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First gun purchase (9mm) - Need assistance - Thank you for your help.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Raoul_Duke, May 10, 2012.

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  1. Raoul_Duke

    Raoul_Duke Member

    May 10, 2012
    I'm 23, live in the suburbs of Milwaukee and just last week had my first experience with a hand gun (have only fired .22 rifles before for pest control)

    Anyway I went to the local shooting range (Fletchers in Waukeshau) and rented a Walther PPS 9mm (their selection of 9mms was fairly limited *the only 2 I had any interest in were the Walther PPS & Berretta 92FS*) Shot 100 rounds with some better then average ammo and had 3 shells that had difficulties ejecting.

    So the only things I really know that I want from my first gun are (in order of biggest importance to least)

    -9mm mandatory (so I can get better at shooting with out spending that much on ammo)

    -4" barrel minimum (because I'd like this pistol to be as accurate as can be)

    -Reliable, something that's military tested or otherwise, that'll go thru 1000 rounds like clock work.

    -No compacts and nothing too overly bulky on the grip (because I want all my fingers to be able to fit on the grip, but at the same time I do have medium-small palms)

    -Under $1500 new or used. (I realize there are plenty of just as good brands in the under $500 range, but don't mind paying a few extra hundred to get a gun i'll be happier with in the long run)

    That's about all I can think of right now, i'm not to worried about disassemble/reassembly as I work with my hands all day doing some fairly tedious stuff but would prefer that I don't need some big bulky tool if at all possible.

    As far as cleaning it, I will clean it as often as is recommended or needed so no need to automatically sign the new gun owner up for a glock or something because I'll do whats needed to keep her in good shape.

    Just from my week long searching on the internet & Picking each of them up in store I really like the way the following guns feel.

    -HK USP Tactical

    -Beretta 92FS

    -SigSaur P220
    -SigSaur P226
    -SigSaur P229

    -Even a modified 1911 that was setup for 9mm felt great.

    Thanks again for your help I really appreciate it, ever since I shot that first round i've been ittttching to buy something but don't' really have the gun-know how to make an educated purchase.
  2. Manson

    Manson Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    The 9mm is one of if not the most popular self defense, general shooting calibers. As such you have dozens of excellent choices. The first piece of advice I (and most folks) give is to handle a weapon at a gun store before you buy to see how it feels and fits your hand. Fire the weapon if possible but at least handle it.

    One of your concerns was grip size. Any of the 9mm Glocks with the exception of the 26 will give you a full three finger grip as will the H&K and sigs you mentioned. Some people find the Glocks double stack grip too fat. So thats something to consider.

    In terms of reliability any of the more popular brands with normal care should give good reliable service. I have several weapons with four and five thousand rounds through them with no failures. One vintage Sig P220 with 12,000 rounds that I can truly not remember ever failing. That being sais please remember that anything man made can and sometimes will fail.

    As to manufacturers some of us develop preferences through experience. H&K Sig, CZ, Glock, Ruger, Berretta, and others make firearms that will suit your needs.

    I would suggest that you hang out here a while. We have dozens of very knowledgeable folks. Also you might research the various manufacturers web sites. You'll see what's available and what might appeal to you. Good Luck.

    ETA The Sig P220 you mentioned is a .45
  3. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Western Slope of Colorado
    My first centerfire handgun was/is a CZ75b. I was looking for a 1911 at the time, but had trouble finding one.The fit of the CZ was excellent from the start and even though I knew nothing about them decided to give it a try. I still have it many years later and have added the .22LR Kadet conversion kit which lets me practice with my full size full weight gun with cheap .22 ammo. Change over from 9mm to .22LR takes me 15 seconds. Since you are starting out this might be a good option for you. A new CZ 75b will be in the$400-550 range depending on the model you select. The Kadet conversion kit might add another $300. These are reliable and accurate all steel guns that are used all over the world by military and police. CZ though not all that well known here is one of the top three largest, small arms makers in the world.

    The web page...

    If you can't find one where you live these are good people to order from and they do excellent custom work as well.


    One note on CZ triggers. The SA/DA triggers tend to need working in to feel their best. If you want to avoid this period of adjustment buy one from CZ customs and have them custom the trigger. The other option would be to buy the SA only model especial if this will be a range/target gun.

    I let everyone that shoots with me try the CZ75b, everyone has enjoyed the experience. The only thing I would change about my experience with this gun would have been to get the trigger worked on or get the SA, because mine is strictly a range gun.
  4. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Birmingham, Alabama
    There are some 9mm Sig 220s out there, but they're almost all surplus.

    I would recommend the Sig 226 or 229, and if you can find one to handle, I would also look at a Sig 228. It is very similar to the 229, but has a folded carbon slide instead of a milled slide. It seems to balance a bit better in the hand than a 229 does, but that's more of a subjective observation. I have a 228 and absolutely love it. It shoots no matter what I do to it (even using junk mags) and has one of the best DA triggers I've felt on a semi, and the SA is great as well. The DA trigger does need a bit of working in to get to that level, but all that takes is a few hundred rounds at the range.

    Something else to consider with Sigs (especially if you're interested in used Sigs) is the debate between German made Sigs and American made Sigs. Some people feel that the German guns are made better and are of higher quality, and some feel that it doesn't matter and American Sigs are just as good as the German guns. All new Sigs (sold in the US) are American, and the German Sigs are going to be older (and used).

    The 228/229s are technically "compacts". I think what you meant was no sub-compacts like the baby glocks.

    I will also mention that range rental guns tend to get shot a lot and cleaned very little, so that could have been part of the cause of the failures to extract.
  5. mdauben

    mdauben Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Huntville, AL
    Honestly, for a first centerfire handgun, I'd probably recommend a Glock or S&W 9mm (assuming it fits your hands). I own more than one Glock, and I've never regretted buying them or seriously considered replacing them with something more "expensive". That said, if you really want something more pricy, I myself would go with one of the SIGs (P226 or P229), as I have always been impressed with their quality, handling and accuracy. No matter what you decide, the most important thing is to at least handle the gun and see how it feels in your hand. If you can shoot examples, ever better!

    If you find grips on double-stack guns to be a bit to bulky, you might consider something from Kahr like their TP9, which is a full-sized, single stack 9mm with an MSRP of around $700.
  6. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Some of the most popular guns out there that meet your requirements of cost, size, accuracy, and passing NATO tests are:

    Glock 17/19
    CZ 75
    HK USP
    Sig 226/229
    Beretta 92/90-Two (I recommend the slim grips if you have small-ish hands)

    One that hasn't been tested but is a great gun additionally is the FNP and FNX line of guns. Also, throw the M&P9 in that category as well.

    I think you should decide on a trigger system first though. Do you want DA/SA or striker fired? Both will serve you well; it's mostly preference...

    I recommend any of the guns I've listed so far in this thread!


  7. B_Li_Ber_Tar_Ian

    B_Li_Ber_Tar_Ian Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    CZ 75. The most accurate, from the box anyway, 9mm I've ever fired. I'm also very fond of M&Ps and the SR-9, whose thinner grip is the best feeling, IMO. There are a ton of guns I think would meet your criteria, though.
  8. robinkevin

    robinkevin Member

    Nov 3, 2011
    Northern Kentucky
    Go handle a few M&Ps in 9mm they are light, reliable, have everything you need in a defense weapon and seems most people like how they feel in the hand. I would dare say they are better then most of the more higher dollar polymer frame pistols on the market. Also on the comment about the 4" barrel a lot of compacts have 3.5" which half an inch is not going to make that huge, some but not huge difference in accuracy in my book.
  9. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Well, your requirements don't narrow it down much. Since you already like the HK USP I would go with it. There are cheaper guns, but I can't think of many that would be better.
  10. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    Lots of good advice so far, IMO. One other thing you'll want to consider is whether you want a safety, and how you'd like it to operate. Some prefer no (external) safety for simplicity. Others prefer a safety as a way to provide a backup system against unintentional discharges. I happen to like safeties. You should make a conscious decision on that matter, one way or the other.
  11. MrDig

    MrDig Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Where all the women are strong, the men are good l
    Browning Hi-Power

    Well within your price range and you can still afford more ammunition. I know a lot of people are going to argue about how heavy it is to carry but it was carried by Military and Law Enforcement all across the globe for years before polymer guns were even dreamed up.
  12. Tex4426

    Tex4426 Member

    Feb 14, 2012
    Boonville, IN
    My first and still my favorite is the CZ 75...second would be Ruger SR9...and i dont like them but glock is a great weapon and is probably the most popular handgun for starters and vets..
  13. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    Stick with the major brands (Glock, Beretta, Ruger, S&W, Browning and etc.) and you'll likely have few problems. After that, it all comes down to what you like and exactly the features you want.

    But, having been buying, selling, trading and shooting guns for over 50 years, I can assure you of two truths:

    You'll never find the perfect gun.
    You first purchase will likely not be your last.

    That being the case, don't be afraid to make up your own mind and buy what you want. Once you have that gun, shoot it ... shoot it a lot. I shoot almost 1,000 rounds per month usually (cast and load my own) and sometimes I feel that's not enough.

    Spend the cash and get some professional training.

    Join a gun club or range that has all the things you need. Or as closely matches what you feel you need.

    Save all your spent brass if you're allowed to. One day if you decide to get into hand loading they will be like gold to you. Or you can sell them.

    It's all personal choice and like buying the best car, boat, RV, motorcycle or whatever there's always going to be those who like your decision and those who don't.
  14. Tcruse

    Tcruse Member

    Oct 24, 2011
    I went through some of your that processes, and after a couple of non-ideal choices (not bad just not for me) I found Glock Gen 4 17. Just right and knowledge that it will function when I need it.
    Proably Ruger SR9 or SW M&P would also have been very good. Stay with a striker fired gun. Also, get a 22lr semi-auto target pistol for range practice at low expense.
  15. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Like said above it is very important that you hold a gun before you buy it, a local gun show would be a great place to start. My choice for you would also be the CZ 75b.
  16. wildehond

    wildehond Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Cape Town, South Africa
    +1 on the CZ75.
  17. rellascout

    rellascout member

    Dec 22, 2004
    The P220 started out as a 9mm. They were first imported as the Browning BDA in the 70s. You will also see surplus ones marked P220 in 9mm and most will have a european mag release.

    You have a solid budget and would suggest shooting as many pistols as you can before you purchase. Try to shoot more than just a few mags. Narrow it down to a handful of gun 5 or so that feel good in your hands and then shoot 200+ round through each.

    My short list for you would be in order of my personal favoroites are.... with the money you are willing to spend I would consider getting a base gun stock shoot it for a few thousand rounds and then send it off for custom work. This will allow you to pick your mods from your experience with the stock gun so you can make it a personal one of a kind shooter.

    Browning Hi-Power: For under $1500 you can get one stock send it to a good smith like Action Works, Novak, Wild West Guns etc... and they will turn it into a one of a kind wonder 9mm.

    Sig P226 Great gun which will out shoot most people. Bigger ini the grip than than the BHP but a world class 9mm. I perfer the older non-railed W. German guns. Consider sending it off to Gray Guns to get smoothed out.

    Sig P228/P229 I cut my teeth on this one. It is a bit of a tweener not a full sized gun not a compact but right in the middle which makes it a dream to carry, accurate soft shooter. I prefer the balance on the P228. Many people prefer the stainless slide of the P229. IMHO a lot has to do with which one you started with. Again consider Gray Guns for custom work.

    1911 in 9mm: For the cash you are willing to pay you will not find a better trigger than a properly tuned 1911.

    Custom CZ75B Have Angus of CZ Customs or Cajun Gun Works slick one up for you. The 75B is a diamond in the rough and with the right world will make a world class pistol. Cajun gun works has a trigger kit which will reduce the long trigger reach to the DA pull on the CZ.

    HK P30 This is a nice gun. I personally think the DA stroke is too heavy on the stock pistols but that can be fixed. The grip is adjustable and one of the modules should fit your hands. Gray Guns and lots of other smiths work on HKs so you can refine this one too but your starting price point will be higher than my other recommendations.

    In the end it all comes down to what you shoot best. The only way you can determine that is to go shoot some guns. Often a gun will pick you as much as you pick the gun.
  18. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Frozen North
    then rent some more

    Better yet, find a gunstore with a range and try it before you buy it

    ANY main brand gun will do what you want, the ONLY variable is you, and you are you, how you hold a gun is YOU, etc.

    OH, and consider, that 1K 9mm is currently ~250, so going a bit more on the pistol is CHEAP

    as a matter of face, the pistol is the CHEAPEST part of shooting, after you factor range fees (or membership) targets, ammo, etc.
  19. Ala Tom

    Ala Tom Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    I would recommend the M&P9 full size or the Ruger SR-9c. The M&P has a significant grip adjustment to fit most peoples' hand. The SR-9 has a slight adjustment. Both handle very well and offer as good target accuracy as you need in a defense-type gun as opposed to a target gun with a long barrel. i like the compact or "c" version of the Ruger. Why carry more bulk when you don't have a good reason to? I have fired these on a range. The recoil is moderate and very manageable.

    A good feature of each of these is that you can grow them each to .40 S&W caliber when ready (by trading them in) keeping the exact same handling qualities. Both have good triggers and are generally reliable. I have the two in .40 cal, but 9 mm is a good place to start.

    But what are your plans for the gun? In Wisconsin you can't do much except organized target shooting as far as I know. You might have to go to Minnesota where they have reasonable gun laws.
  20. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

    May 22, 2009
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Given your requirements you would do well to look at the S&W M&P Pro series 9mm. Excellent ergonomics, trigger, and sights, and will definitely have the reliability you want.

    A Glock (34 or 17) is also an excellent choice. I have a Glock 17 upgraded with the connector and mag release from a Glock 34 and its also an excellent gun, but I prefer my M&P more.

    Other than that the SIGs are great gun too, as are the others on your list, Though I'm a bit biased towards striker fired guns instead of DA/SA (even though I actually own more DA/SA 9mm's than striker-fired).
  21. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    You'll get as many opinions as posts in this thread. There are just so many good options in 9mm handguns.

    My pick is the Walther P99AS. Perfect combination of quality, durability, ergonomics, reliability, and price. A great out-of-the-box trigger as well.
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  22. critter

    critter Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    southeast AR
    I have a full sized 1911 my 'smith made for me in 9mm. That is a very, VERY fun gun to shoot. Utterly reliable, very accurate, comfortable and relaxing to shoot. I love the thing.
  23. go_DWI

    go_DWI Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    +1 for the CZ75. i find it to be a great pistol for almost anyone, starter or not.

    of course like most said though, whatever fits you the best and feels good in the hand is the one you should get. however, if you're willing to spend $1500 on one gun, i'd say just get two "cheaper" ones like an SR9 and Glock or M&P etc. i doubt you'd be disappointed with any of the suggestions listed in this thread as long as you're happy with the purchase!

    have fun! these decisions are agonizing but in the best way possible!
  24. ExTank

    ExTank Member

    Feb 5, 2011
    Another vote for the Walther P99AS. Or the Wather PPQ. Both are fantastically shootable guns at very reasonable prices.

    Take the money you save by buying Walther and buy ammo and go have fun with them.
  25. Kymasabe

    Kymasabe Member

    May 28, 2006
    Northern by birth, Southern by choice.
    Of all the guns I've ever owned...my SIG P226 was by far the most accurate gun I've ever owned. A very, very close second was CZ-75, which actually fit my hand better, was most comfortable.

    Because of grip angle, I can't shoot Glocks or XD's very well, they don't point naturally for me. You need to handle as many guns as possible and find the one that fits you well and points naturally for you.
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