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Is it possible to try several guns before you buy?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by bikerguy302, Oct 13, 2020.

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  1. bikerguy302

    bikerguy302 Member

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    Hi guys. I’m new to the forum and live in Delaware. I’m a relatively new shooter and currently only have a S&W Victory 0.22 Target Pistol. I have gotten very comfortable with it and have improved my accuracy at the range, even shooting at some IDPA competitions which is a ton of fun. I have really enjoyed shooting it. I want to buy a 9mm and did some research, felt a few in my hands at a local gun shop. But I am hesitant to buy without actually shooting it first and actually feeling it. I am considering a CZ-P10F (or P10C if I get my CCW permit), a Glock 19, an M&P Shield 2.0 or a Walther PPQ. All in 9mm. Want to pick one. Right now you can’t find anything but when 9mm pistols become available again, what are your suggestions for a “try before you buy” thing. Some of these models are not available for rent at local ranges (I called and asked). Any suggestions/advice?
     
  2. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Welcome bikerguy302! :)
    It's going to be really hard for most of the folks on this forum to give you an answer about trying several guns before you buy one if only for the fact that most of the folks on this forum don't live where you do. You're probably going to have to ask around at the different gun shops in your area.
    What I mean is, I know of 3 gun shops within an 80 mile radius of where I live in SE Idaho that have indoor ranges, and any one of them will let me try a gun I'm interested in if I buy a box of ammo for it. I know of a gun shop over in Boise (250 miles) that will do the same thing. But I don't know what it's like in Delaware. Besides, none of the gun shops I mentioned are about to let me try out a new gun before I buy it - they have to have a used gun sitting on the shelf that they have for the sole purpose of letting potential customers try. That means, if the gun shop doesn't have a customer "try out" gun like I'm looking for, I'm going to have to find a gun shop that does before I get to shoot one.
    Another thing that might work out for you is to ask friends about trying out their guns if they have any you're interested in. It usually works the other way around for my wife and me - that is, friends usually ask us if they can try out one of our guns before they buy one for themselves. Last year my wife asked our daughter if she could try out our daughter's 380 M&P Shield EZ before my wife bought one for herself. But that's the first time that's happened in years!
    BTW, my wife has her own 380 M&P Shield EZ now. It's her EDC gun, and I think she bought it within a week after trying out our daughter's. Ironically, our daughter traded in her own 380 M&P Shield EZ on a 9mm version a few months later.:D
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
  3. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    Most indoor ranges have some rental guns. The selection can range from truly impressive to just a few guns available for folks who want to shoot but don't have something that goes bang. In this area, it would be very easy to try a large variety of guns without buying them. There are a number of indoor ranges around here that rent guns, some of them are quite large and have an impressive inventory of rentals.

    If you can't find the guns you want for rent, you can at least handle them all and see how they fit your hand, and make sure you can operate all the controls comfortably. It's good etiquette to ask for permission before dry-firing a gun you're handling--some sellers don't like their guns to be dry-fired. Less commonly, you can irritate some sellers by dropping the slide--especially repeatedly. And, of course, disassembling a firearm that isn't yours is generally frowned upon.
     
  4. 748

    748 member

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    Yeah find an indoor range and hopefully they sell guns and will rent the same make and model guns they sell and have them in stock so they can sell them to you.
    Yeah don't take apart other people's guns. I have a bad habit of disassembling any FN fiveseven pistols I come into contact with.
    I pick it up to look at it and next thing they know it's in 3 pieces.
     
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  5. Outlaw75

    Outlaw75 Member

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    Your best bet is to look for a range that is operated as part of a gun store. They'll probably have the biggest selection to choose from rental-wise.
     
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  6. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Agree with the others. One of the LGS's near me offers a "5 shots for 5 dollars" program. They usually have one of the "latest and greatest" in the rental inventory. That $ will go towards the purchase of the new gun, if you buy it. If you dont like it your not out much money.
     
  7. Mars5l

    Mars5l Member

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    I will say might want to check the rental rules, most around me won't rent if you are alone. Kinda a damper since I go alone lately since none of my friends want waste their ammo. It is nice making gun friends as well so you can go and hang out and shoot eat each others.
     
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  8. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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  9. bikerguy302

    bikerguy302 Member

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    Appreciate the response. Thanks for taking the time to post. I live in southern DE, Sussex County. I’ve already called Shooters Choice near Dover. They didn’t have the models I had in mind. I think I just need to find more gun buddies to maybe try something new instead of shooting alone lol.
     
  10. film495

    film495 Member

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    IMHO, you don't really need to shoot them, but should shoot something in the same size and weight, to get a feel for the recoil difference - and shoot a few different 9mm handguns, CZ, Beretta, Sig - any of the very common ones, to get a baseline. In my take, the nuances are what you want to think about - once you have decided on how much you want the firearm to weigh, and if you want full size, mid, or a little dude. safety, grip, finish, trigger - really once you know what you want, can be investigated at any LGS who carries it, and - sometimes - conversations with the clerks or others in the store will help you.
     
  11. bikerguy302

    bikerguy302 Member

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  12. bikerguy302

    bikerguy302 Member

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    Thanks man. That’s one of the reasons I’m leaning towards the CZ. I’ve heard good things about the trigger, the ergonomics of hand fit and the grip, etc. I agree I need to get a feel for it in my hands. I’ll continue to talk to fellow gun enthusiasts about it, like you guys (thanks so much) and talk more to the local gun shop guys. With this Covid crap going on, it’s impossible to buy one now anyway. Several local gun shop owners said I’d be lucky to find one by February. I’ll continue to shoot my 0.22 at my friends farm and at the range and have fun with that until I can get my 9mm. Appreciate all the input. So glad I found this forum.
     
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  13. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to THR, @bikerguy302 and welcome to the world of shooting! First of all, I think that Victory was a fine choice for a first handgun. I've had one on my Long List for quite some time.

    IMHO, this is a 'hard to go wrong' kind of choice. I only have personal experience with the G19 and a Shield, but they all have solid reputations. As others have mentioned, range rentals are one option. Let me ask this, though: Have you made any friends at IDPA? Have you seen any of them shooting one of those models? In my experience, shooters are a pretty friendly bunch, and we love a chance to show off our guns to someone who's genuinely interested. I'd almost be willing to bet that at least one of the folks you shot with has at least one of those models at home. I won't speak for anyone else, but if someone wants to try one of my pistols at the range, I'll usually let them. The only thing I require is that they not shoot reloads unknown to me in them. So I'd say that if you haven't made friends, now's as good a time as any. I'd bet that for the cost of ammo (if you can find it) and maybe lunch, you could shoot some of those guns. I'd even bet we have some Delaware members here at THR.
     
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  14. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Welcome to the forum. Agreed w/ a couple posts above that you don't really need to shoot a gun to decide if it's right for you. Main things are whether or not it "feels right" in your grip, whether you can pick up the sight picture readily, whether the trigger / action is right for you. Don't buy anything you haven't handled and tried out those parameters, but you don't have to shoot it. Just shop around and handle many as you can.
     
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  15. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Welcome to THR and fun world of match shooting.

    Guess how various IDPA/USPSA/GSSF match shooters buy their match guns?

    That's right, without actually shooting it first because gun stores/sellers won't let you fire a brand new gun.


    I always recommend people dry fire while watching the front sight and buy the pistol that does not move or move the front sight the least (Ask permission to dry fire).

    Why?

    These days, guns are "assembled" from mass produced parts instead of being individually fitted. So even same model guns could have different trigger part contact feel and hammer/striker release which could affect how much front sight moves or jerks/jumps when the hammer/striker is released.

    Before I bought my last Glock, I dry fired several pistols before I found one that moved the front sight the least and range staff got curious what I was checking for. When I pointed out the front sight jerking/jumping, he was surprised to see different amount of front sight movement.

    My reloading/shooting mentor shot bullseye matches and did all of his own gunsmith work and told me pistols that move the front sight after proper break-in of shooting several hundred rounds need trigger jobs (to smooth out metal-to-metal surfaces) to not move the front sight when hammer/striker is released.

    Now when I teach people to shoot, especially with new pistols, I have them do several hundred dry fires (Which helps with trigger control) that smooths out the trigger surfaces and help with break-in of pistol to produce smaller groups.

    To reduce shooter input on trigger to not move the front sight, check out this thread - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...nd-love-the-glock.875754/page-2#post-11659794

    Here's a good new gun orientation and dry fire drill before range session video for your review



    Check out this list of pistols and 25 yard smallest/largest average group size for your consideration compared to other pistols - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...s-and-discussions.778197/page-9#post-10940688

    Glock 19 Gen5 (25 yards) 1.57" to 1.74" - https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2019/6/20/tested-glock-19-gen5-mos-fs-pistol/

    S&W M&P9 M2.0 Compact (25 yards) 1.22" to 3.64" - https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2017/11/30/tested-smith-wesson-mp9-m20-compact-pistol/

    S&W M&P9 M2.0 (25 yards) 1.33" to 2.36" - https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2017/5/22/tested-smith-wessons-mp-m20-pistol/

    Walther PPQ M2 Q4 Tac (25 yards) 2.53" to 2.76" - https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2018/1/19/tested-walther-ppq-m2-q4-tac-9-mm-pistol/

    CZ P-10 C (25 yards) 2.40" to 3.02" - https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2017/10/6/tested-cz-p-10-c-pistol/
     
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  16. Edcnh

    Edcnh Member

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    Have to agree with everyone who advised on how the gun feels in your hand. I had a Glock 17 which I eventually traded for a Glock 19 (both Gen 4’s) as the 19 felt so much better in my hand. I seriously thought about getting a Sig P365 to replace my Shield 9mm but wasn’t real impressed with the feel in my hand. I was able to find an indoor range that rented the P365. The Shield is still my carry gun.
     
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  17. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    And the Shield will continue to improve in accuracy as trigger surfaces smooth out.

    My Shield 9mm was purchased online so I did not get to dry fire it before purchase and I found it jerked the front sight quite a bit when the striker was released enough to think about doing a trigger job.

    But after I dry fired several hundred times and shooting several hundred rounds more, trigger is smoother and front sight jerk/jump is less. Shield 9mm has become a favorite among new shooters I train, particularly with female shooters and I am happy to report I can demonstrate head shots at will now without much fuss, even unsighted point shooting - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/flinching-drills.864546/page-2#post-11416785

    So keep dry firing your Shield.
     
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  18. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    So a friend of mine has a Shield, and another has a Hellcat. We live in a 10rnd state so the extra capacity of the Hellcat isnt horribly advantageous. That said for MY hand the hellcats fatter grip makes it MUCH easier for me to grab the same way each time. The Shields relatively long thin grip tends to catch in my middle finger joints making me wiggle it to get the sights straight as I bring it up.

    This isnt to say either is a bad gun, etc. And actually I shoot both about as well when i get them situated correctly, its just easier for me to get the wider guns in the same place every time.

    Like wise for some reason glocks chew the crap out of my thumb knuckle, so even full size glocks dont feel great because im lowering my right thumb, or rotate the gun in my hand, to keep the knuckle out of the way of the slide.

    I bring this up, again as a fairly new pistol shooter, to illustrate that SIMILAR guns may or may not work for everyone.

    oh and yeah, the little shields trigger smoothed out surprisingly nicely. I usually spend at least a box of ammo with it when were out simply because its a fun gun to shoot.
     
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  19. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass member

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    I have belonged to a Club for years and know many members. We have a lot of us that get together and we shoot different guns from each other. We have in the past had guns that we will take a group of about 5 shooters and shoot guns side by side for a thousand rounds and then compare. And of course rentals when you can. My suggestion is not to rush things and spend as much time as possible trying out guns and finding the best one that you seem to really feel is made for you. Do not buy a gun just because it is popular on the internet.
    That said, in today's climate it is going to be really tough. Ammo is scarce and expensive.
     
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  20. bikerguy302

    bikerguy302 Member

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    Thanks Ernie. I may just have to cool my heels for a few months until 9mm guns are available again and I can have a choice. It also may give me time to get to know more guys at the IDPA matches and maybe try out a few Different guns if they’re kind enough. With 9mm ammo now going for triple the normal price, if you can even find it, now is probably not the time to buy a new 9mm gun.
     
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  21. Mars5l

    Mars5l Member

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    Well if you are already shooting. 22LR then id recommend a Taurus TX22. Probably still be bought for under $300 new and if you don't like shouldn't be hard to flip. I enjoy the hell out of mine
     
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  22. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    I'd second playing with the controls, got my oldest a p09 (setup VERY similar to the p10) and found that even with my large hands, I have to shift my grip to release the slide, it was slightly disappointing but overall as a whole, the gun is phenomenal in the fun aspect. She is constantly warding off friends and family who think they should have HER gun! The small quirks that we agreed could be improved are in no way detracting from the value. I personally prefer a sig or beretta(you should check out the storm) but I would certainly not complain about being "stuck" with the cz lol!!!
     
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  23. Jimbo80

    Jimbo80 Member

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    Most all of the modern poly 9s work the same way and have similar recoil. The way it feels in your hand should be the top priority. All of the guns you mentioned are good guns. Take a look at the PPQ SC as you can have a short grip for concealed carry and a full size grip for range or home defense. It's also cheaper than the full size.
     
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  24. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I will echo the try the rentals at the indoor ranges. I have shot 3 of the 4 you mention (Glock 19, M&P Shield, CZ, though as a Shadow 2. I have held the PPQ and PPQ-SC, but have not fired them) and I agree with the concensus, all good guns, pick which feels best and hit the range! (One aside. I hate the way Glocks feel in my hand, but I love what I do to targets with them!)
     
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  25. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I can sure relate to that! Except the feel of my Glock 44, as well as the feel of my Glock 19 Gen 5 have sort of "grown on me." Before those two though, try as I might to like Glocks, I couldn't stand the way they felt in my hand. It always made me shake my head whenever I heard or read the advice to a first time gun buyer, "Buy the one that feels best in your hand.":scrutiny:
    I mean, before I bought my Glock 19, I already had a Sig M11-A1 that feels great in my hand. And not to tick off any Glock lovers here, but my Sig does everything as well as my Glock 19, EXCEPT place the first bullet (the double-action shot) as close to where I want it to go. So I think, "Go to a gunstore that has a range and rents guns you can try." is a lot better advice than, "Go to a gunstore and buy the one that feels best in your hand." A person just might learn to like the way a particular gun (that they shoot well) "feels" in their hand - I did.;)
     
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