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View Full Version : Turning 21 soon, Need Advice on First Handgun


Fitz87
06-23-2008, 8:07 AM
Well im turning 21 soon:D and I will be purchasing my first handgun. I pretty much narrowed it down to either a Beretta M9, FNP-9, or an XD-9. I just wanted your opinions on which of these guns you all prefer. Personally im leaning more towards the FNP.

wilit
06-23-2008, 8:14 AM
The 92FS (basically the M9) is one of the smoothest shooting pistols I've had the pleasure of shooting.

My suggestion, see if you can shoot all three. Try to avoid rentals as they're usually pretty beat. See if you can find someone to let you shoot theirs.

Gunaria
06-23-2008, 8:18 AM
The FNP's are nice, you won't be disappointed with it. Takedown & cleaning it is a breeze. I'll throw this out there, my first handgun purchase was a 1911 Kimber in 45 ACP. If you can, I say get yourself a 1911 for your first handgun purchase too. Then you really will not be disappointed then. You can also go to ranges that rent handguns, so that you can try before you buy. Good luck with your purchase and be safe.

Rover
06-23-2008, 8:26 AM
I would personaly get an XD9, in fact I did personaly get an XD9, depending on your budget of course. If I had the cash I would have gone for an HK or a 1911. The only issue with the 1911 is that getting one you like in 9mm can be tough and .45 while being a great round is expensive. I'd rather put 2k rds of 9mm down range than 1000 .45, and I'm assuming like most 21 year olds you don't have unlimited cas to buy ammo with.

Greenspartan117
06-23-2008, 8:27 AM
All three I think are excellent gun choices.

The advantage of the Beretta 92fs is the alloy frame is going to soften the recoil a little and changing the "D-spring" will lighten the DA trigger pull.

The FNP-9 is a lesser known gun, with a decent trigger, and it's light weight and has a de-cocker. Oh the adjustable back-straps make it a nice gun to fit to many different shooters. I believe it comes with 3 mags.

The XD-9 is light in weight as well, and gone through alot of the same tests that glocks have been tortured with. It is more or less a more "refined" glock in my opinion with a trigger that I like more.

Personally, I would probably go with the Beretta 92FS (wanted one since I was a kid) or the XD-9, but the FNP-9 is a very very close third.

The 92FS gets my vote because of the alloy frame is a little better at handling recoil, as I plan not to beat the hell out of my pistols.

I hope this helps you out. In the end, any of those pistols will serve you well. Practice makes perfect! :-)

Fitz87
06-23-2008, 8:29 AM
Thats exactly why im getting a 9mm, .45 is a bit too expensive for me right now. Also Is it true that the XD's arent made in the U.S.?

trapshot68
06-23-2008, 8:30 AM
^^ croatia. Imported by Springfield

Best thing to do is find a local range that rents out pistols. Shoot them. See which feels the best. Every person is ergonomically different.

What Just Happened?
06-23-2008, 9:10 AM
My vote is for the Beretta 92 or the XD-9.

Do you want / care if the firearm is steel or is polymer?

Do you think you'll want to get into action shooting? If so, there's a lot out there for the XD's and you can get your's quite tricked out.

leitung
06-23-2008, 9:19 AM
Take a look at Smith & Wesson's pistols also.. The M&P is a good line..

I am a Glock guy myself.. so I have to preach.. Take a look at a Glock 20 in 10mm. However I know ammo prices are what you are worried about, so check out a Glock 19.

knexx
06-23-2008, 10:08 AM
My first pistol purchase was an S&W M&P 40. Very nice piece, it sits low in the hand, is lightweight, the trigger is moderate, and the recoil isn't bad at all. It also comes with 2 clips, and 3 different grips to accommodate different size hands.

My other pistol is a S&W .357 magnum which kicks like a horse and is very loud. I probably will not be using it for home defense, just to play around with at the range. Plus I have a Remington 670 Tactical 12 ga. with 00 buck which will probably be better suited for home defense.

But like others have said, try going to a range that rents guns so you can try them first.

Slayer
06-23-2008, 10:18 AM
M&P FTW !

RedDawn
06-23-2008, 10:32 AM
My first handgun was a Sig P220. I've never regretted that decision. It's a great shooter. And best of all it is easy to field strip and clean.
Consider a Sig Sauer.

If I had to choose from the choices you listed, I would definitely go with the Beretta.

Splinter
06-23-2008, 10:45 AM
Get a used xd for about 400-425 bucks. My first handgun was an xd 45 and I dont regret it one bit. Or try to find a sig in the same price range.

Springfield45
06-23-2008, 1:05 PM
I personally like Sig Sauer's and would recommend them over most others. But you will pay $$$ for them. You may consider getting a used P6/225 at under $300 is a grate deal for a Sig. Here is a link to one: http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Sig_Sauer_P225_P6_9mm_Pistol.html

The Springfield XD seems to be a good gun. I have seen lots of them lately with no complaints from their owners.

I agree that a 1911 would also be a good choice. Like wise after a while you may want to up-grade from a 9mm for a bigger .40 S&W or .45ACP. After all 10 round mags for 9mm sucks if you can have 10 rounds of .40 S&W..

ZombieKiller
06-23-2008, 3:01 PM
Get a Glock..............everybody needs at least one.

Demophilus
06-23-2008, 3:15 PM
CZ-75. Relatively inexpensive, built like a cross between a Russian tank and a Swiss watch, shoots like a house on fire.

pistolero805
06-23-2008, 3:47 PM
SIG!SIG!SIG! Sorry I couldn't resist. The beretta 92fs was my first pistol and I'm happy with it, but if you can find a good deal on a sig p229 I'd get it. My P229 Elite gets fondled the most.

jazman
06-23-2008, 5:51 PM
I like the Beretta, don't know much about your other choices. The important thing is shoot the ones you are interested in, and buy the one that feels right. The better it feels the more you will shoot, the more you shoot...you get the picture. Realize also you will buy more, I don't know anyone with just one gun, so you cannot make a bad decision!

mblat
06-23-2008, 5:57 PM
wheel gun in .357 with 4 inch barrel. That is absolutely the best starter gun.

If you just HAVE TO go with automatic then cz75B with Kadet conversion kit.
If you want plastic: M&P in whatever caliber you want.

Eric_Oh
06-23-2008, 6:13 PM
well i think your choices are pretty decent. I think you made a great choice in narrowing down your hunt to the 9mm caliber. As a first gun, i guarantee you will be wanting to shoot as often as possible, and that can be a little pricey with larger calibers.

I like the beretta, but its larger grip doesn't suit me very well. Grip one, and see how well you can manipulate all the controls. If you can do so without rotating your hand around the grip, then you should be ok. Second dislike is the safety on the slide. Any long sessions of malfunction clearance training will have your palm really sore with that.

I like the feel and grip of the fnp 9. It shoots accurately enough. But the one i tried kept jamming. FTFeed. And it happened ALOT. Of course this is one gun. I can't speak for all the fnp9's in circulation.

The xd is a great choice. I have one. So i think i'm biased a bit. Its lighter than the beretta and its grip feels better for most. Its controls are more conveniently located as well(for me). However, the trigger takes a little getting used to. Its not a DA/SA so subsequent shots do not have shorter pulls. Same length of pull every time.

Casual Observer
06-23-2008, 6:18 PM
CZ-75. Relatively inexpensive, built like a cross between a Russian tank and a Swiss watch, shoots like a house on fire.

CZ-75 FTW. I have a P-01 model and it shoots just as well as my P229 and cost half as much. :cool:

JPglee1
06-23-2008, 6:21 PM
Well im turning 21 soon:D and I will be purchasing my first handgun. I pretty much narrowed it down to either a Beretta M9, FNP-9, or an XD-9. I just wanted your opinions on which of these guns you all prefer. Personally im leaning more towards the FNP.

For a FIRST handgun, I'd suggest a Makarov in .380 or 9x18. They are CHEAP but very well made, 100% reliable (over 4000rds thru mine without a SINGLE hiccup, not one FTF or FTE even when mix/matching ammo brands and bullet types/weights)

Once you get a Mak and get the hang of shooting a pistol THEN go for the XD-9 (my choice of your 3)

J

InvictusManeo
06-23-2008, 6:48 PM
I love all the guys on this board, but nobody can ever stick to the options given on a question like this.

The M9 and 1911 are my two favorite handblasters from anything I've had the opportunity to fire. I have yet to find anything as natural and comfortable in my hand as a Beretta (other than the clones, of course). The XD is also an excellent weapon, but since I do not carry, I prefer the weight of a metal frame.
I will not comment on the FN because I have not yet had a chance to shoot one, but they seem to be treating their owners rather well, and I'd have to say you couldn't go wrong with any of your choices.

As has been said, if you haven't yet, get to the range and rent them all. If that's not an option, at least handle them in the store, check the fit in your hand (possibly the most important factor, as any gun you could buy is more accurate than most shooters) and how naturally it points when YOU hold it. If something works well for you, nobody else's opinion matters.

CSACANNONEER
06-23-2008, 7:43 PM
wheel gun in .357 with 4 inch barrel. That is absolutely the best starter gun.



+1

I'd really suggest a .22lr. If you need a pistol instead of a revolver, look at Ruger Mk IIs. You want something that you can enjoy and afford to learn to shoot with. So, let your buddies make fun of you for not buying a big macho gun while they are watching you shoot the rest of a box of 550 rounds of .22lr because they already shot their expensive 50 round box of center fire stuff. A good used .22 handgun can be had for less than $250 so, after 30 days go by, you should be able to save up enough for a center fire handgun as well. Then, you can get a real gun like a 1911 or a good SA/DA .38/.357.

JPglee1
06-23-2008, 7:46 PM
+1

I'd really suggest a .22lr. If you need a pistol instead of a revolver, look at Ruger Mk IIs. You want something that you can enjoy and afford to learn to shoot with. So, let your buddies make fun of you for not buying a big macho gun while they are watching you shoot the rest of a box of 550 rounds of .22lr because they already shot their expensive 50 round box of center fire stuff. A good used .22 handgun can be had for less than $250 so, after 30 days go by, you should be able to save up enough for a center fire handgun as well. Then, you can get a real gun like a 1911 or a good SA/DA .38/.357.

I have a cheesy $100 H&R 9 shot 22LR that is really accurate, fun to shoot and doesnt make you feel bad for not cleaning it (who cleans 22s anyway? lol)

A decent .22 revolver would be a hoot and cheap to shoot.... JMHO.


J

1911su16b870
06-23-2008, 7:49 PM
Of the firearms you've listed, if you have small hands, XD-9 all the way. The 92 has a larger grip/front-back strap. I like the idea of a 22 as well, cheapest ammo you can buy now with the current high prices.

Pryde
06-23-2008, 7:56 PM
My .02

Get a Glock 19 or 17 or a Springfield 1911

Those are two of the most prolific handguns ever made and considered by many to be the pinnacle of handgun design in different directions. They are both accurate, easy to shoot and easy to fix. Any beginner can shoot either gun very well and If you decide to participate in competitions, either will serve you equally well.

The problems with all 3 of those guns you mentioned are

1: Beretta- Grips are too large, safety location makes it so that it can be accidentally engaged. Terrible mushy 12lbs DA trigger pull.

2: XD-9- Small parts breakage issues, hard to find spare parts so if you break something, its gotta go back to Springfield. Weak trigger reset.

3: FNP- Frame breakage issues, largely unproven.

Take it from me, I have owned all sorts of pistols and started off buying all sorts of 2nd tier guns. All I have left now are Glocks and 1911s.

Sobriquet
06-23-2008, 7:58 PM
Any reason you're not considering a Heckler & Koch or Sig Sauer product? No offense, but I think either choice would be superior to the models you listed.

If you want something smaller, I'd strongly suggest you try an HK USP Compact, P2000, and Sig P229. I just don't see the argument for a 9mm P226 in California when you can get a 10 round mag on a P229 that fits even my oaf like hands.

Happy birthday, btw.

Fitz87
06-23-2008, 9:27 PM
Thank you all for your responses, I think I will be going out and renting a few to see if I like them.

Crazed_SS
06-23-2008, 9:54 PM
Well im turning 21 soon:D and I will be purchasing my first handgun. I pretty much narrowed it down to either a Beretta M9, FNP-9, or an XD-9. I just wanted your opinions on which of these guns you all prefer. Personally im leaning more towards the FNP.

I've fired 2 of the 3 guns you're looking at.

Out of those choices, I'd go with the M9

deldgeetar
06-23-2008, 11:44 PM
I'd reccomend a Glock 17 or 19 myself. I was in your boat a little over a year ago (I am 22 now) and I had some experience with both wheelguns and semi-autos. I went with a G17 as my first handgun because of it's reliability, ease of use, and the relative cheapness of 9mm compared to 40 or 45. With a 9mm pistol you will get more range time in, and the easy recoil will make that time a lot more pleasant. 9mm is also a good self defense caliber with the correct bullet.

Yes, the Glock feels a little strange due to the grip angle (which isn't designed for ergonomics, rather, for maximum feeding reliability out of the magazine) but it's something you can get used to very quickly with practice when your gun never jams. This is especially satisfying when you are at the range and the chump next to you spent $1000+ for a 1911 that stovepipes every other round.:D:D

Sobriquet
06-23-2008, 11:59 PM
On the glock 19... http://www.thegunzone.com/glock/phase3.html

Dark Water
06-24-2008, 2:55 AM
I would recommend a Glock. I realize that was not one of the options you gave but an XD is a wannabe Glock in my opinion. If you are willing to give one a try I recommend the model 17.

viras
06-24-2008, 6:47 AM
If you like the M9/92FS, you may wanna consider getting a Taurus PT-92 instead.

A lot of nose-in-the-air ultra-elite gun snobs will tell you that the Taurus sucks, it has a reputation for poor quality, it isn't as good as the Beretta, etc, but they're all retarded (IMHO).

The fact of the matter is that the Taurus has a better design, with the decocker/safety mounted on the frame rather than the slide like the Beretta, plus it's ambi where the Beretta is not. The "poor quality" issues with Taurus guns were with mostly around thru the late 80s- early 90's, and ever since Taurus released their 24/7 and Millennium Series, they have been a much better company. Also, please note that their "poor quality" issues revolved around the PT92 due to the locking block issue that is predominant with all manufacturers who make "92" style pistols. That is, no matter which "92" you go with, whether it's Beretta or Taurus, your locking block will most likely break after about 5000-7500 rounds thru it. While Beretta charges you $50 bucks to replace the locking block, Taurus will fix it for free because they offer a lifetime guarantee on their guns, even if the gun changes owners.

Another good thing about the Taurus is that it is half the price of the Beretta.

The only negative thing I can see about the Taurus is that their stainless steel version (the same one I have) isn't as shiny as the Beretta - that is, the finish isn't as high-quality.

I love mine. It was worth every penny of the $429 I spent on her.

Re: AMMO - In it's factory configuration, it has a 10 lb spring and an "old style" square-cut locking block - If you get a Wolff 13lb or 15lb Spring (http://www.gunsprings.com/SemiAuto/TaurusNF.html#Recoil) for her, and the new-style radius cut Locking Block (http://www.e-gunparts.com/DisplayAd.asp?chrProductSKU=350290B&chrSuperSKU=350290&MC=), you can shoot +p+ ammo with no issues.

http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/3861/tauruspt92copynoserialuv2.jpg

ChrisXD45T
06-24-2008, 7:10 AM
Go with the XD-9. It's the least expensive of the three, and if you can find one used it's cheaper still. I bought my first handgun at 21 and money was tight - still is (I'm 24, so it wasn't so long ago).
Don't listen to any one that says small parts break or that you can't get OEM parts; it's simply not true. Nor is it true that its a wannabe GLOCK. The only thing it has in common with the GLOCK is that it's striker fired. And, try shooting lead out of a GLOCK. GLOCKs are fine, but the XD has less plastic parts, a supported chamber, a grip safety, more comfortable grip, and a better trigger.
I'd suggest you check out http://www.xdtalk.com/ for a lot of good info. I'd go with the 5 inch barrel personally since you're probably not going to get a CCP. As you get better you'll probably want to start doing some local matches and the longer sight radius will help.

N_S
06-24-2008, 10:07 AM
I have fired far more pistols than rifles.
The Beretta being my favorite, I love the grip and balance of the DC steel.