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Shopping for 1st center fire handgun

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by spazzy, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. spazzy

    spazzy Member

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    I accomplished paying off my massive student loans in a tad less than 2 years. I am rewarding myself with a new gun. I bought a browning buckmark a few years back and learned to love handgun plinking.

    Now I am looking for something bigger in centerfire. It will be mostly used for informal plinking/target shooting. I will not be carrying it. It will sit in a safe in my bedroom for home defense.

    Budget is about $700, if I spend less I can stock up on more ammo/magazines right away.

    I am considering:

    Cz 75 or 1911

    If i go with a 1911 it will be blued, bonus points for a polished blue finish.

    The 1911s I am looking at are Remington R1 or Cimarron high luster blued

    https://www.cimarron-firearms.com/1911-semi-automatic-45-acp-5-barrel-polished-high-luster-blue.html

    Any thoughts?

    I haven't been to the store to see which one fits my hand the best, that would be my next step
     
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  2. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I really prefer a revolver for general use. No mags to buy, functions with anything that fits in the cylinder and easier (for me) to shoot well. Plus the cartridges are generally more powerful. A 357 gp100 or 686 would serve you well.
     
  3. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Something for plinking. For low maintenance I suggest a revolver. Something in 357 so you can shoot 38, 38+p also. 6-7 inch barrel for decent sighting and balance. Taurus make good shooters. Ruger also. If double action is not a preference I would look for a Ruger single six that has the 9mm cylinder with it. That adds another inexpensive round to shoot.
     
  4. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    I'd highly suggest the M&P 2.0 9mm 5"

    It'll be well under your budget and you can add a nice set of sights and buy a bunch of ammo to go enjoy it. Or you could buy some extra magazines with it so when you go to the range you won't be spending your time reloading.

    They shoot great and are a wonderful gun. 9mm is cheap to shoot and if you get into reloading you can even make all kinds of loads for it.
     
  5. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I will third the revolver recommendation but I am a Smith & Wesson guy...But, you said 1911 so...

    The Cimarron 1911 is made by Armscor in the Philippines. Here is a link that verifies that and critiques the gun. There are more reviews in line.
    https://www.guns.com/news/review/cimarron-1911

    The Remington R1 is made in USA. Here is what appears to be a recent fair review of the gun.
    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/gun-review-remington-model-1911-r1-45-acp/

    This review comments on the sights and the magazines and I would recommend taking these into account.

    If I were selecting between these two 1911s I would go with the Remington. Cimarron is an importer. Remington’s products are American made and their customer service is pretty good.

    I forgot to mention that I have no experience with these two guns and am only going by what I read and my experience with Remington customer service.
     
  6. marvin02

    marvin02 Member

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    If you decide on a semi-auto and want to look at a striker fired gun take a look at the Caniks. I have a TP9SF Elite and love it. If you want one that's out of the box ready for a red dot look at the Canik TP9SFx. The Caniks have great triggers. See if your local range has one you can rent to try it out.
     
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  7. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    The universe of centerfire handguns is just way to big given your criteria. Could you just help us out a little more? If you close your eyes and picture yourself at the range what do you picture in your hand? Semi auto or revolver, plastic or all metal? Big bore or little bore? At $700 (or even $500) you have a lot of fine guns to choose from.
     
  8. Bang!

    Bang! Member

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    You have great taste in firearms and congrats on the student loans. I often reward myself with firearms, too. Last month it was a Beretta 92x G model compact. Really like it!

    Given your choices, budget, and being first centerfire I would recommend the CZ. Cheaper ammo for plinking, great ergonomics, usually has good sites, quality manufacturing,... makes it a good starter. You will eventually own the 1911’s. They’re a lot fun. Everyone should have at least one 1911. But for a first centerfire, plinking, budget gun, I would go with the CZ.

    Opinions are like...
     
  9. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    Yeah, it's addictive isn't it. Add is actually a great first syllable cause guns are like potato chips, can't have just one.
    One of the big considerations for a gun shot regularly is ammo cost. You'll pay for the gun once, the ammo every time you go to the range. Using MSRP retail numbers, costs about a dollar every time I pull the trigger on my .44 magnum, and a bit over a quarter each time I fire a 9mm.
    Being a long time wheelgun fan myself, I do agree, if you're going to go that route, with the supporters of the .357 simply from an ammo point of contention. Easily obtained, relatively inexpensive and easy to reload if you go that get that bug.
    If by plinking you're talking target shooting, consider sight radius being important as the deviation of the front sight to rear sight can be seen much more easily with the longer radius of a 6 inch barrel as opposed to a 4.
    The number of choices in your price point is huge.

    Marvin's on the money here. We sell the Caniks and order them new. You get quite a bit of extra goodies, an OWB RH plastic holster, a double magazine holster, etc. Never had any complaints on any of the new or used ones we've sold.

    Whichever you buy, whatever you buy, welcome to the shooting community and 'gratz on paying off those loans!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
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  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Congratulations! It took me way longer, but I was paying off a pickup truck also.

    Those are both good choices, but honestly I just entered the world of Dan Wesson 1911's this year, and I really think the quality is worth saving for. I had an entry level 1911 and it was fun, but a nicer production 1911 really does have a nice feal to it.

    So I guess I'd go CZ first, and then save for a 1911 later.

    there really are a lot of good choices out there though.
     
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  11. George Dickel

    George Dickel Member

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    1911
     
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  12. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    9mm is going to be the cheapest round available, so you should at least think about that, since the more rounds you are able to obtain in your budget, the more practice will be possible. Personally, I prefer striker fired guns like the Glock, M&P, XD, and Ruger SR series. They can be had for reasonable prices, and are all very reliable. There are plenty of accessories, holsters, etc. available for all. I don't care for transitional DA pistols like the CZ, because the first shot has the heavy cycle, with the gun transitioning to the shorter one. With the striker fired pistols, every round breaks the same.
     
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  13. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Both excellent choices. Those both fit my hands well. :cool:
     
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  14. spazzy

    spazzy Member

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    Definitely semi auto, full sized, metal framed. I'm a sucker for pretty bluing, unsure of caliber but most likely 9mm or 45acp. Would probably prefer hammer fired.
     
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  15. spazzy

    spazzy Member

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    I'm leaning towards cz 75 but I cant resist the old school polished bluing, like the older colts. If I could find a blued cz 75 I'd jump on it.
     
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  16. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Congratulations, that has to feel good. The down side is, with that debt off you're back, your credit score will start to decline.:( Never mind, that's another thread

    I'm sure you realize 9mm is going to be the most economical choice. No wrong choice between CZ 75 and 1911 and you will probably have both before long.
     
  17. spazzy

    spazzy Member

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    My credit score dropped about 50 points 790ish to 740, who would have thought being responsible and paying off 100k early would do that...

    I dont get a chance to shoot that often so the difference in 9mm vs 45 price doesnt bother me that much. I will continue to shoot my buckmark too and that's a heck of a lot cheaper, i snagged a case of 22lr for 2.2 cents per round!
     
  18. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Yea, lenders like interest and consider people like you "deadbeats". At the rate your going it won't be long until your credit score is 0 and your retirement savings is some number followed by half a dozen zeros.
     
  19. lionking

    lionking Member

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  20. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    CZ75 all the way...

    And here's my obligatory shout-out to the clones like the Jericho and Witness lines!!!
     
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  21. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    The Buck Mark was a great first step. Seriously, very good plan.

    I am a revolver guy, and if I could only have one centerfire handgun, it would be a 4" medium-framed 357 or 38 special.

    Next choice would be a full-sized 9mm service pistol. The EAA Witness is an excellent copy of the CZ. It is less expensive and IMHO equally good. RIA makes a nice 9mm 1911 that you can get NiB for $400 or less, NP.

    There are lots of nice pistols that are easily affordable. If there is a range near you that lets you rent them, you will soon determine your favorites.

    I prefer used handguns, especially military surplus and police trade-ins. The police trade-ins in particular usually have holster wear, but were not shot much. You can typically get the same pistol for half the price of new. Ask us if you are interested, and we will share sites and info.

    I really like the police trade-in S&W M&P's. This one cost something like $229, plus maybe $25 shipping and a $25 FFL fee to my local gun shop. It came with the box and 2-3 magazines. There are lots of deals like this out there.

     
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  22. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    My 1st center fire was a S&W model 19 Combat Magnum with a 4" barrel. It was my pride and joy. 2nd center fire Is a Taurus PT92C bought used for $250.00.. It was made in 12/98 and still shoots wonderfully and still looks great. It is an Aluminum alloy frame, SA/DA Hammer fired gun. I have since added 12 other center fire handguns and not one is a 1911.

    Start hitting all the local gun shops and any local gun shows so you can physically see and handle any and all until your hearts content. Then after you've made your interest list go back to the local shops and rent them. Last piece of advice, when test shooting take your time and limit yourself to just a couple per day otherwise you are just going to confuse the issue with over stimulation. Then if you need to go back and reshoot the ones you like best.
     
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  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Plenty of serviceable pistols on the market, good recommendations here.
    Pick one and go shooting. If you don't like it in the long run, that is OK, you don't have to have a lawyer to change guns.
     
  24. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    Go to a range and rent an assortment to see what you like.
    To save a bit, you may consider a police trade- in, especially if there are no magazine restrictions in your state.
    Also, 9mm Parabellum is cheap and adequate for HD so that should be a consideration.
    If you prefer revolvers, .38 spl/.357 mag is the logical choice unless you hand load ammo. Since you aren't carrying I'd recommend a 6" or 4" barrel revolver---they're more fun to shoot and burn powder more efficiently.
    Good luck!
     
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  25. needmorecowbell

    needmorecowbell Member

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    A CZ 75 or variant is perfect for what you describe. If you have any possibility of wanting to carry it in future I’d get the PCR or P01. To me they perform just as good at the range as the full size.
     
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