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Help me help a coworker, picking out first handgun.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by BigBL87, Feb 11, 2020.

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  1. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    Hey all, a coworker (actually a supervisor) of mine recently decided he was going to buy a handgun. I have the reputation as the "gun guy" at work so he came to me to pick my brain. He has owned shotguns and 22 rifles in the past (still has some in storage back in Arizona actually) but has never owned a handgun. He has shot handguns a few times but not much. Wants it mainly to take to the range and possibly has a home defense gun although he prefers a shotgun for that. Here's what I have to work with as far as what he desires...

    -9mm (he started out thinking 32 ACP or .380 pocket gun, but after I pointed out he wasn't planning on carrying soon, and if he did he'd probably decide to get one specifically for that purpose, he came around to the economy and better power of 9mm)
    -Prefers a metal frame
    -Full size, maybe a midsize (i.e. Glock 19-ish in size)
    -Didn't like the Sig P229 he shot, felt the slide was too big/tall/etc.
    -Likes a thumb safety
    -Most importantly, budget is $300-400, could be pushed to $450. Probably the single most limiting factor.

    My main suggestions were the Tristar CZ clones (I could let him try out my CZ), a 9mm 1911 (maybe RIA?), and a Taurus PT-92 (I'm not big on Tauruses for QC reasons BUT the PT-92 seems to be a bright spot for them, to be fair I've liked both Tauruses I've owned though, a PT-111 G2 and a PT-92). Bersa Thunder Pro in 9mm also just occurred to me as I was typing this out. I also suggested a CZ P-07/P-09 or an M&P 9 if he can live with a polymer frame. Also looked at some of the "surplus" Jericho 941's and Beretta 92's floating around online. I have a CZ-75B and a CZ P-07 that he could shoot, as well as a 1911 though the 1911 I have is a .45 but I'm sure he could handle it well enough to get an idea of if he likes the platform. I think the 1911 also appeals to the history buff in him, for whatever that is worth. He does like revolvers as well and we've looked at some of those, but I think he's leaning semi auto.

    He's waiting on his FOID card (thanks Illinois) so he has some time to consider it while he waits.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
    bannockburn and Armored farmer like this.
  2. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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  3. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Contributing Member

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    I think you are headed in the right direction, letting him try yours out, CZ and derivatives, 1911, etc since he wants metal. His budget is a limiting factor, but used can probably be had around that range.

    The difficulty or risk is in advising your supervisor at work, then possibly having him become less than satisfied with the pistol. Best bet is to let him try them out as you plan to, but don't sell him one of yours :)
     
    sparkyv likes this.
  4. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    Oh, he isn't getting any of mine. :D He does really want to go shooting soon though. He'll be the 6th or 7th coworker I've gotten into shooting and/or helped pick out a gun. I'm apparently a good influence!
     
  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I agree. I think the OP's biggest task should be clarifying expectations.

    In the new gun market, $500 is the normal price point for a polymer framed gun. If you want a metal framed gun, expect the price to go up. Generally speaking, if you are below those prices, for a new gun, you are giving something up.
     
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  6. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I have the Bersa Thunder UC9 and love it. I don't carry it anymore as I have polymer frame (much lighter) handguns for that. The full size TPR9 would make an excellent choice. If you look around rather than buy the very first one, they can be had for around $350 new.
     
  7. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Ruger SR9C
    Taurus G2
    Glock 19
    S&W m&p
     
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  8. 94045

    94045 Member

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    Shoot Straight
    Beretta 92FS $429.99
    Beretta 92FS Compact Inox $549.99
    (Go direct to his site. It's cheaper than GunBroker).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  9. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    That budget may be a problem for a new steel-framed pistol. It’s going to be much easier to stay in budget by either looking at used &/or polymer. The closest I could come up with might be an RIA 1911. But that might spoil him.
     
    bannockburn likes this.
  10. 94045

    94045 Member

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    Updated 92FS prices on my other post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  11. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I’d say a CZ PCR, but that price limit......

    maybe if he waits for a deal or buys used.
     
    SG1 likes this.
  12. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    Used Sig?
    SA/DA, decocker, metal frame....
     
  13. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    First gun? As in, has never owned a handgun before and has no idea what he's doing? Step one, find him a firearm safety course and enroll him in it. Second, tell him to get all of the movies out of his mind with regard to how cool autos are and point him to some flavor of 4" revolver. Smith, Ruger, whatever, as long as it is from a reputable manufacturer. I really like the SP101 with the longer barrel. It is very controllable for what it is and revolvers are pretty much idiot proof. And he'd be doing himself a favor if he got one with the bobbed hammer.

    Tell him that he can play lethal weapon after he knows what he's doing.
     
    Mr. Mosin likes this.
  14. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    Everyone is different and everyone's hand is different. When I have simularly advised coworkers I take them out one on one and let them shoot pretty much all of my collection then let them decide while making some basic safety and handeling reccomendations. I wish someone had done this for me when I was first starting out!

    Pretty much everyone has universally loved my Browning 1911-380, but that isn't what they end up buying. A couple have shared my appreciation for my XD mod 2 in 45acp. My CZ75D compact has also been popular... though it is too small for me and will be traded off someday. Smaller hands don't usually take a liking to my Beretta 92, the grip is too big for them to hang on to (I have hogue finger groove grips on it that makes it even chunkier). My Kahr CM9 has also been very well liked by those looking for a smaller pistol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  15. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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  16. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    He's done his share of hunting and is familiar with firearm safety, just never been a handgun guy. He is considering a 4" revolver actually, still going back and forth on the revolver/semi auto thing.
     
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  17. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    I would see if there is a range that rents guns and take him there AFTER he takes a safety course. $100 spent on gun rentals might be a good investment.
     
  18. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    For a beginner I would be thinking 4" medium-framed 357 or 38 special.

    I have a steel 9mm RIA 1911, which is great.

    I have three steel CZ75 clones, which are great.

    I have a Taurus TP99 (the 92, but with adjustable sights), which I have owned for 30 years and still functions perfectly (aluminum frame).

    The revolver would be my recommendation. Other than that, the one that fits his hand best.
     
    Mr. Mosin likes this.
  19. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Back in the day I would have recommended a Star Model B or Model BM. That's what I used to transition beginners from shooting .22s to 9mm. But since they have been out of production for many years now I would go with a Taurus PT92 or an RIA 1911 in an all metal gun. My choice for a polymer frame gun would be a Ruger SR, SR9c, or a SIG P 2022.
     
    armedwalleye likes this.
  20. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I have to agree with everyone that said to let him try as many different guns to see what he likes and fits him.

    I have small hands and certain guns just don't fit me well. I hated when we transitioned from the 1911 to the M9. The 1911 fit my hands whereas the M9 did not fit comfortably. I had a Taurus 24/7 and got rid of it because of how it felt in my hand. And I can forget about Glocks for the same reason (not bashing).

    When my dad wanted to get a hand gun for him and mom, I let them try all of mine. I suggested a revolver for their first one and that is what they went with. Dad has since bought a couple of semi auto's that him and mom can comfortably use.
     
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  21. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    CZ-75 derivative, or a 3rd gen S&W. Classic Firearms had some surplus S&W 910's and 915's yesterday for $260 but they apparently sold out already.
     
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  22. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    We could beat around the Bush for a long time, but the fact remains that a glock 19 is a pretty good place to start. If I didnt already have a good 9mm, that's where I would start.
     
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  23. rskent

    rskent Member

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    I would try to talk him into saving up a little more money or going plastic. But if that didn’t work, I gotta say, that’s a good choice.
    I would go with the planer plastic grip model. Of any Taurus, there sorta 92 clone has a pretty solid reputation. If I could only reach the trigger…..


    https://www.budsgunshop.com/product_info.php/products_id/13585/taurus+92b-17+pt92+17+1+9mm+5"
     
  24. rskent

    rskent Member

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    So, for a total newbie you are recommending a used, out of production firearm, without any warranties. Interesting choice.
     
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  25. rskent

    rskent Member

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    You better be careful what you say. People will think you are a G**** fan boy. :D
     
    Armored farmer likes this.
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