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View Full Version : First Time Pistol Buyer... what to get?


TRod1222
03-02-2007, 7:34 PM
hey all,

im a first time pistol buyer and looking to get myself a quality gun for around 600, in 9mm that is. I've heard good things about the XD9 and USP9. Fyi i don't like glocks simply b/c they sit horribly in my hand. Any other suggestions or feed back i'm all ears. Thanks for your help all.

HowardW56
03-02-2007, 7:38 PM
hey all,

im a first time pistol buyer and looking to get myself a quality gun for around 600, in 9mm that is. I've heard good things about the XD9 and USP9. Fyi i don't like glocks simply b/c they sit horribly in my hand. Any other suggestions or feed back i'm all ears. Thanks for your help all.

I am a firm believer that first time gun owners should start with a revolver, not a auto... Once you are proficent with a revolver, then you can advance to whatever semi-auto you like...

TRod1222
03-02-2007, 7:42 PM
well i've shot plenty before with my dad 357 mag S&W. I Would like to start getting used to a auto b/c i'll be goin into the academy soon.

blkA4alb
03-02-2007, 7:45 PM
Message coming your way.

leelaw
03-02-2007, 7:50 PM
I'm going to move this to the Handgun Forum.

Tell us about what kind of experience you have, what kind of autos you've held/fired and liked, and your budget.

What academy?

HowardW56
03-02-2007, 7:53 PM
well i've shot plenty before with my dad 357 mag S&W. I Would like to start getting used to a auto b/c i'll be goin into the academy soon.

You don't say what academy or what agency... If you are proficient with a revolver, buy whatever they issue... It will just give you an opportunity to become familiar with that handgun....

Then once you are in the academy, you can un-learn what you think you know and learn it their way….

L-2
03-02-2007, 9:17 PM
Several things to consider which others have also previously said:

1) Consider getting the same weapon you'll be issued at your probable, future, employer (it might be a Glock, afterall). We don't know what you're referring to regarding an academy. For example, if it's US military, it's still likely to be the Beretta M9 (92FS, type). If it's the CHP, then an S&W 4006TSW, is something to consider.

2) If you're putting yourself through an academy, i.e. a non-affiliate, and you intend to use this gun in the academy, either of your two considered pistols should be on the academy's recommended list of guns which can be used. Be sure you can get appropriate duty holsters, too, if this is the situation.

3) What some police officers do: Get a similar, but smaller version of the gun which is issued by their department. This smaller gun may be used as a secondary/backup gun while on duty; or be carried off-duty, but be more easily concealed in plain clothes. Example: a SIG P239, which operates similarly to a full-size P226. Sometimes, a police department will mandate what can be carried off-duty or as a backup gun, too.

4) Otherwise, get either one and any gun you want. It's likely not going to be your only gun purchase during your lifetime anyway. It's just going to be your first. As long as you have enough money, a month later, buy the other one, too. There's nothing wrong with being proficient with as many weapons as you can.

5) Some Final Thoughts. Somehow you've already decided on the 9mm caliber, as well as narrowing down your choices to just two. That's great. Personally, I like Glocks quite a bit. First impressions, regarding the Glock not fitting-well in your hand, may be true. But if you put ~1,000 rounds down-range with a Glock, you also might get used to it and like it. I've held both of the guns, which you're considering, but not shot either one. I'm sure I'd get used to either one if I shot one of them a lot. With all I've said, I did like the feel of the various HKs, including the USP. Didn't the USP have a non-standard accessory-rail size, however?

Greg-Dawg
03-02-2007, 9:20 PM
Find a police trade in/factory refurb glock 19 or 17. Should cost about $350 or $400. Spend the rest of the money on a practice ammo.

Where can you get a Police trade in/refurb? Do you just go to the police academy and ask around?:confused:

Anyways, for the original poster...if you're going to sign up for the academy, I'd start taking some defensive handgun courses...starting with a basic handgun class that'll enable you to try out different guns.

Look into an HK USP or P2000 and hopefully your unit allows these models...or else you'll end up with Berrettas and Glocks. Glocks are great.

L-2
03-02-2007, 9:20 PM
Find a police trade in/factory refurb glock 19 or 17. Should cost about $350 or $400. Spend the rest of the money on a practice ammo.

He already basically said he doesn't like Glocks. (Somehow my response to post #11, came in here, at post #9.)

SnWnMe
03-02-2007, 9:28 PM
Just to add to your plastic gun list, there's also the S&W M&P.

Wulf
03-02-2007, 10:09 PM
Find a police trade in/factory refurb glock 19 or 17. Should cost about $350 or $400. Spend the rest of the money on a practice ammo.

ocabj
03-02-2007, 11:06 PM
The 1911 is the best first pistol if you go autoloader.

ZapThyCat
03-03-2007, 1:00 AM
Get a Beretta 92, they are great, cheap, forgiving, accurate and reliable.

tcp
03-03-2007, 1:36 AM
if you dont like glocks, my second best recommendation would be a cz 75. it is also an excellent gun. i myself have a p-01 and i love it.

Wulf
03-03-2007, 8:32 AM
He already basically said he doesn't like Glocks. (Somehow my response to post #11, came in here, at post #9.)


Wow, that's really weird.

Anyhow...sorry I missed the doesnt like glocks part. I'd also second the CZ. People really like that necked grip. You might also look as a kahr for use as an off duty gun after you're hired. They're great CC guns but they'd definately push your budget.

Where can you get a Police trade in/refurb? Do you just go to the police academy and ask around?:confused:

Talk to your dealer. Occasionally Glock Inc. will buy up a whole departments weapons when they're outfitting them with new guns. Then glock goes through them, refurbs them as necessary and sends them back out through the normal distribution channels. If you're in the Sacramento area, talk to they guys at Old Sac Armory, they seem to have had them most frequently in the past.

koiloco
03-03-2007, 11:16 AM
I am a firm believer that first time gun owners should start with a revolver, not a auto... Once you are proficent with a revolver, then you can advance to whatever semi-auto you like...

While this is good advise, it does not always apply. If you are pretty mechanically-inclined and careful, i don't see no harm with getting an auto as your first handgun. Speaking from personal experience, my first handgun was an auto and now they are still all auto, not a single revolver yet. I will get one someday but not yet.

For a first gun, I'd look into CZ75B and use the left over money for ammo. You will have a solid steel gun, full frame, fixed sight, accurate.

TRod1222
03-03-2007, 11:38 AM
Sorry about the academy thing...I'm going into the City of Hayward... I'm not sure what their standard issue firearm is but I'm praying not glocks. I have nothing against them just think they feel like a taser. I've never shot the USP or the XD which is why i was looking into them i, i hear great things about them.

secretasianman
03-03-2007, 11:50 AM
im a first time pistol buyer and looking to get myself a quality gun for around 600, in 9mm that is. I've heard good things about the XD9 and USP9.
I'm no expert but I've gone through several handguns and have been shooting for 12 years (just at the range 500 rds every other month).

I'm down to 3 handguns at the moment (XD9, Glock 17, and S&W Model 19 revolver). Of the three, I like the XD9 the best. The grip fits my hand nicely and the trigger is pretty good. I have placed my shots within 2" at 25 yds on a good day and from what I've seen others shooting with an XD9, the gun will do better. The only experience I've had with HKs is fondling them at the counter. I've steered away from them because they tend to be pricier ($600+) wherever I've seen them.

9mm is relatively inexpensive and will allow you more time at the range... but I just purchased an XD45 (mar 12th pickup!). I just can't argue the fact that the 45ACP dwarfs the 9mm round side by side.

Good luck with your choice. Maybe you should rent both the XD9 and the HK USP9 at a range and see what is more comfortable in your hands. I'm sure both are more accurate than the average shooters.

TRod1222
03-03-2007, 11:57 AM
Yeah thats the tough thing about the USP they are $$$$$$$. I like the .45 but police agencies mainly use the 9mm which is why i'm going with that.

PressCheck
03-03-2007, 11:58 AM
I am a firm believer that first time gun owners should start with a revolver, not a auto... Once you are proficent with a revolver, then you can advance to whatever semi-auto you like...
Reply With Quote

I couldn't agree more.

Wulf
03-03-2007, 1:28 PM
I am a firm believer that first time gun owners should start with a revolver, not a auto... Once you are proficent with a revolver, then you can advance to whatever semi-auto you like...

I dont really agree with that either.

Revolvers are old school. It doesn't mean they don't work, but I dont think its worth investing in training time in one any more than it worth learning to be a pilot by starting out in a Wright Flyer.

A revolver is so different from an auto that virtually none of the none of the manipulations or muscle memory factors transfer. For a newbie, the biggest factor influencing their improvement, after professional training, is practice. Blowing a bunch of time, money and ammo mastering the revolver just doesn't make sense if your goal is to learn to shoot an auto well.

I'm not sure what their standard issue firearm is but I'm praying not glocks. I have nothing against them just think they feel like a taser.

You probably ought to try real hard to get over that. The glock is a top notch PDW and serves in a lot of police holsters, and civilian holsters. The reality of what's out there and what works should trump aesthetic preferences.

L-2
03-03-2007, 4:30 PM
Yeah thats the tough thing about the USP they are $$$$$$$. I like the .45 but police agencies mainly use the 9mm which is why i'm going with that.
I like the 9mm, too. If the goal is semi-auto handgun familiarity, technique/manipulation, then 9mm, .357SIG, .40S&W, and .45ACP are the likely calibers being used in the San Francisco Bay Area, which I'm assuming where you'll be considering applying for work, based on your listed location of "Bay Area".

Since you mentioned it, I'd be curious as to what you find out regarding what calibers are used/mandated at any of the agencies you'd be interested at being employed. I've lost track, but here's what I recall:
SFPD: ?
Oakland PD: ?
San Jose PD: 9mm (SIG P226), but other calibers (9mm/.40/.45?) may be OK & from a list of dept.-approved personally purchased pistols.
Alameda Co. Sheriff: .357SIG (SIG P229)?
San Francisco Sheriff: ?
CHP: .40S&W (S&W 4006/4006TSW)
Santa Clara Co. Sheriff: .40S&W (Glock 22)
State Fish & Game .40S&W (Glock 22)

and then there's, easily, another 30+ more departments within the three counties mentioned, alone. I suspect the .40S&W caliber is more popular than the 9mm in the SF Bay Area, by agency. If compared by the number of officers, then it may depend on what San Francisco PD and Oakland use as those two agencies may employ significant numbers of officers.

homerm14
03-03-2007, 4:45 PM
I like the 9mm, too. If the goal is semi-auto handgun familiarity, technique/manipulation, then 9mm, .357SIG, .40S&W, and .45ACP are the likely calibers being used in the San Francisco Bay Area, which I'm assuming where you'll be considering applying for work, based on your listed location of "Bay Area".

Since you mentioned it, I'd be curious as to what you find out regarding what calibers are used/mandated at any of the agencies you'd be interested at being employed. I've lost track, but here's what I recall:
SFPD: ? issue(Sig 226R/229R) .40
Oakland PD: ? issue(Glock 22) .40 with many others on there approved list
San Jose PD: 9mm (SIG P226), but other calibers (9mm/.40/.45?) may be OK & from a list of dept.-approved personally purchased pistols.
Alameda Co. Sheriff: .357SIG (SIG P229)?
San Francisco Sheriff: ?
CHP: .40S&W (S&W 4006/4006TSW)
Santa Clara Co. Sheriff: .40S&W (Glock 22)
State Fish & Game .40S&W (Glock 22)

and then there's, easily, another 30+ more departments within the three counties mentioned, alone. I suspect the .40S&W caliber is more popular than the 9mm in the SF Bay Area, by agency. If compared by the number of officers, then it may depend on what San Francisco PD and Oakland use as those two agencies may employ significant numbers of officers.

Info added

TRod1222
03-03-2007, 6:33 PM
is the .40 similar to the 9mm in feel when shooting. i've only shot .357 and .45 all my life.

leelaw
03-03-2007, 7:12 PM
.40 is a lot "snappier"

Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
03-03-2007, 7:42 PM
You probably ought to try real hard to get over that. The glock is a top notch PDW and serves in a lot of police holsters, and civilian holsters. The reality of what's out there and what works should trump aesthetic preferences.

I agree with your revolver point, although I wouldn't go so far as to disregard them as "old school." They still are by and large very reliable firearms, that tend to be more affordable than semi-autos, and would probably be a better investment for someone who's not likely to invest much time in learning the finer points of handgun shooting.

Regarding the Glocks, I realize a lot of people have an intense loyalty to that particular brand, but I'd temper that by noting that at this time there're plenty of highly-reliable, accurate handguns out there that surrender little, if anything at all, to the Glock. And as has been pointed out, the ergonomics just don't work for some people.

TRod1222
03-03-2007, 8:43 PM
yes i am aware that revolvers are a better start gun... i've shot many revolvers since childhood with my grandfather... i don't need or want a revolver seeing as how police do not carry revolvers. So I think I'm goin to go with the XD9.

fairfaxjim
03-04-2007, 10:12 AM
I personally like the Sig 226 in 9mm. It is a great pistol, and is used, or allowed by quite a few departments. They are available often as police dept. refurbs. at a decent price, as are some of the other Sigs.

crazyXgerman
03-04-2007, 11:05 AM
the XD-9 is a good choice, especially if you don't like the feel of glocks.

i had the exact same problem with my glock, just couldn't get comfortable with the feel of the square grip. recently traded it in for an xd-9 that i am extremely happy with. much nicer grip, better control.

TRod1222
03-04-2007, 11:28 AM
Yea i like the sig 226 as well that fit my hand like a glove but more expensive than the XD9.

Greg-Dawg
03-04-2007, 12:26 PM
Time to save up!