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View Full Version : discussion of SECONDARY selection criteria for buying a pistol


Whiterabbit
02-09-2011, 7:33 AM
Here's the deal. When we all buy our firearms I'm sure we have a primary purpose in mind. Carry, home defense, hunting, just plain fun, etc. I certainly do! But when considering a purchase, the primary purpose may not narrow the choice down to ONE firearm, but rather a shortlist of 2 or 3 firearms. So secondary factors come into play. These may be characteristics such as weight, availability of parts, ability to fire multiple calibers, reasons involving family or friends, and I'm sure there are MANY more.

Here's my goal with this thread:

With a 2-4 sentence post, tell us all about a choice you had to make. Firearm, primary purpose, and the shortlist. Then state the secondary consideration that narrowed down that list to the one.

Maybe a 5-6 sentence post if you include a 1 sentence answer why that secondary factor was so important to you.

(or put another way, I'm having trouble narrowing down my shortlist to one choice and want the independent experience of other people)

Thanks guys,

Corbin Dallas
02-09-2011, 8:40 AM
Fit - Does it fit my hand properly?
Comfort - Can I effectively manage the recoil?
Function - Can I manipulate the controls without looking?
Index - Is this gun the best natural point of aim for me?

These are the only considerations IMHO.

magsnubby
02-09-2011, 9:54 AM
In 1977 when i was looking to purchase my first .357. I narrowed it down to a 4" Stainless steel Ruger Security Six or a 4" S&W model 66.

It was to be a, hunting, plinking, self defense all around fun gun.

At that time S&W 66's had a reputation for flame cutting after being fed a steady diet of hot .357's.
No idea if it was true or not it's just what i read in some of the gun rags at the time.

The Ruger was considerably cheaper and had a reputation as a very reliable, strongly built gun.

Now days i base my choice on price,reputation ,how it feels in my hand, and to a certain extent, looks.

Fishslayer
02-09-2011, 11:38 AM
The only purchase that had any kind od a "checklist" was my first one. Primary purpose was/is HD. Starting out the only thing set in stone was caliber.

1. It had to be a .45ACP
2. Around $500

Did a lot of research & it came down to the Ruger KP90 or RIA 1911 Tactical.

I decided on the Ruger because

1. Felt better in my hand
2. I like the DA/SA
3. Stainless
4. Ruger reputation

hehe... I did wind up buying the RIA Tactical a couple years later...;)

ArkinDomino
02-09-2011, 11:47 AM
I want my gun to hold A LOT of bullets and they are all heat seeking that when shot they automatically chase little kids heads. I also want it to have a shoulder thing that goes up (the elusive barrel shroud).

:)

drunktank
02-09-2011, 11:51 AM
When looking to replace my old USP I decided on a GLOCK 19. Primary reasons were the ability to accept my prebans and they fit me well. The secondary reason was that the grip was good with my wife as well. We didn't want a pistol (our secondary HD weapon) that my wife couldn't handle.

civilsnake
02-09-2011, 12:18 PM
I wanted a pistol that was:

.45ACP
Single Stack
Had a Rail

I bought a SIG 220 because:

I trusted the reliability
Cost less than a railed 1911
Still had a semi-decent trigger

Reductio
02-09-2011, 12:25 PM
See, you guys all described primary reasons for me.... My secondary reason tends to be "I just fell in love with this gun..."

Sam
02-09-2011, 12:27 PM
I think Corbin's checklist is spot on for me. I also like, at a minimum, consistent triggers. This means either striker fired or the ability to carry cocked and locked.

THE NEW GUY
02-09-2011, 12:37 PM
All I know is my secondary gun will be based soley on the "cool" factor.

I just went through the rigmarow with finding my primary. Time well spent, but next will be for "bling".

kln5
02-09-2011, 4:10 PM
The first gun I bought was a glock 17. Since then it has always been things like: I gotta have a 1911 or 40 cal or 45. I even got to the point where it was like Ted Nugent carries a 10mm...maybe I should get one of those too. Honestly I haven't met a handgun I didn't like. I recently purchased another glock 17 only this one I got in od green because I thought I should have one and I love when oceanbob show's his off.

Whiterabbit
02-10-2011, 7:19 AM
Cool, you guys have already been really helpful. I'd like to tell you about my secondary factors to get your pure opinion about them.

Choice #1: secondary consideration shoots .45 ACP as well. I don't give a fig for .45ACP but my hunting buddy just bought a semiautomatic pistol in 45ACP. I see him maybe twice a year and go shooting with him once a year. So maybe matching calibers could be cool, maybe it would be useless.

Choice #2: secondary consideration shoots 454 Casull and 460 S&W. I have absolutely no need for these cartridges. On the other hand, if I ever wanted to shoot them, I could. I can't rent these cartridges in the bay area. I can rent 45ACP at an indoor range easily.

All the other factors I've gone through again and again and again (cost, ammo cost, cool factor, fit, finish, reliability, reputation, etc) that are either primary or secondary I've reasoned down to a wash. If you guys saw two options in front of you that were otherwise identical but saw the differences above, what would you think?

The only things I can think of are "way cheaper to shoot" and "bigger is better". Neither of those reasons create any value-add for me, so neither indicates a short-list winner. Do any of you guys have any thoughts besides those two concerning the differences above?

civilsnake
02-10-2011, 8:57 AM
You're being pretty vague. If you specify what the gun is for, we can help a little more.

If it's ONLY for range time, then get whatever you want. Seriously, whatever floats your boat is the correct answer because it's all for fun, and fun is emotional, not rational.

If you want it to hunt or carry or defend yourself or compete or impress teenagers, then tell us which of those it is and we'll try to help.

Your option 1 sounds good for plinking, target shooting, combat shooting (depending on the gun), and general futzing around. Your option 2 would likely be better for hunting or target shooting as it's going to be a big revolver.

duc748bip
02-10-2011, 9:08 AM
I think for the past few year I been on CG all my firearm purchase has been impulse buys haha.. Should stay away fromt the photo section..

X-NewYawker
02-10-2011, 9:11 AM
Fit - Does it fit my hand properly?
Comfort - Can I effectively manage the recoil?
Function - Can I manipulate the controls without looking?
Index - Is this gun the best natural point of aim for me?

These are the only considerations IMHO.

Corbin you meat popsickle, you nailed it.

You CANNOT be adjusting your grip, your stance -- the gun must fit your hand and come up to a natural POA

My only other consideration is caliber. I will not buy a gun in a caliber I don't already have a shirt load of ammo for.

Fishslayer
02-10-2011, 10:44 AM
I want my gun to hold A LOT of bullets and they are all heat seeking that when shot they automatically chase little kids heads. I also want it to have a shoulder thing that goes up (the elusive barrel shroud).

:)

And this thing in the stock which tells time...;)

Fishslayer
02-10-2011, 10:49 AM
The only things I can think of are "way cheaper to shoot" and "bigger is better". Neither of those reasons create any value-add for me, so neither indicates a short-list winner. Do any of you guys have any thoughts besides those two concerning the differences above?

Probly ammo availability, never mind the cost. .45ACP was actually hard to find for awhile (I, OTOH, was "finding" it by the boxfull out in my garage.:D) so I don't know how hard it would be to find some of that designer ammo. Unless I had a real reason for a hand cannon I'd choose the .45ACP all day long.

Hunting? I hunt for a parking space at Stater Bros. I can sleep in and it's a heck of a lot cheaper!:D

Rekrab
02-10-2011, 10:53 AM
Here's my criteria...

"Is it 'cool?'"
Yes, this is important. I want my pistol to look good. I've got one butt-ugly gun: a Norinco 213. It's fun to shoot, but it's so ugly I ordered a pair of $87 grips from Budapest for this $200 range toy.

"Is it cheap to feed?"
I only have handguns in .40, 9mm, 7.62Tok, .45ACP, and .380. Excluding my desert eagle, all my handguns are pretty cheap to feed. The Eagle only comes out to fly for special occaisons.

"Does it fit my hand?"
This is, shockingly, less important for me in most situations. I have several handguns that I held and shot before purchasing to ensure that they would make good HD guns. The rest I bought for fun and have all ended up working nicely in my hand. The one exception being a Taurus Model 66 I sold.

And that's about it...

Coded-Dude
02-10-2011, 10:56 AM
brand, caliber, and price narrows it down.
look, feel, and availability makes the decision easier.

DannyZRC
02-10-2011, 11:57 AM
If a gun is for HD/CCW type use, the primary factors are the only factors.

if all primary factors are equally met, then you should aim for lowest cost to maximize $$ for ammo and training.

if a gun is for fun, then buy whatever you want, because wanting it is your heuristic mechanism of determining which firearm maximizes all of your relevant criteria.

X-NewYawker
02-10-2011, 12:40 PM
Here's my criteria...

"Is it 'cool?'"
Yes, this is important. I want my pistol to look good. I've got one butt-ugly gun: a Norinco 213. It's fun to shoot, but it's so ugly I ordered a pair of $87 grips from Budapest for this $200 range toy.

"Is it cheap to feed?"
I only have handguns in .40, 9mm, 7.62Tok, .45ACP, and .380. Excluding my desert eagle, all my handguns are pretty cheap to feed. The Eagle only comes out to fly for special occaisons.

"Does it fit my hand?"
This is, shockingly, less important for me in most situations. I have several handguns that I held and shot before purchasing to ensure that they would make good HD guns. The rest I bought for fun and have all ended up working nicely in my hand. The one exception being a Taurus Model 66 I sold.

And that's about it...

This is actually shocking.
You really think how cool the gun is trumps how well it fits your hand (ie., so you can shoot it?) I'm not flaming you, I just want to understand.

Rekrab
02-10-2011, 1:04 PM
This is actually shocking.
You really think how cool the gun is trumps how well it fits your hand (ie., so you can shoot it?) I'm not flaming you, I just want to understand.

In some very specific cases I just want a gun because it's "neat." When I bought my CZ-52 I bought it from a purely aesthetic/engineering perspective. I got lucky and it ended up being pretty comfortable in my hand. The only time I've had bad luck with this was my aforementioned Taurus. I'm actually still wanting to get an Astra 600 for the same reason!

Don't worry, I've got thick skin. :D

mixwell
02-10-2011, 1:10 PM
Heres my purchases and thoughts behind them..

Went in to get a 1911 and heard bad things about FTF from GI ones etc (i didn't know hardly anything about guns back then) so I went with my Taurus PT92 because I've always loved the Beretta 92 design.

2nd gun 1911 because I just love the looks of it.

3rd purchase G22 and I wanted this because I felt "every gun owner needs a Glock" mentality and I actually like glock's appearance.

4th CZsp01 because I wanted a target gun that was known to be very accurate and I was also very curious about CZ and I <3 it.

sigfan91
02-10-2011, 1:26 PM
First: Is it a West German Sig?

Second: Is it a German Sig?

I really don't care about anything else. I have other guns, just don't care as much.

There is one exception: A Swiss Sig P210.