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New to pistols can anyone recommend a good pistol to start with?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by lipadj46, Feb 6, 2009.

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  1. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    I am not new to firearms but I am new to pistols (shot them a lot as a kid and teenager but have not handled one in a while). I am very informed about rifles and shotguns of all types but am out of the loop when it comes to pistols. I lived in NYC for many years and never was able to get a pistol permit there (a couple friends had a permit to have a pistol in their homes but never allowed out of the house). I moved back upstate and am taking the pistol safety course this week and will be applying for a pistol permit next week.

    I have been searching around but was hoping you all could steer me towards a good first time semi auto pistol. I was thinking 9mm or .40 cal and something small enough to carry if I am able to get a CCW permit. I am on a budget so I only have $400 to $550 max to spend and of course need a holster and a spare mag. Please let me know if you have any suggestions, thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  2. R. Deckard

    R. Deckard Member

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    Good Pistol

    Glock 19. It's in your price range, small enough to carry, very accurate, cheap to feed, plenty of after market goodies to personalize it.

    Deckard
     
  3. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    Yes the glock 19 is definitely on the list, thanks.
     
  4. sherman123

    sherman123 Member

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    the 9mm ammo is cheaper than the .40. Where i live the local wally world has boxes of 250 .4o rds for about 69 bucks while you pay about 56 for 250 9mm rounds. I would say rent some handguns at a range that allows rentals and see which one you shoot the best since preferences are gonna vary from person to person. It most importantly depends on what fits you best. What works for me may not work as good for you and vice versa.
     
  5. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Since you're not yet looking for a CCW pistol I recommend you start with a 22.
     
  6. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    I am applying for a CCW but I am not sure the chances of getting it. I grew up shooting pistols so I do know how to shoot. I just have never owned one. I have access to all my father's target pistols so I am looking for something that can be used for HD also.
     
  7. gglass

    gglass Member

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    The Smith & Wesson M&P 9 is your answer. There is a reason that more than 370+ LE departments have moved to the M&P as their issue weapon since it was introduced in 2006 (mainly displacing Glocks). It is an outstanding pistol at a great price.
     
  8. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Member

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    I like the FNP-9 from FNH USA. Search THR for "FNP" for comments/reviews. Price can be < $500 and includes two extra mags (3 total) and storage case. They have a promotional "Shooter's Pack" http://www.fnhusa.com/le/promos/09shooterspack.asp that adds an outside the belt (OTB) holster and training barrel for $0. The gun is 7-3/8" long x 5" high x wide enough for a double-stack 16-rd mag, so it is not an extreme CCW. But its OK for under-jacket carry, which is 10 months of the year for you. FN also has a more compact 9mm, the FNP-9M: http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5295460&postcount=7. Don't know if you can get a Shooter's Pack in that model, tho.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  9. Travis Bickle

    Travis Bickle member

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    You can get a Ruger P for even less than a Glock and they're every bit as tough and reliable. They're one of the best values on the gun market, IMO. The only problem is that Glocks and Ruger Ps are both very bulky and difficult to conceal.
    .40 S&W is a good choice. It gives you all the stopping power of .357 magnum or .45 ACP with more capacity than either. Avoid the 9mm. The only reason to go with that instead of a larger caliber is that it gives you more capacity, but New York bans standard capacity mags, so you're only going to get 10+1, whether you choose 9mm or .40 S&W.
     
  10. Retro

    Retro Member

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    1911 is a good pistol to start with... learn the basics with a single-action pistol.. learn all the safety rules... then move onto a beretta-type DA pistol and learn about DA/SA mechanism... when proficient with SA and DA pistol, then move onto more advanced carry systems like the Glocks or Sig. If a beginner starts with a Glock without any supervision, he is likely to discharge the firearm accidently. Glock is not meant to be carried by novice... People carrying Glocks are usually very familiar with the safety rules of handgun usage.
     
  11. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Member

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    Awwww, now, Travis, there are some +p loads and self-protection bullet types that give the 9mm some stopping power. Half the militaries and LE forces in the world wouldn't be using 9mm otherwise. All the FNP calibers are smooth-recoil and 4" barrel, so a shooter might get better follow-up shots off as well.
     
  12. -v-

    -v- Member

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    +1 on go to a range and rent some guns out and see what you like best. Guns are like gloves, no single glove fits two people perfectly.

    Yep, the 9mm is such an anemic manstopper, I mean only most military sidearms around the world are 9mm after all. Poor schmucks. After all, everyone knows that nothing short of a .500 S&W Mag will stop a person, and even then after unloading a full cylinder CoM :uhoh:.

    I'm going to mirror what everyone said, get a Glock 19. Its proven, reliable, shouldn't give you much/any trouble. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, might want to check out the Springfield XD/XDm line, in a lot of ways they are like a glock with more trimmings.
     
  13. JohnnyOrygun

    JohnnyOrygun Member

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    Stoeger Cougar, I love mine and it was about $350 before the obama tsunami hit gun prices. It's great, actually made on the exact machinery Beretta used, just now that machinery is in Turkey and labor costs less there. Mine has been 100% reliable, is not too large for CCW and is very comfortable to shoot and has a rather unique action... rotating action. So Four Thumbs Up for Cougar! IMHO
     
  14. Travis Bickle

    Travis Bickle member

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    The best 9mm personal defense rounds approach the stopping power of .40 S&W (and I never claimed otherwise), but a wider range of .40 S&W offerings are effective stoppers than 9mm. Why should he limit his ammo choices when there's nothing to be gained by doing so?

    The military is restricted to ball ammo and 9mm ball is an indisputably poor manstopper. I have no idea what the brass was thinking when it made that decision. Possibly the same thing it was thinking when it adopted Eugene Stoner's plastic jam-o-matic.

    Police in most jurisdictions are not restricted to ball ammunition, nor are they restricted to ten round mags, so the 9mm is arguably a good choice for them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  15. aliasneo07

    aliasneo07 Member

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    I also vote glock 19
     
  16. GregGry

    GregGry Member

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    Glock 17 or 19. Or a xd 9. I like the simplicity of the glock, although the XD feels better in the hand.
     
  17. tostada

    tostada Member

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    Glock, Springfield XD, and Smith & Wesson M&P are all good lightweight compact reliable pistols you could conceal.

    I'm a fan of the Glock 26. But there's no substitute for shooting them or at least picking them up.

    The smallest ones (Glock 26, XD 9 subcompact, S&W M&P 9 compact) all hold 10 rounds and your pinky doesn't fit on the grip. Pearce makes pinky extensions for the Glock and XD, and I think the S&W actually comes with one small mag and one bigger mag that you can fit your pinky on.

    The larger compacts (Glock 19, XD 9 standard, M&P standard) all have grips that fit your whole hand. The Glock is lighter and holds 15 rounds. The XD holds 16. The M&P is bigger and holds 17.

    The point is that they're all a different weight, balance, grip angle, and feel. Even among the same brand, I love the way the Glock 26 feels with the Pearce +0 extention, and I hate the way the Glock 19 feels in my hand.

    Glock has been around longer and has a simpler and more proven design. They also don't have a safety except for the trigger. XD is made in Croatia but people seem to love them. The S&Ws have interchangable backstraps to fit 3 different hand sizes.

    Just try them for yourself and see which one is the most comfortable.
     
  18. GLI45

    GLI45 Member

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    Beretta 92fs.
    1. Easy to shoot
    2. Accurate production gun
    3. High capacity
    4. Very easy to breakdown and quick to clean
    5. 9mm - very little recoil and cheapest ammo
    6. Reliable, reliable, reliable.

    I've put over 4K rds through mine without a single jam/missfeed. Finally, in the "This Counts For Nothing" department, I also think it's a much better looking handgn than all the square, boxy polymer models on the market today.
     
  19. punkndisorderly

    punkndisorderly Member

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    As a general rule, look to duty sized handguns and mid-range calibers like 9mm,.40 S&W, or .38 Special (or .357 which allows for .38's). The bigger the caliber and the smaller/lighter the gun, the more difficult it will be to shoot. Yes, one can learn to shoot using a .357 Snubbie or pocket auto, it's just more difficult. The smaller the pistol, the shorter the sight radius and the greater the recoil.

    As far as brands and models, there just aren't many inherently bad handguns out there as long as you stick to established names. Glocks, Springfield XD's, and S&W M&P's are all good starting points in the ~$500 price range. As a 92 owner and lover, it's a great pistol and everything GLI45 said is true, but it's large grip and long trigger reach can make it difficult for those with smaller hands.

    Don't overlook the .38/.357 and .44 Special wheelguns. A duty sized Ruger or S&W revolver would likely also serve you well.

    Although you aren't new to firearms, taking some basic training wouldn't be a bad idea. I took a First Steps course with my wife, even though I was anything but new to firearms, and would highly recommend it. The course consisted of a few hours of basic instruction on safety, legal issues, functioning and operation of pistols and revolvers coupled with live fire with instructor provided pistols and revolvers. The course ended with shooting the Carry Permit course of fire with a pistol (Glock 19) and Revolver (S&W .38's). A little private instruction, with a professional instructor, is also a great idea as a good instructor is well versed in common mistakes and bad habits you may not realize you're doing. An hour with an instructor shrank my groups by 2/3 when I really started getting back into shooting.
     
  20. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    I am taking a course on Tuesday. It is required for a pistol permit in NY. NY makes you jump through some hoops to get a pistol. Some counties it is not possible because the powers to be will not sign the paperwork unless you know somebody.
     
  21. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    CZ-75B ro CZ-75D PCR. Both are 9MM although versions are avialable in .40 S&W. Also, both accept the CZ Kadet Kit .22 adapter which is not only a blast to shoot, but accurate and inexpensive for practice.
     
  22. benderx4

    benderx4 Member

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    Either the CZ 75B or the Springfield Armory XD9. I would also recommend to stay with 9mm for now.

    IMHO, both of these weapons offer up the absolute bang for the buck without sacrificing accuracy, reliability, and/or quality construction.

    Good luck and welcome!
     
  23. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    Get a used Ruger P95 for under $300. Spend the $150-$200 left over for spare mags and as much 9mm ammo as you can scrounge.

    Nothing wrong with a P95 whatsoever. Very tough and reliable pistol (on par with Glocks, IMO). You won't win a Camp Perry event with one, but you'll be able to keep all your rounds on the center or head of an approved IDPA target.
     
  24. colorado_handgunner

    colorado_handgunner Member

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    Springfield XD may be in the top of your price range depending on where you live. If recoil is an issue, definitely go for the 9mm. I started on a 40 and had a tough time learning to handle the recoil (can now though!).
     
  25. jocko

    jocko Member

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    center fire: absolutely Glock 19, buy it take it out of the box, shoot it like u stole it. Probalby the simplest easiest working handgun on the market.

    Most just seem to work..
     
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