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View Full Version : Ruger GP100 or Beretta PX4 for a first handgun


robcoe
04-28-2010, 5:02 PM
I've decided to buy a handgun for the first time in the near future and I have basicly narrowed it down to a Ruger GP100 .357 magnum or a Beretta PX4 in either 9mm or .40 s&w and I am interested in which one people here think is a better first handgun. It wont be for defense, thats what my Mossberg 12 gauge is for, it will just be a gun to go the the range with and shoot without having to spend $0.50 a round for range reload shotgun shells. From what I have seen so far the advantages break down like this.

Ruger GP100
Its a Ruger, so its bound to be reliable, my dad has a mini 14 older than I am that still functions fine with routine maintenance.
Can shoot both .357 and .38 special and wont get picky about a round being a bit long or short.

Beretta PX4
Berettas are reliable handguns, but I havent heard much about this model.
Larger magazine so I wont have to reload as often.

Over all I am leaning toward that Ruger but I would like to know if there are advantages or major disadvantages I missed with either gun.

gn3hz3ku1*
04-28-2010, 5:30 PM
sounds like for what you want it for (range gun) you might want to look for a xd or glock which can be had in that same price range.

1. i got the ruger, fires fine but ammo is more exp than 9mm. 6 rounds at a time. the 101 can have a conversion barrel to shoot 9mm
2. beretta: doesn't matter how large the mags are unless you had highcaps prior to our ban or you will have to stick to 10rdrs.

bombadillo
04-28-2010, 5:44 PM
the revolver will slow you down in the beginning and potentially make you sure that each shot counts. This also helps in being cost effective not burning through rounds just for the sake of going semi-auto. They eat up rounds a lot faster just because they're quick and easy to use.

Hispeed1
04-28-2010, 5:47 PM
Try the S&W M&P-9...

orangeusa
04-28-2010, 5:50 PM
PX4's are a great semi-auto. The rotating barrel reduces recoil and it's just a fun gun to shoot. But I'm biased - I like Berettas a lot. Both are great guns if that's your question.

Sounds like you need to sort out - revolver vs. semi-auto and THEN choose.. :)

Oh, and seriously, look into ammo prices. Hard to beat 9mm (cept for 22LR of course...). Revolver w/ 9mm and moon clips would be nice, but they are kinda hard to find, IMO.

The standard answer is to
1. Try both at a range if you can.
2. Then BUY both!!

But you knew that.

robcoe
04-28-2010, 6:02 PM
I have shot them both, thats why im having a tough time making a decision, I guess it will come down to which one I can find a better price on in a few weeks when I have saved the money.

Then later get another one. When I bought my shotgun last year the dealer warned me that guns were an addictive hobby and I would soon be back for a rifle and then a handgun, he was right.

orangeusa
04-28-2010, 6:08 PM
Your dealer is wise.. One grows to two, and as the veterans say 'if you can count them, you don't have enough'.

Seriously though, you are talking apples and oranges. Which one are you more comfortable with? And which do you shoot better? This is a GOOD problem.

.

pontiacpratt
04-28-2010, 6:11 PM
I'm lovin' my PX4
A member of the Beretta forum as run his to 5000+ rounds without maintenance, and it's damn sexy!
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o158/figgie1/jasonstuff/P1020471-1.jpg

Old4eyes
04-28-2010, 6:18 PM
Advantages of a revolver:
Simpler operation. Fail to fire - pull the trigger again.
Technically a revolver should be more accurate than a pistol since the barrel is fixed to the frame, however, trigger control especially in double action may (probably will) negate that accuracy.

Advantages of a pistol
More rounds, and for us mere mortals, faster to shoot.

.38 and certainly .357 ammo will be more expensive that 9mm.
I don't shoot .40, so I can't say if 38 is more expensive that 40 but I know that 357 will be.

They are two different animals.
For simplicity, I'd say go for the revolver.
For an easier time coming up to speed on trigger control, the pistol

The two guns you are looking at are both quality guns. This isn't a case of Glock vs XD vs M&P. They operate in totally different manner and you have to choose which one arena you want to play in. Or get both.

Some notes on the PX4:
Does the barrel rotate on the 40 cal version of the PX4?
I heard that it didn't, but it would be something to check out if that is a "wanted" feature.

The rotating barrel on the 9mm is touted to reduce the recoil, but I can't really state, it's been quite some time since I shot one.

I did hear that there was some trigger stinging occuring on the 40 cal as well, research that out.

The decocker/safety is better recessed into the slide than the Beretta 92 series which hopefully will not get be put on by accident as easily as it is done on a 92FS. That is my biggest gripe about a 92FS.

pontiacpratt
04-28-2010, 6:20 PM
Advantages of a revolver:
Simpler operation. Fail to fire - pull the trigger again.
Technically a revolver should be more accurate than a pistol since the barrel is fixed to the frame, however, trigger control especially in double action may (probably will) negate that accuracy.

Advantages of a pistol
More rounds, and for us mere mortals, fast to shoot.

38 and certainly 357 ammo will be more expensive that 9mm.
I don't shoot 40, so I can't say if 38 is more expensive that 40 but I know that 357 will be.

They are two different animals.
For simplicity, I'd say go for the revolver.
For an easier time coming up to speed on trigger control, the pistol

The two guns you are looking at are both quality guns. This isn't a case of Glock vs XD vs M&P. They operate in totally different manner and you have to choose which one arena you want to play in. Or get both.

Some notes on the PX4:
Does the barrel rotate on the 40 cal version of the PX4?
I heard that it didn't, but it would be something to check out if that is a "wanted" feature.

The rotating barrel on the 9mm is touted to reduce the recoil, but I can't really state, it's been quite some time since I shot one.

I did hear that there was some trigger stinging occuring on the 40 cal as well, research that out.

The decocker/safety is better recessed into the slide than the Beretta 92 series which hopefully will not get be put on by accident as easily as it is done on a 92FS. That is my biggest gripe about a 92FS.

The .40 cal has the rotating barrel design as well, I have no trigger sting...;)

orangeusa
04-28-2010, 6:24 PM
The only PX4 that doesn't rotate is the PX4-SC (Sub Compact).

And IMO, not something I'd select for as a first gun. But you get what you pay for in advise here.. :)

And the decocker/92FS thing has me confused. I've never had an issue w/ the two 92's I have.. But am a target/range shooter... But put 4000 rounds though them last year w/o that issue..

robcoe
04-28-2010, 6:28 PM
Your dealer is wise.. One grows to two, and as the veterans say 'if you can count them, you don't have enough'.

Seriously though, you are talking apples and oranges. Which one are you more comfortable with? And which do you shoot better? This is a GOOD problem.

.

I found the Beretta to be a little easier to shoot, lower recoil, but I was a bit less accurate with it(2.5 inch group at 15m but practice makes for better aim)

The ruger, my aim was thrown off more by the shots, but I was able to manage a 2 inch group at 15m, probaly because I took extra care in aiming.

either way I will probably end up with both at some point, and a few others to go with them.

And it would be the full size PX4(storm I think its called) I'm 6 foot 5, I would look kind of funny trying to shoot a sub compact handgun.

pontiacpratt
04-28-2010, 6:34 PM
I found the Beretta to be a little easier to shoot, lower recoil, but I was a bit less accurate with it(2.5 inch group at 15m but practice makes for better aim)

The ruger, my aim was thrown off more by the shots, but I was able to manage a 2 inch group at 15m, probaly because I took extra care in aiming.

either way I will probably end up with both at some point, and a few others to go with them.

Buy the Beretta first save yourself the money on buying the Ruger.;)

flatovercrest
04-28-2010, 7:01 PM
Stay away from the GP100...My first gun was a GP100 and was so poorly built with play all over..
I don't miss that gun, even if it was my first gun..

Millions-Knives
04-28-2010, 7:10 PM
I'd go for the Revolver.

-Easier to load (this could be a plus for any ladies you bring to the range).
-S/A trigger for accuracy.
-.357 magnum loads to super light .38 special wadcutters (this could double as a hunting sidearm)
-I find revolvers easier to clean even if they have cylinders. (get yourself a lead removal cloth [Stainless guns only!] you'll thank me later)

I bought a S&W 686+ in 6"
Here's a 5-round group at 21 feet.

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee183/Millions-Knives/target686.jpg

I can't shoot my semi autos that accurately.

dpharley
04-28-2010, 7:14 PM
I have a GP 100 with 6" barrel and love it, it's super accurate and fun to shoot.

den888
04-28-2010, 7:15 PM
I'd get the Ruger because of the ammo versatility.

ander
04-28-2010, 7:29 PM
The revo in double action will help you with your trigger contol!

redhemi
04-28-2010, 7:29 PM
I,ve never shot the Beretta but I do own a few autos.I do have a GP100 and it was my first handgun and I have no regrets buying it. I have done a trigger job, lighter springs, HiViz sight and pachmyr grip and really enjoy shooting this gun. Whenever I go to the range my GP goes with me no matter what else I take. IMO I don,t think you will regret getting A GP weather its your first or second gun, Redhemi

tiko
04-28-2010, 7:42 PM
Buy GP100 first, then a semi later.

radio2
04-28-2010, 8:38 PM
I just got a PX4 in 40S&W and love it

luckystrike
04-28-2010, 8:44 PM
if your brand new to shooting I would go with the 100.
its a good gun to learn on and cleaning is easy.

fyi I started out with a revolver and didnt get my hands on a semi for about a year.

caldude
04-28-2010, 10:17 PM
I have several semi-autos, and I picked up a GP-100 (my first double action revolver) about 6 months ago. It's quickly becoming my favorite handgun. It's easy to shoot, is way more accurate than my semi's (at least for me), and I don't burn through ammo as fast. I had always leaned towards semi's before, but I'm becoming a revolver fan. My choice - GP-100 first, get a semi later.

Rekrab
04-28-2010, 10:29 PM
The PX4 was my first handgun and I absolutely love it.

However, after having put quite a few rounds through it and leaning a lot I'd get the Ruger if I had to do it all over again. You'll be a better shooter if you learn on a revolver in my opinion.

That said, the PX4 is awesome and I can't recommend it enough. However, as a first gun I think a revolver would serve you better.

Hank Dodge
04-28-2010, 11:09 PM
GP-100 all the way man....

Don't even consider an auto until you have mastered the use of a revolver. That Ruger is as reliable as a hammer, it will never let you down. At the range it will shoot well for you and you will gain confidence with it. Sooner or later it will become a gun you use for defense. You will never outgrow a good revolver like the GP-100.

I've got a stainless 4" and I love it.

WaR_ClouD-VII
04-28-2010, 11:13 PM
between the 2 you listed, I'd take the GP100 in a heartbeat.. that thing will last for generations, not sure if I could same the same for the PX4.

Old4eyes
04-29-2010, 10:35 AM
The only PX4 that doesn't rotate is the PX4-SC (Sub Compact).

And IMO, not something I'd select for as a first gun. But you get what you pay for in advise here.. :)

And the decocker/92FS thing has me confused. I've never had an issue w/ the two 92's I have.. But am a target/range shooter... But put 4000 rounds though them last year w/o that issue..

I rack a slide by coming over the top and and gripping the slide between the palm of the hand and four fingers. As my hand slides off the slide it has the tendency to hit the decocker and put it in the safety position. In a range shooting scenario you can be more careful and not hit the decocker.

In my practice of clearing jams in as I would in a stressful situation (lead coming my way) I have found that quite often I have engaged the decocker. What would have to become second nature is that anytime prior to engaging the trigger that you would flip the safety up. As my 92FS is not my primary gun (I lied, it's my wife's) I have not drilled with it enough to overcome that issue.

I found the decocker on the PX4 was not in the way as much therefore making the inadvertent engagement of the safety less of an issue.

But that 92FS sure is pretty!!! I almost look like Mel Gibson when I shoot with it.

RedFord150
04-29-2010, 10:48 AM
GP-100 all the way man....

Don't even consider an auto until you have mastered the use of a revolver. That Ruger is as reliable as a hammer, it will never let you down. At the range it will shoot well for you and you will gain confidence with it. Sooner or later it will become a gun you use for defense. You will never outgrow a good revolver like the GP-100.

I've got a stainless 4" and I love it.

Agreed. I also have the 4" stainless with Trigger Job, Hogue grips and Red insert front sight. Bought new in 1990.
A 2nd GP100 is sitting in my safe waiting for my daughter to turn 21. Might make her future boyfriends think twice about slipping her a 'Rufi' ;-).

gunslinger387
05-01-2010, 10:34 AM
Another vote for the Ruger. A 4" 357 is jack of all trades in handguns. Everyself respecting gun owner should have one (and a good 22). It can shoot wax bullets in the garage to skull ratteling magnums. No other gun has has much versatility. One more plus if you are looking at cost it is very inexpensive to get started in basic manual reloading and that drops the cost dramatically.

Ike Arumba
05-01-2010, 12:26 PM
The .40 cal has the rotating barrel design as well, I have no trigger sting...;)
How long have you had your Px4, and have you shot it in low temperatures? I ask, because the people complaining about trigger sting say the problem crops up in the cold, and may onset with thousands of rounds fired. It's the issue that's holding me back. Otherwise, I like it. The rental Px4's that I have tried in 9mm and .40 have been the most accurate semiautos in my hands.

Z ME FLY
05-01-2010, 12:28 PM
What did you shot the GP100 with? .38? or .357?

I would first decide on if you want Revolver or Semi, then the choice will be narrowed down from there. I'm a revolver guy, had semis before but just prefer the revolvers instead.

pontiacpratt
05-01-2010, 12:30 PM
How long have you had your Px4, and have you shot it in low temperatures? I ask, because the people complaining about trigger sting say the problem crops up in the cold, and may onset with thousands of rounds fired. It's the issue that's holding me back. Otherwise, I like it. The rental Px4's that I have tried in 9mm and .40 have been the most accurate semiautos in my hands.
I have had it for a little over a year and put around 1200 rounds down the pipe. In cold weather I've noticed a little discomfort but its no more painful then lets say my shoulder after shooting my AR.

jeffrice6
05-01-2010, 12:34 PM
GP100 all the way!