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SharpShooter
06-19-2008, 10:18 PM
Hey guys, I'd like to start by saying that this seems like a wonderful forum to be a part of. It seems to have a lot of answers to questions I've been having. I just needed some advice from some of the handgun novices in the forums. I know that there is no "perfect" first handgun, but I wanted to know from your personal experiences, what would be a good hand gun to start off with. My friend brought me to a shooting range and I sort of fell in love with the sport. The only thing is, I'm kind of an impulsive buyer. I wanted to know what you guys would suggest as a good inexpensive first gun that is relieble and if for some reason I don't stick with the sport, will still be a good gun to keep around for self defense. Any and all input would be much appreciated.

Quiet
06-19-2008, 10:25 PM
Start off with a .22LR handgun.

Check out...
Ruger Mark II or III
Browning Buck Mark
Beretta Neo

If you want something bigger, check out...
Ruger GP-100
S&W Model 686

redcliff
06-19-2008, 10:26 PM
Theres a couple ways to go; if you want to really learn to shoot a handgun inexpensively you need a .22lr semi-automatic or revolver. Ruger, Browning, and Sig make some reasonable priced semi's, .22 revolvers are harder to find but S&W makes some good ones.

If you're not on a tight budget you might want to look at a 9mm semi or a .357 revolver. A Glock or Sig 9mm semi would be a good first pistol, or a Ruger or S&W revolver in .357.

Your best bet is to find an indoor range that rents different firearms and you can try before you buy to see what suits you. I'm sure if you post your location someone can recommend a shooting range to go to :)

SharpShooter
06-19-2008, 10:34 PM
I appreciate the suggestions and I'm located in cerritos. I've already been to insight indoor shooting range. I actually went there for my first time about 2 weeks ago and became hooked. I've been there 5 times in the past weeks. I've narrowed it down to starting myself off the a 9mm. I've shot a glock and a sig and really like both, but im open to more options.

saber
06-19-2008, 10:38 PM
If you want a 9mm, some other options include H&K's, Berettas, Smith and Wessons (M&P's have gotten some really good reviews, thinking of getting on myself), and a Springfield XD.

redcliff
06-19-2008, 10:42 PM
Also the CZ-75 is a great value in a 9mm.

aca72
06-19-2008, 10:52 PM
GLOCK 19. It's cheap and reliable.

Delfunk2015
06-19-2008, 11:15 PM
my first gun was a HK USP 9mm. I love it. A lil pricey but i think its worth it, besides the fact that HK thinks i suck and also hates me. jkjkjkk =)

MT1
06-19-2008, 11:20 PM
Welcome to the forums :gunsmilie:

There's way too many options out there for someone to tell you what to get. As has been stated, go to the range and shoot whatever they will let you - pick what feels best in your hand, is easy to operate, and shoots well for you.

Personally I am a 1911 and Sig Sauer fan.

11Z50
06-19-2008, 11:33 PM
Good choice on the 9mm; it's pleasant to shoot, inexpensive, universally available, powerful enough for self-defense, and accurate in most guns.

Depending on your budget, you can't go wrong with a Sig or Glock. With a 9mm, I take into account that since you can only have a 10-rd mag, a smaller gun makes more sense. If you travel out of state, or plan on moving eventually, full-cap mags may be an option for you, so a bigger pistol might work.

I would check out Beretta, Ruger, and the S&W MP. There are many choices out there, so try a few out to make sure your first handgun is one that best fits your hand. When you find one that handles right for you buy it, and lots of ammo, and blast away. I own several 9mm's, but my favorites are the HK P7, Beretta 92, Sig P6, and Smith and Wesson SW9G.

The basic options are double action or single action, polymer v alloy frame, manual safety or not, full-size or compact and stainless or blue steel.

Welcome to our forum, and to the wonderful world of shooting!

RT13
06-19-2008, 11:37 PM
Glock17 9mm or G19 compact version of G17.
SigPro SP2022 or SP2009 9mm.
Springfiled XD9.

Juicymeat
06-19-2008, 11:53 PM
If you're looking for something cheap, look no further than the Sig P6, they're one sale now for about 350 on average and are probably the best bang for the buck out right now.

savs2k
06-20-2008, 12:41 AM
get a glock. cheap and reliable. They'll take a beating if you give them one and not having a safety makes you keep practicing to always have your finger off the trigger until your ready to shoot (you should do it anyways regardless of gun)

DrunkSkunk
06-20-2008, 12:46 AM
first of all DON'T LISTEN TO ANYONE HERE OR WHAT GUN THEY SUGGEST.

go to a range that has gun rentals, try out every pistol they have and decide for yourself.

elSquid
06-20-2008, 1:17 AM
first of all DON'T LISTEN TO ANYONE HERE OR WHAT GUN THEY SUGGEST.


I totally agree.

That said, go and buy a 22LR auto. (cough, cough)

-- Michael

Sobriquet
06-20-2008, 1:54 AM
Skip the .22. It's only useful for range use. If you have *any* desire to use it as a home defense gun (which you likely will after you become proficient), the .22 will be darned near useless.

I would recommend you go centerfire - probably 9mm. the ammo is cheaper for you to practice with, and decent self-defense ammo will get the job done.

Your hand size will determine whether you want a full size or something more compact. I second the suggestions of those here that you NEED to go to a range and rent as many models as possible. Pick the one that feels the best.

It may not be a popular opinion, but I just wouldn't touch a Glock with a 10 foot stick. They have a history of sweeping quality and reliability problems under the rug. Try out as many Heckler & Koch and Sig Sauer models as you can. You really can't make a bad choice with either of those brands. Spend a little extra for something of real quality and you'll hold onto it for much longer and end up buying less junk.

Prime candidates should be the USP Compact and full size in 9mm, the P2000 in 9m, and the Sig Sauer P229 and P226.

randy
06-20-2008, 2:07 AM
Sharpshooter whoever said don't buy anything and go shoot the range rentals is giving you good advice. Go to other ranges too find out what they have to rent. Along the same lines of go to the range and rent Go to the range and take lessons. A group lesson to start out or private lessons. Take at least 2 lessons then practice what you've been taught. After you can shoot well then buy a gun.

The money spent on lessons will be returned to you 10 fold.

What Just Happened?
06-20-2008, 5:21 AM
Somewhere along the line, you'll eventually own a .22lr or want to. The allure of really, really cheap ammo is too irresistable. I owned a Sig Mosquito, but it had too many problems for me.

For your 9mm, go to the range and try out as many as you can. The list is long for the types.

XD-9
Glock
M&P
Sig 226
CZ 75 Variants
Beretta 92
some 1911's
etc...

And then there are even variants for each of those with respect to x-large, large, medium, and small-sized. Way too many to list.

Go try them all and see what you like. Oh and don't be afraid to ask someone to try out theirs. Just don't do something unsafe with it.

ibanezfoo
06-20-2008, 7:21 AM
Hey guys, I'd like to start by saying that this seems like a wonderful forum to be a part of. It seems to have a lot of answers to questions I've been having. I just needed some advice from some of the handgun novices in the forums. I know that there is no "perfect" first handgun, but I wanted to know from your personal experiences, what would be a good hand gun to start off with. My friend brought me to a shooting range and I sort of fell in love with the sport. The only thing is, I'm kind of an impulsive buyer. I wanted to know what you guys would suggest as a good inexpensive first gun that is relieble and if for some reason I don't stick with the sport, will still be a good gun to keep around for self defense. Any and all input would be much appreciated.

You just have to go out and find what you like. What fits your hand best? What recoil can you tolerate? How much to you want to spend on ammo? You like semi autos or revolvers? The quality is pretty nice on most handguns these days, I don't know that you can make a wrong decision... unless you buy something you don't like to shoot.... but then thats why you try them out first. Go to a range and shoot a brick of ammo through every rental gun they have.

-Bryan

jazman
06-20-2008, 7:30 AM
If it fits you and you like it, get a Glock 19. Reasonable price, 9mm ammo cheap, and easy to clean as it breaks down to 4 pieces total. The main thing, it always goes bang.

paul0660
06-20-2008, 8:18 AM
a good inexpensive first gun that is relieble and if for some reason I don't stick with the sport, will still be a good gun to keep around for self defense.

A Taurus revolver. Cheap, and if in 20 years you have forgotten about the sport, haven't touched the gun, and need to save your life, it will go bang.

Black Majik
06-20-2008, 8:41 AM
Any well known, respectable manufacturer will be good to go. You'll have to figure out which gun feels the best to you. Good thing is that they're are many, many manufacturers making 9mm pistols, which can be overwhelming, but you're bound to find a few that really fit you well.

Some options to choose from:

Beretta: 92FS, PX4
HK: USP, P2000, P30 (if you're willing), P7 PSP, P7M8
SIG: P228 (used), P229, P226 variants
Glock: G17, G19, G34
CZ: CZ75, P01, SP01
Springfield: Loaded 1911 9mm Target, XD-9
Smith and Wesson: M&P9, 5906, 952
Walther: P99
Browning/FN Hi-power
FN: FNP9
Kimber: Stainless Target II

A good idea is to write down or print out the list and go fondle as many guns as you can that interest you. The ones that interest you, find a range to rent, or try it out from a forum member to see if it shoots well for you. One thing to note, just because it feels well and fits your hand won't necessarily mean it'll shoot well for you also. A few factors such as recoil characteristics, trigger, or the action might change your mind once you've hit the range.

Don't be in any rush too. You're doing great with researching before impulse buying. Unfortunately, this hobby will drain the cash straight out of your wallet, so you'll eventually end up with multiple guns anyways. But for your first, take your time and make a decision on your gun after shooting a variety of platforms.

Good luck in your quest... :cool2:

What Just Happened?
06-20-2008, 8:46 AM
If it fits you and you like it, get a Glock 19.

I see Glock 19's recommended a lot, more than the 17. Why is that?

RT13
06-20-2008, 11:04 PM
I see Glock 19's recommended a lot, more than the 17. Why is that?

Because it's a bit smaller and more compact than the larger version G17. This of course being for CCW purposes. But you live in CA! So unless you are one of the lucky rare few who has a CCW it makes more sense to get the full size version which has a softer recoil, more accurate, and more comfortable to hold and shoot atleast to me. That of course would be subjective as some may contradict that statement. I use to own a gen 1 G19 and though I liked it, I sold it after shooting a G17 and Sigs. Now I own a G17 but no more G19 though I owuldn't mind owning both.:)

You are going about this process correctly. You are asking people first, who are familiar with pistols enough for recommendation on which and why that brand. Then you actually go to a range and try the recommended guns and get which you shoot best. If you ask at a gun store, odds are, you will here the most BS recommendations anyway and you also may in some ranges. So it's good to do your research and homework before spending your money renting out guns and eventually buying the right one. When I bought and chose my first handgun, it was due to recommendations by people in shops, ranges, and friends. I made a mistake of buying first before shooting. I didn't like it and sold it. Did my homework since and am happy.

Sobriquet
06-20-2008, 11:44 PM
The "tactical tupperware" complaint is, in my opinion, without merit. A polymer framed pistol will almost certainly outlast a metal framed one. That said, not all polymer pistols were created equal.

Before you consider a Glock 19, read this:

http://www.thegunzone.com/glock/phase3.html

The Glock 17 is the only Glock I'd even *think* about owning. It's the original and seems to have fewer problems than all their other models. I stand by my original posting and would avoid Glock entirely. You need to do your research and decide for yourself.

Have you given some thought as to whether you want an external safety? That'll help narrow down your search, too. For a range-only gun, it shouldn't be determinative, but it is something you should consider.

ontmark
06-21-2008, 6:24 AM
IMOP and $.02 worth
I am old school.

I really believe anyone’s first handgun should be
a wheel gun in 357 with a 3 to 4 inch barrel
3 to 4 inch good for the range, packing camping,
and home defense.

Why a wheel gun?
You take so much out of possibilities of error.
1. Very easy to unload when needed
2. A lot easier to clean for the new shooter.
3. Can practice both double action and single trigger pull.
4. A lot less malfunctions to deal with while shooting.

The semi auto issues for new shooter
1. Harder to clean
2. Time to shoot. Magazine in, pull slide back off slide stop and let slide forward to load, tries to shoot. Nothing happens. Slide did not go into full battery. So new shooter thinks ok pistol didn’t strip round from Magazine. Cycles slide to load pistol and finds live round being ejected from pistol. First response usually from new shooter is go pick up live round, Sets loaded pistol on shooting bench while looking for live round. This is a no-no.
3. Range officer calls cease fire, magazines out action locked open. New shooter drops magazine opens action and locks it open. Again there is a live round somewhere on the ground, New shooters first response usually is to find live round. Is it in front of the bench, on the bench, or on the ground? None of which is usually behind safety line away from the bench.
4. What do I do if I have a fail to eject (stove pipe)?
5. What do I do if I have a fail to feed?
6. New handgun shooter’s main concern should always be the full control of the loaded weapon that is why I feel it is best to start with a wheel gun!!
7. I have seen all of these through my years of shooting.

Why a 357? 38 special wad cutters can be bought pretty cheap. Practice, Practice, Practice. Wide range of loads to try 38 special, 38 special+P 357 Magnum. Get use to shooting a hand gun then lets through in the Semi Auto issues.

Sorry for the long replay.

SJgunguy24
06-21-2008, 6:55 AM
Sharpshooter,my advise is go with a Glock 17 or 19. You can buy 22lr conversions for both and later on if you really get into handgunning,you can build up a entire slide and shoot different calibers . Build up a .40 cal slide now your 9mm is a 40 ,slap a .357 barrel in that .40 slide now you can shoot 3 calibers out of 1 gun

slowfire
06-21-2008, 7:42 AM
If you're looking for something cheap, look no further than the Sig P6, they're one sale now for about 350 on average and are probably the best bang for the buck out right now.

Agreed . . . right now they are the best deals out there unless you know someone who wants to give you a pistol for free.

X-NewYawker
06-21-2008, 7:54 AM
Learn on a 22. You won't want a conversioon kit on a GLOCK -- you'll want to bring the GLOCK or XD-45 you buy later to the range WITH your .22

Revolver: S&W 617 (the ten shot)
Auto: Ruger Auto Mark II or III

Good triggers, good sites, you will learn how to shoot -- learn on a 9mm and cost and learning to manage that ridiculous GLOCK grip angle and recoil will start you off hating shooting a pistol.

paul0660
06-21-2008, 3:03 PM
ONTMARK is on the mark. The first trip to the range will tell if a wheelgun is defective. Autos can screw up in several different ways, when they want, and a trip to the internet to talk about it won't fix anything if you are already dead. I carry (legally) a taurus titanium in my front right pocket with a speedloader next to my cellphone in its belt clipped case. There isn't, to me, a question about reliability because a)I practice b)I PRACTICE. Nothing goes into the pocket with the taurus, and everytime I yank it out it has some lint and still goes bang. Someday my CW9 in IWB will be that consistent. Two failures to feed in 500 rounds makes that gun iffy imo. No autoloader, unless cleaned and inspected regularly, like weekly or more, can be considered reliable, and that only if already proved reliable. Sharpshooter asked more than one question in his original post. Only a good revolver covers all those bases.

tziggs
06-21-2008, 3:39 PM
Yea, I'm part of the revolver crowd also. I own both (semi-autos and revolvers), but the revolver was my first because of all the reasons already described here. A .357 revolver is very versatile and, in general, easier to learn than semi-autos.

Do what I did...get the revolver, know the safety laws, get some professional training and learn how your gun works, then practice. If, after this, you are still into the "firearms thing" go shopping for all of the other high quality semi-autos recommended in this tread. Don't worry, you'll love it...both shooting firearms and shopping for more firearms.

NotSoFast
06-22-2008, 11:04 PM
Hey guys, I'd like to start by saying that this seems like a wonderful forum to be a part of. It seems to have a lot of answers to questions I've been having. I just needed some advice from some of the handgun novices in the forums. I know that there is no "perfect" first handgun, but I wanted to know from your personal experiences, what would be a good hand gun to start off with. My friend brought me to a shooting range and I sort of fell in love with the sport. The only thing is, I'm kind of an impulsive buyer. I wanted to know what you guys would suggest as a good inexpensive first gun that is relieble and if for some reason I don't stick with the sport, will still be a good gun to keep around for self defense. Any and all input would be much appreciated.
I started out with a Glock G17. 9mm, full size so it's too big for concealed carry but very good for home defense and for starting out it doesn't kick like a mule. It is very reliable too, especially if you stick with stock.

And, with the Glock, you can buy an Advantage Arms 22lr conversion kit to save on money and have a lot of fun with. :D