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  • Gun for academy, 1st time shooter

    Hello guys this is my first post. I'm hoping to start academy in less than a month. I was told I needed to buy my own gun and have it for the academy on the first day. Before last week I've never shot a gun before in my life and I really don't know much. I've spent the last week doing tons of online research and I've got a basic idea of things. I was wondering if you guys could help me out.
    The following brands and calibers are allowed.
    Glock, H&K, Sig Sauer, in 9mm, .40, and .45
    Until last week I had no clue what any of this meant.

    Brand:
    I've read that one good way to choose a gun is to see what feels good in your hand. I went to a gun range to try a few guns for feel. The Sig, and glock felt nice, with a slight preference for the sig. Although the Sig fit my hand, it did not fit my pocketbook as I am a college student. The H&K didn't feel right for me. So I figure I'm down to Sig (if I have the money) and Glock.

    Size:
    I don't have large hands but the glock 19 & 23 compact felt funny on the palm of my hand where the magazine hits. The full size 17& 22 fits well. For the Sig, I liked both the 226 and the 229.

    Caliber:
    I've read into countless articles and forums about calibers and it seems the best caliber is the one you can shoot most accurately. There are some that say .40 has more stopping power, but I'm inclined to believe that no hand bullet will "stop" a person and stopping power is somewhat a myth in the sense that a bullet has enough momentum to make a person fall. Countless articles about people who are on something say that some will still come at you and others will fall, it depends on their physical state. I've read that Bullet placement is key. Also being a beginner I've already ruled out a .45.

    Here are my options. Get a 9mm, learn how to shoot with it and once I get good, try a higher caliber until I'm good with that one. My other option is to go with a .40 caliber, the one my local PD recommends and train with it through the academy, that way I really know my gun. On the size issue, many cops I've talked to say to go with the compact because sometimes the full size will dig into your ribs and is uncomfortable to carry. This would leave me with the sig 229. This makes sense as far as carry, but as far as shooting, I feel better with a full size, which leads me to glock 17 or 22

    Last week I went to shoot with my choices, G17, G22, Sig229 in 9mm (didn't have the (.40 at the time) If it comes down to price, I'll probably end up with a G17 or G22. I've done many searches through this and other forums and since it's been asked a thousand times I wanted to let you guys know I at least used the search function.

    Here's where I need your help, I attach 2 targets I shot with last weekend. On the left is the target that I shot the 9mm's with. On the right is .40 I shot with. This was the first time I've ever shot with a gun and I know I suck. I didn't have anyone teach me I just asked the guy behind the counter, who gave me a 5 minute lesson. The targets are at 15 yrds (is that standard?) There are 50 shoots in the 1st target, but only 35 in the second ( a friend gave me a box that he said he didn't need) Which would you say I shoot better with, 9mm or .40? I was told I have "anticipation problems for both guns." The guy at the range says I'm compensating for the recoil too much. This is the first time I held a gun so I can't tell what I shoot better with. ( blanked out the name of the shooting range in case it was against forum rules to advertise things)

    It's difficult to buy a gun for academy without knowing much about guns, let alone never firing one. Thanks for your help.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by skc; 04-30-2007, 11:49 PM.

  • #2
    Impossible to tell. I'd say both about equally.
    It sounds like you are doing all the right things. I'd suggest getting Massad Ayoob's Big Book of Handguns (it isnt called that but something like that) where he discusses various stances and grips. Then try them out just at home.
    Are you looking strictly at new guns? Used guns provide excellent value, esp in the SIGs.
    I maintain that with proper loading a 9mm is every bit as effective as 40 or anything else out there. 9mm tends to be cheaper and offer a better variety of factory loads.
    Which gun did you feel least punished after shooting?

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't make the mistake of thinking a .45 is too much gun for a new shooter. The .45 actually has a softer recoil than the .40. I'd suggest you shoot a Glock 21 or an XD .45 before you buy something.
      I started out with a Glock 22 and ended up selling it after about a month in the academy to switch over to a Glock 21. I just couldn't get used to the 22. Like you said, you have to get what fits your hands the best.

      Comment


      • #4
        from a purely economical standpoint a 9 mm is much cheaper to shoot than the other calibers if that is a consideration for you. the recoil on a 45 is very manageable and was the first handgun that i ever shot. i had no issues with it at all. as mentioed, a 40 has a bit of a kick in comparison to a 9 or 45. in the "right" (all subjective) 40 it is very manageable, however.

        i think 9's are a great place to start just because of the economics involved. i have a 9 and a 40 and shoot the 9 much more often. $100 bills at the range can get expensive on a frequent basis with the 40.
        "Hell is other people."
        - Jean-Paul Sartre

        Comment


        • #5
          I love my HK USP 45 but for the new shooter who will be issued a gun when you get hired on I wouldn't try and spend too much money on something. I'd recommend a used gun from HK, Sig or Glock in 9mm. It will be easy and cheap to learn and you can focus on the details after much training in the academy. When you get hired then get whatever gun they issue you and practice your rear off with it.
          "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/

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you tried out the New Springfield XD Series? From what I hear (I've dry fired both the Tactical and the Compact) they are the bee's Knees. Not terribly expensive and they are in all cal's you have tried.

            IMO, I will always carry a .45 cal, becaue it is the round that I have ABSOLUTE confidence in. I shoot it with both the Glock 21 and Kimber Custome TLE/RL II.

            You are going to learn the fundamentals of Marksmanship, once you Nail Down Sight Alignment/Sight Picture, Breath Control, and trigger squeeze you'll be able to apply it to any weapons system.

            Mass AYOOB does have a great book on Marksmanship, but I am particular to the Gunsight publications

            Good luck!!!! Aim Small & Miss Small
            When your fun ends, my fun begins

            Comment


            • #7
              remember I don't know anything about guns. everything I posted was due to a weeks worth of research. MY local PD only allows the guns I mentioned: Glock, H&K, Sig.

              Is the springfield the gun with a safety behind the grip where the crook of your thumb rests? Some guy tried to sell me on it, I think he said springfield, but again. I'm limited to the above 3 makers. This gun is for the academy and most likely duty. My department isn't going to issue a gun to my knowledge, we provide our own, otherwise I don't think they'd tell us to buy one before academy starts.

              As the school semester ends, I find myself getting lower and lower on funds. I'll most likely stick to Glock. I actually never thought about getting one used. I don't know why that thought didn't cross my mind. That would sure save me a good amount of money. Still, I just can't decide now on what caliber. If the best one to use is the one I shoot best with, then I don't shoot well with any right now. I don't know if the academy supplies ammo or not.
              Last edited by skc; 05-01-2007, 03:15 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd say get the Glock 17 used and then worry about what you really want later on when you have more money. If you end up with a Glock in 40cal then you can still use the same gear you used in the academy.

                O' and if you want some TCLEOSE notes.
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TXBasicAcademy/
                "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/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good call on CDNN, I know when you buy HK standard capacity mags from them they usually throw one or two Clinton era 10 rounders in for good measure which make for great practice mags. I don't believe in carrying my practice mags because those are the ones I drop in the dirt, step on and generally abuse.

                  As far as dings and dents, it gives the gun character. I'm proud of every wear mark my HK has received over the 100k rounds and 12 or so years I've been with it.

                  Originally posted by Marky Mark
                  Check out places like CDNN Investments - they often have police agency trade-ins at substantial discounts. Police trade-ins usually have dings and holster wear, but not very many rounds thru them (a sad testament to officers not shooting as much as they should).
                  "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/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by skc View Post
                    remember I don't know anything about guns. everything I posted was due to a weeks worth of research. MY local PD only allows the guns I mentioned: Glock, H&K, Sig.
                    Is the springfield the gun with a safety behind the grip where the crook of your thumb rests?

                    yes, springfield has the grip safety. they are very nice pistols but i sold mine because i hated that safety.

                    [/QUOTE]as the school semester ends, I find myself getting lower and lower on funds. I'll most likely stick to Glock. I actually never thought about getting one used. I don't know why that thought didn't cross my mind. That would sure save me a good amount of money. Still, I just can't decide now on what caliber.[/QUOTE]

                    that is an endless debate. i'm not an LEO so i would be stepping out of my league to offer anything further in that direction. maybe, perhaps, find out what the locals use and buy one of those... most likely a 40 or a 9. but, i think i can comfortably say that if you can shoot well with a 40 you should be able to handle a 9 reasonably well.
                    "Hell is other people."
                    - Jean-Paul Sartre

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sig P226

                      Originally posted by skc View Post
                      remember I don't know anything about guns. everything I posted was due to a weeks worth of research. MY local PD only allows the guns I mentioned: Glock, H&K, Sig.

                      Is the springfield the gun with a safety behind the grip where the crook of your thumb rests? Some guy tried to sell me on it, I think he said springfield, but again. I'm limited to the above 3 makers. This gun is for the academy and most likely duty. My department isn't going to issue a gun to my knowledge, we provide our own, otherwise I don't think they'd tell us to buy one before academy starts.

                      As the school semester ends, I find myself getting lower and lower on funds. I'll most likely stick to Glock. I actually never thought about getting one used. I don't know why that thought didn't cross my mind. That would sure save me a good amount of money. Still, I just can't decide now on what caliber. If the best one to use is the one I shoot best with, then I don't shoot well with any right now. I don't know if the academy supplies ammo or not.
                      The Sig P226 or the P229 are high capacity quality Duty weapons and you can get them reasonable at Police Supply stores they are called Department Trade In's. Like when we just got our M&P's we traded everyone of our Beretta 96's in. Ive never heard of departments allowing you to carry such a variety of calibers thats real cool usually they atleast want you to go to the same caliber for range purposes to qualify never heard of that except for off duty weapons. Personally you ought to try our how you shoot the 45acp I actually like the accuracy way better than 40S&W. Then see if you can find you a used Sig P220.
                      "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You didn't mention if Smith and Wesson was allowed, so I guess not. But the S&W M&P .40 is a great gun for a first time shooter in my opinion. It really is shooter friendly and is extremely accurate straight out of the box, even for a first time shooter.

                        Check out this article. It might help in the decision making process. Pretty good read.

                        http://www.handgunsmag.com/featured_...polysh_032707/
                        Success is failure turned inside out
                        The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
                        And you never can tell how close you are,
                        It may be near when it seems so far;
                        So stick to the fight when your hardest hit,
                        It's when things seem worst that you must not quit!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey guys, I think I made my decision, as pkagel said I can worry about what I really want when I have more money. I think I'm going for the G17, my department requires night sights on them for the academy as well, so there's more money I have to spend. I'm going to look for one used to further save money. I spoke to an officer who also told me where I could by one and also trade it in as was mentioned above. After the academy I can buy a gun I like more. Another reason why I decided to hold off on a better feeling gun is I found an HK now that feels really good, due to my lack of knowledge, I didn't know they had changeable grips. I may even like it more than the Sig I held. So due to my lack of knowledge, I'm going with affordable, then educating myself more, then spend money on what I feels better both in brand as well as caliber... gotta crawl before you walk.

                          Oh, and I actually did shot with a earlier .45 and while I don't have the target with me, it doesn't look much different than the others I posted. It seems I can handle all 3 equally bad I'm going for the 9mm now because I believe that although I might be provided ammo at the academy, when I go home I will have to supply my own (will need to check on this once more.) My academy does not require me to stay there, I can go back to my apartment at the end of the day. So while I think I can handle .40 and even .45 I'm going to have to go with cost... yet again.

                          pkagel, thanks for the TXBasicAcademy group link; that will help big time. Also Marky M thanks for the CDNN site. WOW! Sig mags that don't cost $40! And to everyone else, thanks for your imput, I'll go shopping in the next couple days.

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