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How to chose the right gun?


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  • How to chose the right gun?

    I am trying to decide which gun to buy for my first pistol. The only thing I know I want is a .40 caliber. Other than I'm not sure. I have so far shot the Glock 27 and 23, eliminating the 27. Sunday I tried the H and K USP compact and liked it, but thought the grips on the P2000 felt better. Not sure if I want a safety or not. What are the advantages and disadvantages as far as that goes. I know I don't like any of the guns that make you have your hand around the grip in order to fire like the 1911. So anyway when shooting the gun, checking them out at the store what shouuld consider. Also are there any guns you recommend trying out. I have about 2 months until I'm 21 so I have plenty of time before I make my final decision. Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    How much do you know about firearms?

    Do you know these?

    Based on what you posted above, keep in mind that you can tweek your weapon like people do their cars. So if your only limitation on choosing a handgun is, for example, the grip you can buy new grips.

    It also depends on how much your willing to spend. Glocks are definately bang for your buck. If you haven't tried Sig, I recommend them as well. I would personally recommend the HK or Glock if you're going with .40 (although I prefer the .45).

    If you train right you don't need a safety. Your finger is your safety.
    You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz


    • #3
      First thing that comes to my mind is why do you deplore the grip safety? When are you going to want the gun to fire when your hand is not grasping the grip?

      I personally have a 1911, and a Sig and am issued a Sig for work. I actually prefer my 1911 even though the Sigs are excellent pistols. The reason for this is consistent trigger pull. No worry about DA-SA transition or sloppy trigger. Sigs aren't known for having the best triggers, but they are excellent tools. Check out the USP Compact, XD (even though it has a grip safety), SIG P239/229, or the Beretta Cougar in addition to the Glock 23 you have already looked at. There are pistols that I would stay away from for fit reasons but if it fits....you know the rest.
      " (T)o preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.... " Richard Henry Lee, 1788


      • #4
        Personally, I would go to your local range and see what you like. Pick out 4-5 different guns and give 'em the ol' college try.

        Also, what is the gun for? Do you have a CCW permit or want to get one at a later date? If so, maybe size or weight is an issue?

        Without having alot of info to work with, I'd suggest a SIG to anybody who wanted a pistol that is simple to shoot and simple to break down.

        Nothing against a 40 cal (I carry a Glock 23 off duty) but why are you set on this caliber? Many (most?) people will shoot a 9mm just as well of better and the ammo is much cheaper is you plan on shooting alot. The magazine capacity is *usually* higher on a 9mm as well. Also, are you aware that you can buy inter-changable barrels for some pistols? For example, you can buy a Glock in 357Sig and buy a 9mm barrel for it...
        "Get busy dying or get busy living".....Andy Dufrain, Shawshank Redemption


        • #5
          As an instructor, I would advise that you need to choose a gun you feel comfortable with. The IDPA is a good resource. They are a VERY realistic self defense based shooting organization.

          9mm are lighter and normally smaller, but I shoot a 40 myself. I also happen to like Smith & Wessons....which causes me to be scorned in this thread. But I shoot pretty well with it.

          Shoot what fits, and works for you.
          An impressionable child in a tumultuous world, and they say I'm at a difficult stage... --Meat Loaf

          Professional Stupidity Recognition Technician


          • #6
            I'm actually going to go a completely different direction here than the rest of the guys. For your 1st gun I'd get a 22, maybe a Ruger 22/45 which has the feel of a 1911 Colt but shoots 22lr ammo. Shoot that for a while, build up some good habits and then shoot everyone elses guns while you decide what you like. Your tastes may change greatly in 6 months and you can save yourself a lot of cash.
            "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

            For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/


            • #7
              I generally recommend a .22lr revolver for most beginners.

              However, if you insist on semi-auto, I'd still strongly recommend one in .22lr as mentioned in previous posts. Cheaper ammo provides more practice time and mild noise and recoil minimizes developing poor shooting habits.

              If you insist on a semi-auto center fire, a full size 9mm would be the next logical step - cheapest centerfire ammo and moderate recoil.

              Another alternative would be to get a semi-auto in the caliber of your choice but that has a .22lr conversion kit available (most Glocks as well as some Beretta's, Taurus', and CZ/EAA). This would offer the option of inexpensive practice of .22lr using the same grip and controls that your center-fire handgun uses.

              An even cheaper alternative would be to practice with an airsoft, BB, or pellet pistol that closely matches the handgun of your choice.

              My final advice would be to try as many as possible and see which one works best for you.



              • #8
                As far as not liking the grip safety, it's just doesn't feel right in my hand. I'm looking only at the .40 because I want to get a headstart on shooting a gun like I would in an academy. I do plan to get a CCW permit, so size is one thing I'm considering. I have tried a sig yet but will try to find one to check out.


                • #9
                  Gotta agree with EVERYBODY's posts - good advice.

                  1) Unless you are absolutely convinced that you need to jump into a situation where the gun you purchase will be the one handgun that you own, the first gun should be a .22 for reasons given above. And you will always love your .22. I return to my .22 handguns to fine tune my skills, in between large bore practice, and save a lot of money (even though I'm a reloader). And they are tons of fun for plinking.

                  2) For serious defense, later, a large bore (.40 or larger) is the ONLY way to go, in my opinion. My favorite gun of all time, that which I always have (and even carried as a final backup as a patrol officer in the trunk if not on my person) is the wonderful .45 ACP Colt Gov't MkIV with Pachmayr rubber grips. Despite all the games and theories of so-called firearms experts, the leading tactical LE officers, SWAT units, Dept. of Defense units have almost unanimously come back to this great old caliber and configuration or else are using the .40 or 10mm caliber for serious social encounters.

                  The latest rage is the Kimber line of guns, which is basically a highly tuned and hardened MkIV! And despite what you hear, that big gun is so flat that you can wear it under your beltline and it is never seen. For years, I have carried one in a soft leather belt-clip scabbard by my right kidney, with a keyback mounted on the belt in front of the clip (those big round chrome things with the retractable chain). In more than a dozen years of carrying it that way, undercover and off-duty, it has never been spotted, even wearing a t-shirt in this hot San Joaquin Valley (Fresno, CA area) weather.

                  3) The Glock is perhaps the most accurate handgun I have ever carried. Its grip, heft, and trigger allow for fast first shots and the best double-tap shot groups that I have consistently fired with a handgun. You can take one and literally throw it as far away as you can in the dirt, pick it up and fire it - like a demo I saw from a company rep. It is a battle tank with a target gun feel. But its lack of an external safety is, to me, totally unforgiveable. I had a chance to purchase one through my department at a tremendous savings, but I wouldn't carry one if it were given to me, despite the year or so that I had to carry one as an officer before I was allowed to carry a different weapon. There is a safety device on the trigger, but you need to determine if it is for you. As for me, I'm no anti-gun weenie, but the danged things make me extremely nervous unless they are holstered in something that totally covers the trigger. Were the Glock to add an external safety to the engineering, then I'd choose a Glock .45 over my beloved Colt.

                  4) The SIG and the Taurus have great safety systems, and I would look at them. Unless things have changed, however, SIG is extremely expensive. I carried a S&W .45 for several years as a patrol deputy with Fresno County, and loved that pistol, as well. But it is pretty bulky as compared with the flat-sided Colt Mark IV. The S&W allows the first shot to be double action (pull of the trigger), which might throw you off on the first shot but could also save your life in an unexpected confrontation. Taurus has developed many fine firearms, usually priced way below what other quality firearms cost. You may wish to take one of these out and fire it. Taurus started quietly but is now a top competitor against the more heavily established firearm manufacturers.


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