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  • .40 S&W

    As a part of my degree I'm taking a POST Self-Defense and firearms course. We are in the early weeks of the class but should be out on the range within 2 weeks. I eventually want to buy my own handgun after I pass my HSC test. I know that the Patrol uses .40 S&Ws as their standard duty weapons. Considering the fact that I've never fired anything more powerful than my BB gun, would buying a handgun of this calibur be too much for me? Should i get a smaller calibur such as a .22 or a 9mm?

    FYI- in the .40 range I would be looking at the 4006 or 4013 models.
    R.I.P. Officer Larry Lasater
    Pittsburg Police Dept.
    Pittsburg, CA

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  • #2
    a .40 is just fine. The way I see it, is you will get used to that gun and it will become second nature for you. As far as the recoil, its nothing to be scared of. It's actually not much different than a 9mm. So if there is a gun you really have your eye on, and it happens to be a .40, go for it. I personally own a 9mm, .40, and a .45 and love em all for there particular applications.

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    • #3
      a .22 pistol is also a great way to get a lot of trigger time on a handgun for very low cost.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TCD
        a .22 pistol is also a great way to get a lot of trigger time on a handgun for very low cost.
        And they help some shooters address trigger anticipation.
        Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matt. 5:9

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        • #5
          There's a decent chance that you may develop a flinch with a .40, if you're thinking it might be too much, chances are it is. This is only my opinion, and you could very well do fine with it. Go to a range and rent some guns and diff calibers. A .22 would be fine for range practice, but not practical skills on the range at the police academy
          We don't need no stinking badges!

          If there ain't no waves, you ain't rowing!

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          • #6
            I suggest not worrying too much about developing shooting skills on your own, police academies and the military are very good at teaching people to shoot even if they have never fired a gun before.

            If you simply want to learn about marksmanship (a noble idea, in my opinion), choose a gun that is economical, like a .22. Its cheap to buy and cheap to shoot. My suggestion is focus on good marksmanship and let your future employer teach you about the weapons skills a police officer needs. You do not need to know about shooting when you enter the academy, that is why they call it training.

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            • #7
              a .22 or 9mm pistol might be a good (and fun) way to start out. ammo is relativly cheap. plus, anything that familiarizes you with firearms can be a good start. after the course you should have (hopefully) some good training and be on your way to building some good instincts. i do love my .40 though :-)

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              • #8
                Don't let having not shot before be a mental hang up for you. Go and learn. You will find that shooting well is more of a mental thing. It is also harder to unteach bad habits, and attitudes, than to teach good skills from the out set. You will be fine.

                The 40 s&w is not what I would consider to be a heavy recoiling gun.
                "In my life I have met many people who were quick to point a finger, and but a few that cared enough lift one"

                ME

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                • #9
                  When we went from the 9mm to the .40 S&W, I did notice that the .40 recoil had a little more bite to it than the 9mm, but it's certainly manageable.
                  Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

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                  • #10
                    So Delta, are you saying if I start out with a .40, it would be beneficial because I won't have to worry about flinching when (and if) i'm issued my duty weapon?
                    R.I.P. Officer Larry Lasater
                    Pittsburg Police Dept.
                    Pittsburg, CA

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CHP Wanna-Be
                      So Delta, are you saying if I start out with a .40, it would be beneficial because I won't have to worry about flinching when (and if) i'm issued my duty weapon?
                      I would agree with the others that starting with a .22 would be good to establish the fundamentals of marksmanship.

                      However, once you've got that down, I say jump right to the .40 pistol. It's not exactly a hand-cannon, so you might as well get used to the recoil as soon as possible.
                      Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

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                      • #12
                        then again, if this class you are taking is using a 38 special or a .40 then you don't really need to go back to a 22lr.

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                        • #13
                          +1 to starting with a .22LR for a beginner cartridge handgun.

                          If you have the money, you might consider getting a .22LR conversion kit to match to the standard .40S&W handgun. They are available for $200-350 range (depending on the manufacturer) for the more popular Glock, Berretta, Taurus, and CZ handguns. This way the grip, safety, etc would be the same, but you could train with ammo that is cheaper and gives less recoil.

                          Another option would be to match your handgun with an airsoft or BB gun - the closer the better. This is an even cheaper option which even gives the oportunity for indoor home practice. (Don't tell my wife ). I've got a Glock look-a-like that uses magazine feeding for the airsoft BB's, but each round must be chambered separately. Allows practice for basic trigger control. Awesome training device for $25.

                          Another option would be one of those Laser Blaster type training aids for dry-firing practice. This devise is a laser that activates by the firing pin. A laser dot indicates steady hold, line or squiggle indicates jerking trigger.
                          review:
                          http://www.tacticalshooting.com/foru...hread.php?t=19

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CHP Wanna-Be
                            As a part of my degree I'm taking a POST Self-Defense and firearms course. We are in the early weeks of the class but should be out on the range within 2 weeks. I eventually want to buy my own handgun after I pass my HSC test. I know that the Patrol uses .40 S&Ws as their standard duty weapons. Considering the fact that I've never fired anything more powerful than my BB gun, would buying a handgun of this calibur be too much for me? Should i get a smaller calibur such as a .22 or a 9mm?

                            FYI- in the .40 range I would be looking at the 4006 or 4013 models.

                            i have the s&w 4013 tac and i hate it i would not suggest it to anyone it is always jamming on me i have sent it back 3 times and is still isnt working right
                            "OBSTACLES ARE THOSE FRIGHTFUL THING YOU SEE WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR EYES OFF YOUR GOAL" HENRY FORD

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                            • #15
                              Jamming? What is it doing?
                              "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final"--Bill Jordan

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