to see what YOU prefer. Don't just check out the autos, check out the revolvers too (there are some great revolvers out there, a quality revolver tends to be a little less than a comparable auto, and they are great beginners guns)- you just may find you like them.

    If you decide you like 1911s, SIGs or HKs I'd set about an $800-900 limit. Otherwise, go for something reasonably good and learn on it, and save the high end gun for later. Something like a Ruger P95, CZ 75B, Taurus, used SIG or Glock, etc. would be a good first gun.

    Try to keep it under $300 for the .22, under $500 for the service caliber gun (and get at least a "mid-sized" pistol like the SIG 229, CZ PCR or P01, Glock 19, or Taurus PT911 or get a full-size, for now you should skip the small CCW pistols), and spend the rest on ammo and training. If the $1500 is just your gun budget and you have other money for a lot of ammo, put the rest to training. SIGArms Academy, S&W Academy, Front Sight, etc. are great facilities, if you aren't close to them and can't take a few days off work, find a private NRA instructor in your area for some 1 on 1 training.

    Then after a year or so, spend the real money once you have a better idea what you like in a gun, and know more about guns in general. You'll probably appreciate it more then anyway.
  24. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    First of all, welcome to THR :Cool:
    Secondly, what is your experience level w/ firearms / handguns?
    As a beginner, I would probably recommend a nice 4" revolver in 357 magnum and practice using 38 specials. If you have some knowledge of what you're doing, I'd recommend something like a HK USP/USPc or P2000 in 9mm. If you're looking for something in a metal frame, either the 92fs or the SIG P228/229/226 or maybe even a 225
    Good luck on your quest ;)
  25. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    on the farm
    I'm a big fan of getting a .22 revolver or auto. They're good for learning to shoot well. It's very useful to be able to shoot a lot without the distractions of recoil and muzzle blast. These distractions happen at a deep, physiological level; it matters not how tough you are, and recoil-and-blast sensitivity don't match body size or type. The ammo cost helps, too.

    The real reason is that .22s are so much fun.

    chaim knows a lot, but I don't recommend the same $300 limit that he does for a .22 handgun. If (for example) a beautiful, old Smith K-22 revolver speaks to you and it's $400+, well, they'll never get any cheaper. As for the rest of chaim's post...it's no surprise to find him expressing it better than I do. Again. ;)

    If you choose to start with a .22, then you'll be able to send a lot of rounds down range before you select your center fire handgun. It will serve as a useful basis for comparison as you evaluate other guns. Then, if you're like a lot of us, you'll never stop shooting .22s, whatever else you may add to your collection in the future.

    Oh...and Welcome to The High Road. :)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page