View Full Version : Need help with buying a handgun

02-23-2010, 11:34 PM
Hi, i about to buy my first handgun and i am looking to get a .45 cal but i dont know which brand/ model is good. can you guys suggest some handgun so i can test them out at the range. Also i am looking for a glock.


02-24-2010, 12:06 AM
Hello and welcome to the forums!

As for handguns, there are a lot of factors to consider but the standard is definitely set by the 1911 style which is apparent from many manufacturers and is simple to spot with it's aggressive, single-stack grip.

If you like the single-stack design, might I recommend a Kimber? :D

Once A Marine
02-24-2010, 12:23 AM
Welcome Albe.

What is the primary use for your handgun - protection, target shooting, recreational shooting, competition shooting?

It's getting harder to find new, modern handguns that aren't "good" as far as mechanical form and function. Find a reputable dealer in your area and set up a time to discuss it with them.

If you are interested in Glocks, a good start woudl be trying as many of the .45 variants as possible to see what fits best in your hand, how manageble recoil may be, and if fits for concealment/carry if necessary. I'd start with a Glock 21 or 30, which are their .45 ACP (the good 'ol .45 round). You could then move on to the .45 GAP capable pistols if you need something a little different.

02-24-2010, 12:37 AM
Thanks for the reply guys. the primary use for the handgun is for home protection, target shooting.

02-24-2010, 12:44 AM
glock 21

02-24-2010, 1:04 AM
what's your preferred price range? are you set on a glock or will any glock-style (polymer frame, no hammer, etc.) handgun do?

Shotgun Dave
02-24-2010, 1:19 AM
Lol at the first response...

02-24-2010, 1:43 AM
I was in the same boat as you a few months ago. There is so much great stuff to read and learn about various pistols and calibers. I researched for a couple of months as I didn't want to make a mistake when I bought my "one and only" handgun that I bought for the same purposes as you. I am very happy with my personal choice, but I have now found that I want more!!!
I am sure you will find the "perfect" gun for you...then you may find another...and another...
I have really enjoyed a podcast from a guy named Bob Mayne handgunworld.com . He has a several episodes about choosing the right gun.

02-24-2010, 1:55 AM
I dont know your level of training of proficienty, but a 45 might not be your best first choice. You might want to consider a wheelgun in .38 or at best an auto in 9mm first as they are a bit easier to learn on. In the case of the revolver they are easier to maintain also. Whatever gun you buy, consider spending twice the dollar amount on good instruction and training. Just having a gun doesnt make you a gunfighter any more than having a piano makes you a piano player.

02-24-2010, 2:21 AM
to the "glock only" fans out there, when you can show me a hundred year old glock still in service...

Ummm... I take that as you can show us a 100 year old 1911 that is still IN SERVICE?

02-24-2010, 2:30 AM
double post

02-24-2010, 7:57 AM
You need to do your own research on the pros and cons of different models before asking on a gun forum "what handgun should i buy?".

That's like going to a M/C forum and asking what bike should i buy?

If you already have it narrowed down to a particular brand, or style then ok, but come on man. Do some legwork first :rolleyes:

02-24-2010, 8:23 AM
For target practice and home defense, I can see your needs for accuracy, durability, and high capacity. A couple of models come to mind.

Since you've stated you'd like to look at Glock, rent those at the range, but also consider a 1911, USP, S&W M&P, and SIG. Try them in your hands, see how they fit, and decide what trigger system you like best. Take pictures and report back to us :)

02-24-2010, 8:28 AM
Not that theres anything wrong with .45.. its a mighty fine caliber, but is there a reason why you've had your mind set on that caliber? I'm just asking because my friend regrets going with a .45 for his first. He purchased his last year and ammo is both expensive and hard to come by. Because of those factors, he doesn't get as much range time. Its not as big of an issue if there are conversion kits for your gun.

Which leads me to my next point. You really can't go wrong with Glocks of any caliber as long as it feels good to you. Relatively affordable for a great gun. Plus side, there are conversion kits for the Glock.

My personal choice would be a Sig SP2022 in 9mm for a first gun. I'm biased though... but in my opinion, the 2022 is probably the best BANG for your buck gun out there. You get both a very well-crafted gun and an affordable caliber to practice on.

Lots of people seem to neglect the cost of training when purchasing their first firearm. In my opinion, more people would be better off tacking on an additional $200+ when making the decision to purchase their first firearm (potentially forcing the buyer to go for a cheaper gun). This money should be set aside for either classes or something that'll atleast help you practice (conversion kit, range ammo, etc).

02-24-2010, 8:51 AM
Hi, i about to buy my first handgun and i am looking to get a .45 cal but i dont know which brand/ model is good. can you guys suggest some handgun so i can test them out at the range. Also i am looking for a glock.


Welcome to the forum.

If you're hell bent on getting a .45 ACP Glock, it come in 3 models (21, 30 and 36) but I would suggest looking at other brands and calibers as well, try those at the range and make your decision from there. :D

02-24-2010, 10:11 AM
Glock 21
XD 45
Sig 220
...and list goes on... and on...

02-24-2010, 12:47 PM
True, there are MANY 45 cal handguns available. Make sure that that's the caliber that you want, then buy a 1911.

02-24-2010, 12:57 PM
+1 on considering 9mm. Assuming you're fairly new at using a handgun, the 9mm will be cheaper practice with and still be effective at home defense using hollowpoints. You can always move up later to a 45 ACP gun and sell the 9mm.

02-24-2010, 1:15 PM
You say this is your first handgun; have you EVER shot a handgun? Have you owned or fired ANY type of firearm? How much experience do you have with guns you have shot and what types/calibers have you shot? Can you consistently group at 7 yards with any of the handguns you have shot? How about at 15 yards? Have you taken a basic handgun course or have you considered taking one before you purchase a hangun? If you haven't taken a basic handgun course, have you received any kind of safety/basic operation and marksmanship instruction from another person, professional or not? Whereabouts in California do you live so we can recommend some good ranges for rentals and instructors?

02-24-2010, 1:31 PM
I second the considering the 9mm, if this is your first gun. The ammo is cheaper to practice on and it is easier for a bigginner to control. You can either sell it or give the gun to your spouse when you are ready for the .45 acp. If your set on a Glock .45acp then the Glock 21 is a fine choice. Don't go overboard with the fancy expensive guns from the get go.

Shotgun Dave
02-24-2010, 4:22 PM
first response..


Shotgun Dave, I think you need to do some homework about handguns..
might i suggest some..


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1911_pistol "was the standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985, and is still carried by some U.S. forces"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.45_ACP "designed by John Browning in 1904, for use in his prototype Colt semi-automatic .45 pistol and eventually the M1911 pistol adopted by the United States Army in 1911"

I own several others as well.. but there is no dispute which is King!

If I could only have one, it would be my 1911! handsdown!

to the "glock only" fans out there, when you can show me a hundred year old glock still in service.....

my 1911 will be 200 years old.. and still serving someone just as faithfully.. : )

albe, good luck in your quest, whatever you decide..
i'd be interested what someones first handgun choice would be these days..

Oh no don't get me wrong, I love 1911's and my next purchase is most likely going to be a Milspec. I was referring to the fact that thread starter explicitly states that he's "looking for a Glock" and the first reply was "check out Kimber" lol.

02-24-2010, 5:21 PM
As Once A Marine says, there aren't many bad ones out there. And most will shoot better than we can.

That being said, buy something built in the USA.:patriot:

02-25-2010, 3:43 AM
Hey guys i live in CA San Francisco. well i got my eyes on the springfield XD. i was wondering what the price difference from 9mm, 40cal and 45cal Ammo.

02-25-2010, 7:51 AM
Hey guys i live in CA San Francisco. well i got my eyes on the springfield XD. i was wondering what the price difference from 9mm, 40cal and 45cal Ammo.

9mm is about half the price of .45 and .40 is somewhere in between.

Here's a great website for pricing ammo:

Enter your zip code and it'll give you an accurate cost-per-round (CPR).

02-25-2010, 8:58 AM
Thank a lot for the info guys. if i get XD .45 cal is there a way i can convert it to 9mm or 40 cal? Also what is the prices for the XD new/used?

02-25-2010, 11:53 AM
Killer Bee - LOL - how much coffee you had today?

My suggestion is always to find a buddy w/ a handgun, try his, and then try guns at the range.

You MAY find that the sweet low price of a .22lr is a decent place to start.
I have 22lrs, 3 9mm's, a Ruger P90 (.45) and find them ALL fun! Or I wouldn't keep them.

But try before you buy. Just my 2 cents. And the guys at the range are not always the best to ask, or the guys at the local gun store.

You'll get - "Glocks suck" or "the Beretta slide will break and blow up in your face", or "a .45 cal to the thumb will drop a man". You know, the stupid stuff. :)

And don't rule out revolvers - they can be a lotta fun!


02-25-2010, 11:56 AM
Have you gone to a firing range and shoot a .45 vs a 9mm, say at 15 yards? Are you hitting your targets? .45 may be too much for a beginner. It was in my case especially at farther distances (more than 10 yards).

02-25-2010, 1:26 PM
Some ranges rent handguns. Try 'em out if you can. That's the BEST way to decide.

What price range? Don't rule out used. With research you can find some pretty good deals. Consignment sales aren't limited to a gun a month, either.;)

For value you really can't beat the Ruger P series for a DA/SA .45ACP. For a 1911 type the Rock Island Armory 1911 has a great rep for reliability & accuracy at around $500. It's really about the only new pistol on my list to buy.

Like the man said. Don't rule out revolvers. Moon clips are the ultimate speedloader. And if ya can't get the job done with 6 rds of .45 ACP it's time for the 12GA.

02-25-2010, 4:11 PM
I started with an xd 45, but not everyone is the same. I figured to tame the biggest caliber I could afford to feed, then work my way down. My shotty was my primary defense weapon anyway. To me it worked out... I was immediately on paper, and fairly quickly got adjusted to all center mass groupings. When I got my xd-9 it just felt weak and too easy, but it's fun to shoot and cheaper

02-26-2010, 1:23 AM
so it there anyway i can shoot 9mm, 40cal out a xd 45?

02-26-2010, 1:52 AM
check with xdtalk.com but as far as i know there is not conversion to shoot smaller calibers from the 45.

unlike glock which only requires a barrel change, and potential magazine change

02-27-2010, 8:53 AM
You can not convert the XD45 to shoot 9 / 40. You can get an XD40 and convert to shoot 9mm. Ask the question on the XD Talk forum.

I've got the XD45 Tactical (5 inch barrel) and the XD9 Service (4 inch barrel). I enjoy shooting both, the grip on the XD45 is almost the same size as the 9/40.

Try getting to a place that rents and try them out. Try racking the slide. My wife has problems racking the 9mm but not the 45. Don't discount Glocks or Smith & Wesson M&P, they are in the same price range and are also reliable guns.

The 45 will be more expensive to shoot and practice is key good shooting. Factor that in. The recoil is different. If you can, shoot the same platform (say XD9 4 inch, XD45 in 4 inch) to get a feel for the difference.

02-27-2010, 9:11 AM
My first pistol was a smith .357 revolver. Probably not the "best" gun to learn on, but it was a GREAT gun! Now I'm shooting an HK USPc .40, which is a very good gun. I will move on to .45 eventually, but will probably buy a 9mm before a .45 The cost is much much more for the ammo, 9mm I can afford to shoot all day. I have a buddy with a .44 mag, cant shoot it....ammo costs too much! Any "first gun" should be shot ALOT!! and get good, so .45 I would bypass for a 9mm first. If you like Glocks, maybe a G17? If you want a real gun, grab a HK USP/C 9mm, or a Sig. 9mm!! You wont need any "upgrades" such as.......well, another gun.:lurk5:

let the poop slinging begin:D