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Recommendations for First Pistol (maybe CCW)

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by WaltWhite, Jan 13, 2015.

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  1. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite Member

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    Hey all, I want to state at the beginning I'm a life long firearm enthusiast and sportsman, so we can skip the gun safety lectures. :)

    My brother's birthday is coming up in a few moths and I'd like to get him a handgun for a variety of reasons. He's come shooting with us on a number of occasions but doesn't have a ton of experience. I want to get some feedback from people that actually own the various models to help me narrow it down.

    Here are my needs: An autopistol, .380 or 9mm, something well made and reliable, accurate in the 5-12 yard range, ambidextrous (for a lefty), easy to disassemble, easy to shoot, fun to shoot, soft recoil, easily managed by a relative newbie, and appropriate for CCW (my brother has flirted with the idea a few times). It must also have a 10 round capacity or less (ideally the original capacity, not a 10 round mag in a 15 round gun).

    I was originally leaning toward the Glock 42 and still am. I'm only really worried about the recoil on it but it seems pretty soft.

    I'm also considering the Glock 26 but I'm not sure about the ergonomics or the recoil of 9mm in such a small gun.

    Also the Sig P239 but I don't know how the controls are for a lefty and again the recoil concern.

    All things considered shootability and fun shooting are tops on the list. I'm not at all interested in micro nines with "tolerable" or "manageable" recoil. I'm trying to get my brother into the sport not scare him away from it. :). I would just get him a .22 but God forbid it ever has to be used I think the zombies will laugh at stingers!
     
  2. armedwalleye

    armedwalleye Member

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    Since you really didn't say new or used, In a 9mm consider a third generation (4 digit model number) smith and Wesson semi auto. The 69xx series are considered the compacts of their day, but don't think they are light by any means compared to the polymer guns of today. On the used market you're in the $350-400 range, and there are configurations that fill the 10 round mag. Typically all stainless as a 6906, stainless/alloy as a 6903 and alloy/black as a 6904. The 59xx series have a longer grip, longer barrel and larger mags.
    These guns are solid, so recoil is very manageable, indestructible, easy to tear down and very accurate. Triggers usually double action/single action.
    As a new gun, still in a 9, consider a Ruger SR9c, striker fired, very safe gun, manageable, again fun to shoot and easy to tear down, but still very carry able, more so than the 69xx series above.
    And any of these are not only lefty compatible, but 100 % ambi, as I also am a southpaw.
    Good luck in your search, and if you need another brother from another mother to buy a gun for, I can complete an application.....
     
  3. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Gen 4 Glock 19.

    Sorry, but a Glock 42 is too small to be a good beginners gun. An all steel .380 or 9mm would be best for recoil, but if he can't handle a G19...... Also, a Glock is only a good beginners CCW only if you have quality holsters. Half of Glock ND's are holster related. So get him a Crossbreed Supertuck and a Raven Concealment Holster to go with it.

    Newbs skimp on holsters, you can't afford to do that with Glocks IMO.
     
  4. stevekozak

    stevekozak Member

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    In 9mm, that 239 would not be a bad choice. In .380, look at a Sig 232 in stainless. No safety to worry about for a lefty, and wonderful grip ergot.
     
  5. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Get him something in 9mm so he can easily afford and find ammo to shoot and practice with.

    Get him something not too expensive if you are picking it out, because he might not be 100% in love with it. Also, make sure he likes Glocks before you drop cash on one, the ergos are odd and many people, including me, absolutely hate shooting them.

    I would look at getting a decent compact pistol... not a subcompact. I think most people should get a full size pistol as their first so they can learn to shoot wwith a softer recoiling pistol. But you said your brother is "flirting" with the idea, so a compact will shoot OK and carry OK (everthing is a compromise).

    My recommendations to look into (other than the Glocks):
    -Ruger SR9c
    -Springfield XD Compact or XDs
    -M&Pc
    -Any CZ75 Compact Clones (SAR B6P compact, Tristar t100, Tristar c100, EAA Witness compact)
    -SIG 250 or 320 compact
    -maybe even a Bersa Thunder Pro or Walther PPX or SIG SP2022

    Edit: skipped the part about mag capacity. That's a curve ball...
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  6. cluttonfred

    cluttonfred Member

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    I assume that you are in a state with a 10-round magazine capacity limit and I agree that it seems silly to have a big pistol with reduced capacity magazines.

    If you (or your brother) like Glocks and unless your brother has especiall large hands actually think the G42 in .380 or G26 Gen4 (both with reversible magazine releases) might a good choice as long as you get something like the Pearce grip extension so he can get all his fingers on the gun. They are popular guns, perfect for CC if he wants to do that and a way to get to know a platform that's available in pretty much every caliber. Rather than starting him off with a bigger, heavier gun, start him of with light recoil loads.

    I know you said you didn't want a micro 9 but the Beretta Nano is worth a look. With light 9mm loads and the extended grip 8-round magazine or Pearce grip exension on the 6-round magazine is certainly not too much gun for most people. For a southpaw, the only external control is the magazine release and it's reversible by the owner.

    If you want to go old school, then how about a Beretta 84FS DA/SA, 10-shot .380, ambi safety and reversible mag release? There may also be some compact 9mm 1911s that would fit the bill with ambi safeties and reversible magazino release, or he could just do the mag changes with his trigger finger. Try Rock Island Armory?

    PS--The S&W M&P series (except the Shield) is ambidextrous, and the state-compliant version of the M&P9C only gives up 2 rounds to the regs, so that's another great option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  7. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Id suggest....

    A few semi auto pistols Id suggest include:
    A FNH-FNS compact in .40S&W or 9mm
    The HK P30 or P2000SK LEM(law enforcement modification or DA only) in 9x19mm or .40.
    A S-A XD mod 2 in 40 or 9x19mm, this is a new semi auto design but it has a few + reviews. It's good for left or right handed shooters & it can take the larger XD series magazines.
    SIG Sauer 320 in .40/9mm/.45acp. It's a great modular system that can quickly change frames, barrels, etc. SIG is a great brand and this new pistol will soon be a common CCW pick Im sure.
    Smith & Wesson SD9VE or SD40VE. This isn't a small gun but it can be concealed. It's a DA only format that is a decent value.
    The Glock 23 gen 04. This pistol is extremely popular with sworn LE and many CCW users. I like the fact you can switch barrels-magazines then use the Glock 23 for .40, .357sig, 9mm or even a .22LR(with a add on kit). I might buy a LE trade in Glock 23 gen 04 then do some custom upgrades(new barrels, magazines, CeraKote, Trijicon HD sights, parts).
     
  8. txblackout

    txblackout Member

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    I shoot a kahr cm9 and I find it really easy to shoot. It is incredibly small and is easy to carry.

    Other guns that are in a similar carry class that people usually talk about are:

    Glock 26
    M&P shield
    XDS

    9mm is inexpensive compared to 380 so I wouldnt bother with 380

    I recommend getting him a card with a picture of a gun which includes taking him to a range to rent guns so he can figure out what he likes.
     
  9. Johnny_B_Goode

    Johnny_B_Goode member

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    One thing I like about Glock pistols is the shooter has any faults in his grip or form the Glock is unforgiving. For an experienced shooter who is set in his ways this of no benefit. But forcing a new shooter to do everything properly is not a bad thing.

    If you think I am exaggerating use you favorite search engine to search for why does my Glock shoot to the left. You will find hundreds of people asking why their Glock shoot to the left and thousands more with stupid answers. The reason your Glock shoots to the left is you have a poor grip. You should hold a pistol with a 60/40 grip. You want your off hand to do most of work holding a pistol so yours strong hand can pull the trigger without pushing the gun over to the left.

    I would recommend a G19 over a G26. They both are the same pistol. The only difference is the G26 has a 3.5" barrel. The G19 has a 4" barrel. The G19 has the same sight radius as a Beretta 92fs or M9.

    You will also find that due to low bore axis Glock pistols are usually a 1/2 inch shorter than other pistols of the same size and capacity.
     
  10. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    Johnny_b_goode... well real men shoot pistols one handed and are designed for such- so much for your 60/40 grip theory :neener:
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I would also recommend the Ruger SR9c as a good gun for someone just starting out with a semi-auto. Great sights, trigger, and ergonomics, soft shooting, well suited for concealed carry, and comes with a high capacity mag that serves as an extension of the grip frame.
     
  12. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    I'm not so sure about that 60/40 advice either.

    Anyway... another vote for the 10 round SR9c. Excellent ergonomics and trigger. A lot of people don't like all the safeties, but there are gobs of legendary guns he'll want to experience with safeties so it never hurts to train with one.
    The SR9c is amazingly soft to shoot, and as others have recommended, you will be glad you stayed with 9mm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  13. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    Sig P239 in 9mm
     
  14. stu1ritter

    stu1ritter Member

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    Buy him a .22 so he can learn how to shoot handgun.
    Stu
     
  15. cluttonfred

    cluttonfred Member

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    That's actually a great idea, Stu. Get him one of the several options in a largish .22LR pistol that mimics a full-size 9mm: Ruger SR22, S&W M&P22, Sig Mosquito, etc. I have also always like the classic Luger/Lahti/Nambu-looking Ruger pistols, currently the MkIII, which is something he could have fun plinking with for years to come.
     
  16. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Hmm, with those requirements, especially the 10 rounds or less I'd recommend the Ruger SR9c.

    It is small, comes with 10 and 17 rounds. With the little pinky extension on it is extremely comfortable to shoot for a smaller gun, the big recoil spring makes it shoot like a much bigger gun. Mine was way more accurate than a little gun like that needed to be, and had an excellent trigger to boot.

    Carries well, reliable, accurate, pleasant to shoot.

    For what it's worth, I hated the Glock 26/27 size at the range, much prefer the Glock 19/23 in my Glocks. Not that much harder to conceal (for me) and much, much nicer to shoot.
     
  17. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite Member

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    He's familiar with the basic principles of handgun shooting, having grown up in a shooting household. He's handled guns and knows gun safety, but hasn't put a ton of rounds downrange. Just never really had a strong interest. But he can handle himself and isn't afraid of the gun.

    Last time we went shooting together (too long ago actually), we were shooting a 6" 686 with specials and a Taurus Judge 3" with Hornady .45 Colt 185 grain. He was keeping them minute of pie plate at 7 yards. Lot of improvement to be made but he's keeping them on paper and keeping the muzzle/fingers in the right place.

    Realistically speaking I think this might be the type of gun that gets dusted off once ever six months for a range visit, cleaned, rinse/repeat. But I'm hoping if I choose the right gun he might develop more of an interest. I know his roommate is a shooter (father and brother are both police, works in defense) so maybe it'll turn into something.
     
  18. tiamat

    tiamat Member

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    Of those originally listed, I'd lean towards the Sig P239 (because I have one). No recoil concerns with this one, as it's a heavy little beast that soaks it up easily. Not particularly great for a lefty though since all the controls are on the left side.

    The recommendations of a S&W 3rd gen are good. I'll also throw in nearly any of HK's offerings since many of them are fully ambi. Also a nod to the Walther P99 if you can find one.
     
  19. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    Consider the RIA 1911 Tactical in 9mm. Something different....
     
  20. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Guns are personal. Let him pick. Take him shooting and to the gun store with a price range. He'll choose something that works for HIM.

    As for recommendations, you almost can't go wrong with a CZ, Glock, Sig, Smith and Wesson, Ruger, or other mainstream guns.

    I'd stick with 9mm. It's the best bang for the buck, ammo-wise, in a concealed carry or HD platform.

    Check back with advice once you've narrowed it down.
     
  21. Warp

    Warp Member

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    Gen4 Glock 19 is what I would suggest he try first (rentals are golden)
     
  22. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    Agree with leadcounsel. Bring him to a range and see if he can get any hands on time with a rental. Let the friend "feel" which pistol, and manual of arms, suits him best.
     
  23. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    You seem already set on an autoloader, but I agree with posting # 20 above. Let him pick. Otherwise, you could be forever blamed for a bad choice.

    I'd try to steer him toward a wheelgun, .38 sp., possibly a S&W Model 10, unless he decides he wants a semi. If so, possibly a Bersa Thunder .380.

    Rentals are a good step toward deciding.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  24. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

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    The Sr9c is a great gun. It fits a lot of hands. Is an easy recoiler, (if that's a word), and is ambi. Has a 10 round mag. (But if he ever moves to a free state) can take 17 round mags. its a great gun, especially for a first fire arm.

    (I don't own one but it seems to be forever on my short list).
     
  25. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    I agree with Gun Master in starting him off with a wheel gun. I know he has had some experience but a semi is so so dangerous with people thinking that because they kicked out a full mag that he gun is unloaded. I have three semis that I shoot often at my home gun range and I have a ton of respect and fear of them at the same time. I would never advise a person that doesn't shoot routinely to own one. In fact I've tried to talk a very good friend that has one to get rid of it for the reasons I've mentioned. Better safe than sorry when it comes to handguns.
     
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