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First gun purchase. Opinions?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by keeleon, Oct 24, 2007.

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  1. keeleon

    keeleon Member

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    OK, I have asked this question before on other boards, and of course got all of the various fanboy replies. I have never owned a real steel firearm. I own several high end airsoft guns. I have done ALOT of research on real steel, and I have done a bit of shooting, and I really like it.

    I go shooting with my father in law every couple of months, and I want to get something of my own to take out there. Money is not a big issue, but I would like the gun itself to be in the $500 range as that is the amount I have been "given" for a christmas present from my wife.

    I do understand the importance of reliability and quality, and I have no problems with Glocks (even though they are ugly) 1911s, or any of the usual suspects. But I do want somethign unique and interesting. I do plan on owning multiple firearms in the future, so this will by no means be my last one. Hell, I will probably eventually get a Glock and a 1911.

    However, style is just as important to me as function for this first one. The kinds of guns that catch my eye are:

    Magnum Research Baby Eagle
    Magnum Research SP-21
    FN Five-Seven
    FN P9
    XD
    Sig Mosquito
    SW M&P

    If that gives you an idea of what I am looking at. I want something unique, that noone else will probably have. But as I said, I am looking for a decent amount of quality as well. I have heard good and bad things on all of these (well not bad things on the XD, but it is VERY common), and I would just like maybe a bit more input from some experienced shooters. I do have a rather "refined" taste to items like this, (I own 8 Benchmdes, 3 Microtechs, and nothing by United) so I am definitely NOT looking for crap, just cause "it's COOL"!

    Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. It will mainly be a plinker, and also an option for home defense. I know you don't buy a "pretty gun" for protection. But that is a secondary role, and most anything will be better than the Cold Steel Katana sitting next to the bed now.
     
  2. SoonerSP101

    SoonerSP101 Member

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    Ruger 4" GP100
     
  3. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    With that train of thought I would get a stainless CZ75, not that common on most ranges and is a fine weapon. It's what the Baby Eagle copied so if you like that you should get the original.

    I wouldn't get stuff that takes odd ammo (like 5.7mm). Might be hard to find down the road.

    I would suggest a Browning Buckmark or Ruger Mark .22. Ammo is cheap and you can shoot it enough to get real proficient. Buy a larger caliber later. $500 will get you a nice one and a TON of ammo. Plus, they make a lot of versions so one should fit your taste.
     
  4. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    What caliber are you looking to get?

    In a 9mm I'd get a Glock 17/19/26 in a .40 it would be a Sig P226 / P229 or H&K P2000, in a .45 I'd get a 1911 style in a kimber, springfield, colt.

    In a Revolver it would be a S&W 686 or Ruger GP 100 or SP 101
     
  5. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    Get the XD.
     
  6. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

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    keeleon, welcome to the wonderful world of responsible firearms ownership. It sounds like you've taken some good steps towards learning for yourself.

    It sounds like you want a semiautomatic handgun suitable for either learning how to shoot or expedient personal defense or both. I cannot blame you for that at all. However, I would like to ask you two questions:

    1. Why this desire for uniqueness? Realize that things which are popular are usually popular for excellent reasons, such as a good price or excellent reliability. Uniqueness for it's own sake is not such a good idea. Get what fits you, what you can afford, and what seems to fit your needs best before you worry about it being unique or not.

    While I can understand the desire for something different to some degree, you don't have to work very hard to be unique. For instance, you identify the XD as a very "common" gun. Well that's true, but I have an OD XD40 tactical that's just great. While there are others like it, I personally don't know anybody locally who also has this particular gun, and that's because it suits my tastes and no one else's I've ever met. It's "unique" as far as I'm concerned even though I know there are others like it. Heck, most guns can be made aesthetically unique by going with a different finish or adding a custom grip.

    What I personally would recommend you do is start with something "common" as you put it, and don't get into the weird, offbeat, or custom until you have more experience. Guns are kind of like cars in that most people who are into it start with a good stock option and then expand on its capabilities as they learn more.

    The smart money is on getting something that works for you, which is a widely supported weapons platform, because then you can eventually tweak that gun to your heart's content as you learn more about it and what you personally prefer. My XD for example I fully intend to fit with an aftermarket guide rod and sights among other alterations as funds become available, so eventually it indeed be unique. Eventually, you too will learn, and realize what you need or like, and uniqueness will come forthwith.

    But honestly, you shouldn't really worry about the uniqueness aspect of it right now. It's the software that's important, not the hardware. I know it's tempting to focus on the gun itself because it makes the whole thing possible, but knowing how is far better than having the "magic" gun.

    If you can, try before you buy. Really it is up to you, you can get some general real world feedback on specific guns on sites like this one, but caveat emptor prevails. Run searches on this forum and other sites.

    2. Are you more motivated to be able to protect yourself right now, or more motivated to shoot for the joy of shooting?

    I can't tell you which answer is correct. Its' up to you.

    If you're interested in pratical self defense, I recommend from your list the XD in a 9mm Service model. I think any problems you encountered would be minimal and easily rectified, if you did in fact encounter any at all. I would buy either that or the and the M&P full size 9mm model myself in a heartbeat and I currently own several XD pistols. The FN P9 and Baby Eagle I've heard good things about but can't vouch for.

    The SP-21 I know nothing about. I would avoid the Five Seven as it's a special purpose tool and the ammunition is hard to come by and quite expensive. I'd also avoid the Sig Mosquito for reasons of knowing that owners report mixed results, it's not a sufficient caliber for personal protection, and the Ruger .22s I can personally vouch for.

    In general I'd recommend a major brand (Glock, Springfield Armory, Sig Sauer, Smith and Wesson, etc.) and the 9x19 chambering. 9mm is good for personal protection and easier on the wallet and even easier to shoot than other calibers.

    Now if you're mostly interested in shooting a semiautomatic for the heck of it (who isn't?) a Ruger Mark II or 22/45 is a great idea in your price range and comes in a variety of configurations. Don't like the Ruger? Try the Browning Buckmark. The ammunition is super cheap and you can learn so much for so little money. Later on if you decide to get something more suitable for personal defense, you'll still love your .22.

    Once again, in general a major brand is preferred.

    You'll get flooded with advice, I hope, and never never ever be afraid to ask questions.
     
  7. keeleon

    keeleon Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I guess it was an easier decision before getting other people's input, heh.

    The 5.7 was just in the list as to what kind of styles I like. I had originally really wanted one, but the $900 price tag and the $1/round really turned me off of that.

    I am not really deadse on caliber. I orginally wanted .40SW, then I went to .45, and now I am thinking 9mm, cause it's cheaper. I really don't mind .22, but I just feel that I'll be short changing myself in the "POW" department, if I get one. My brother's .22 rifle feels like a toy after shooting the .308 (which I love). And I really am looking forward to a bit of kick. But .22s are not out of the question yet for very obvious cost reasons. They just don't seem like "real guns" if you know what I mean.

    I am notreally that into revolvers, although the GP100 seems to come rahter highly regarded. I may get one eventually, but I want an auto for my first one.

    To further clarify what I am looking for. I do not like Glocks, (they are just so BO-ring) I would prefer to have a rail for a laser/light. And currently the competition is between the Baby Eagle Semi Compact Poly frame(which is not even on their website), the SW M&P, and the FN P9 with the XD9mm being the default choice if I can't find a clear winner amongst those. Anyone have any experience good or bad with those.

    CZs are cool for the "name" factor to me, but again just don't have the "style" I am looking for. As I have said, I am fully aware that just because a gun looks cool in a movie doesn't make it a good choice. But because they all seem to do the same thing, I am using that as my deciding factor. Plus, who doesn't like a "cool" gun. Oh ya, the other reason I have against the XD is very shallow, but 2 of my friends both have them, and I just want something different, maybe not to impress them(maybe a little:neener:, just to not be the same.
     
  8. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

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    I personally can vouch for the XD series if you're put off by the Glock for whatever reason. I personally like the XD pistol so much because of its ergonomics. It also has widespread aftermarket support, magazines are reasonably priced and easily obtained, and I shoot them well.

    I also have one Glock pistol and can't complain about it either, it's a keeper. Glocks may be boring but in a handgun, boring is good sometimes. The knowing it will go bang when you pull the trigger kind of boring is nice. I also like the fact I can get any part I need for it easily and inexpensively. I shoot the XD better due to superior ergonomics however.

    I've also been very interested in the M&P series, I just don't see myself buying one any time soon due to lack of funds and the fact I don't truly need it, I have other capable tools already. But it has a lot of fans and I'm sure someone will chime in.

    The Baby Eagle and FN I've heard good things about, but don't really know much about running one.
     
  9. woodstock72000@yahoo.com

    woodstock72000@yahoo.com member

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    Glock last week and......

    My CZ 75 should be here tomorrow.
     
  10. keeleon

    keeleon Member

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    I am a firm believer in going with your initial reaction. the Baby Eagle is on the list for no other reason, than the first time I saw one, I was in love, and then holding one really just sealed the deal. The P9 is on the list, because I have always been a big fan of FN, and it comes with 3 magazines :p. The SWMP is on the list because it looks nice, is not too expensive, and SW is a good company. But it really is looking more and more like the XD is gonna be the winner here :mad: It comes with an extra mag, and all the other nifty gear, looks pretty cool, and is an awesome gun apperently.

    You make a good point about being unique later on. I just figured, I'm not going to be able to buy another gun for quite a while, and I don't want to have the "urge" to buy another, if you know what I mean, because I didn't buy the "right" one the first time. No sense in me dropping a grand on an XD and accessories and then lusitng after something else for the next year.
     
  11. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    If you like the way the Baby Eagle feels in your hand, maybe you should get that. I'm definitely not saying any of your other choices aren't good, (The XD's are already pretty highly regarded in spite of being relatively new) but rather i'm saying that if you like how the gun fits, you'll be more inclined to shoot it more, and probably will be able to shoot better with a gun that you like to. One of the moderators of this site did a review on baby eagle's (though i believe he did the compact, and subcompact versions) and he seemed to be pretty impressed by them in general. Here's the link http://madogre.com/dream/MR Baby Eagles.pdf . Another gun you might want to check out is the CZ P-01, or possibly even the SP-01. Either way, i hope your find what your looking for and welcome to The High Road (And the wonderful world of firearms) :D
     
  12. Josh Aston

    Josh Aston Member

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    What's your budget like? If you really want something that's high quality, but not that common, I can think of two. The HK P7 and Sig 210.
     
  13. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    First handgun should always be a revolver~! :)

    Much easier to train with, and master the art of handgunning. :scrutiny::D

    I have taught many entry level students the art of handgunning; or the basic skills
    [including all the safety and competence alerts] that I learned myself. Even today,
    I shoot revolvers on a regular basis; although I LUV auto-loaders~! Go figure?
     
  14. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

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    HAHAHAHAHAHA Oh man, you have no idea what you're getting in for. You could buy all the guns on your list and a year later start getting the "I wants" again. It's a beautiful addiction.
     
  15. hexidismal

    hexidismal Member

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    There's so many choices out there, I'm just going to suggest one from your listed options. I'd go for the baby Eagle. I have a good cross section of guns. The 1911, the .357s , etc, but I also have a chromed BE in .40S&W, and it has a lot of what you seem to be looking for .. style. Alot of style in my opinion. It's a heavy gun, no doubt about it, but the build quality is first rate. It's always getting looks at the range though, and it's a fairly uncommon gun. Also, even though I have guns I might like more for whatever reasons, the grip of the baby eagle is probably the best fit for my hand that I've ever tried. Here's mine. Pretty, ain't it ?
    babyeagle1.jpg
     
  16. keeleon

    keeleon Member

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    That's so funny that ou mention the MAdogre review, because I have it and his FN P9 review printed out in my lap right now. They are actually the reason I am having problems deciding. I originally wanted the Eagle, but discounted it because it didn't have a front rail, and had switched to the FN because it was similar, and came with extra mags. But since I read his very positive review of the Eagle Subcompact (which I didnt even know existed, is it new or not made anymore?), and his not so positive review of the FNp9, I have started to become all wishy washy again. I just wish the subcomapct was a steel frame. I know it really doesn't matter, but that would make the decision a lot easier (and if it came with 3 mags).

    I do like revolvers, and will eventually get a Ruger or that (smith and wesson?) 8 round monstrosity, but my father in law has a revolver, and I am getting kind of bored of shootig it. I want to start practicing double taps, and I can imagine emptying an auto in 3 seconds is alot more satisfying than a revolver.

    My budget is flexible, but the "more gun" I get now, the "less gun" I get later. So my initial, very easy choice of USP Compact is a little out of my range. If I was rich, I would be such an HK asshat fanboi. And believe me, I and my $4000 airsoft collection completely understand how ridiculously addictive these things can be.

    I am at work right now, and all the fun stuff is blocked, so when I get home, I am going to check out the CZ P-01. I do like the looks of it, although it does look a little small. I am 6'3" and 250 lbs, so I a ma pretty big guy, but the USP compact is one of the most comfortable guns I have held, if that gives you an idea on my "ergonomics".

    I have to say, I a mvery impressed with the maturity and attitude on these boards. I have been lurkign a while and this is one of my first posts. I have posted similar questions on other boards (airsoft usually:eek:) and have basically been told that I am not ready to buy a gun, and that I shouldn't because I'm not looking for a "tool".
     
  17. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    Not on your list but are 9mm or 40 cal.. and,

    ...

    They cost around 350 - 450 NIB, very reliable and dependable, and one of the easiest guns to field strip, inspect, clean, and reassemble out there, bar none.

    The Beretta Px4 40cal was my first gun, and it is still my favorite of all the others. Along with, I converted it from an F-model. safety-decocker in-one, to a G-model, decocker-only.

    Also, with 5300 rounds without ANY failures, just 100%, and really appreciating the rotating barrel, that reduces recoil, and allows one-handed shots (if necessary) without any problems, as they are a forgiving (recoil-wise) 2-hand shooter, and very accurate.

    Here's what they look like in either 9mm or 40cal

    Good luck in your journey of your first gun, and as mentioned, many more to come.. count on that.. lol


    Ls

    px4no5.gif

    px4onegg02nj8.gif
     
  18. keeleon

    keeleon Member

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    Oh ya, I had forgotten about that one. It actually was probably supposed to be on the list, as I do like it as well as the 92FS. And actually my main goal with posting was to see if there was anything I hadnt seen yet, new or old. that's basically why I gave the ones I liked. I am driving myself crazy with this. I like new ergonomic "fururey" guns, but I also like rugged, classic, reliable guns. I am so torn! I realyl am going to look more into the CZ SP-01. I have had lots of people recomend CZs and have never heard a bad thing about them. I just didn't really like some of the models they made (too boring :p) But the SP-01 looks like it might be a winner. Especially since out of the 10 or so threads I have read of owners, they always get people asking about it and compliments. :D
     
  19. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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  20. whited

    whited Member

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    .

    Get the one that suits your needs the best and feels good in your hand.

    I have to be honest and say that I share this sentiment.
     
  21. Beatnik

    Beatnik Member

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    Whatever you buy first, second, or whenever, don't get married to it.
    It's a gun. A hunk of metal and plastic.
    Just like with cars, some people get emotionally attached to their hunk of metal and plastic.
    Put 500 rounds through anything and I'll bet you'll find some way that you'd wish it was different. Don't be afraid to sell it if you find multiple ways.

    The thing I'd say most of all is that you need to look into the accessories as well. Of everything you listed, I think the XD is probably the one that's going to have the magazines, spare parts, holsters, etc. available readily from multiple retailers, without resorting to custom leatherwork.

    In auto, I'd actually suggest a Glock. I don't own one. But you can get anything for it at the local store. Plus, it seems to me that people who put a couple of magazines through one find less that they don't like about it, on average. Must be why they're the best selling autos.

    Other than that, definitely try before you buy, if possible. Even if you do, don't be afraid to trade up later. Multiple firearms you like is one thing - collecting pieces you never shoot is something else.
     
  22. keeleon

    keeleon Member

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    Well, thanks for all the help everyone. I think I am pretty much decided on the SP-01 at this point. It really encompasses everything I was looking for. thanks fro all the great opinions and advice.

    I am just curious why you think that? I mean, I could probably guess, but honestly nobody here knows me except for the things I have said here. And as far as I can tell I have presented myself not as some 18 year old that wants to CCW a Desert Eagle, but as a mature adult looking for a firearm to have fun with at the range, and as an added benefit be able to protect myself and my family. I live in CA, so I am not going to be carrying this, and honestly %90 of the situations I (will never) might find myself in where I could benefit from it, I will not have it available.

    Do I need to be a grizzled veteran that has owned dozens of guns, and fired thousands of rounds responsibly to be ready for my "first" gun? So my question is, what is your measure of when someone is "ready"?
     
  23. jlbraun

    jlbraun Member

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    For a first handgun, ABSOLUTELY get something that has a .22LR conversion kit. A Sig, Baby Eagle, XD, or FN P9 will become expensive to shoot even in 9mm.

    Get a CZ75, or anything derived from it, and a CZ Kadet kit in 22LR. Or a GLOCK with an Advantage Arms kit. Or a Beretta with a Ciener kit. Or a box-stock milspec 1911 with a Ciener 22LR kit.

    I ignored this advice when I bought my first one, and regretted it. The .22LR topend has seen about six times the rounds of the base pistol on my CZ75.
     
  24. keeleon

    keeleon Member

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    OMG, that is absoulutely awesome! Will the Kadet kit fit on the SP-01? If so, that is exactly what I will buy. I had not ruled out .22s. I just wanted something with a little more umph too it if I ever needed it. Having the option of both would be amazing.
     
  25. Conqueror

    Conqueror Member

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    You say you want something unique, but IMO that's the wrong way to go for a first handgun. There's usually a reason why Gun A is popular and well-liked and Gun B is less popular and no one buys them. It's like saying "For my first car I want either an AC Gremlin or an Austin-Healy because they're unique." It'd probably be better to get a car known for reliability, with lots of spare parts available, etc. Same with guns. It's smarter to start shooting with a well-proven, simple design like a Glock, than to start with an overpriced quirky handgun like a FiveseveN.

    In short, on your list, I'd be leaning more toward the XD.
     
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