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View Full Version : Looking for suggestions and mature discussion for a first pistol.


Exdc
04-30-2012, 10:07 PM
Hey guys, I believe this is my first post in the pistol section of the forums. While I've shot several pistols (and I find them fun to shoot) I've got 5 months to decide on a pistol to get. Obviously I could wait longer, but why? I turn 21 then :D I might have purchased one through one of my parents, but they are both prohibited... :(

My main goal is home-defense (because my AR takes a bit of time to get out of the safe, and it's a heavy 20" barrel 'precision' rifle. I want something that can be ready in 10 seconds or less, and carry easily in the case of a night time intrusion, or an unfriendly visitor... I live in a not-so-friendly neighborhood.


I eventually plan on applying for (and waiting for...) a CC permit, and as soon as I get a gun, my guard card. An armed night watchmen position is a job I could manage with a medium class load.

I'm obviously looking for reliability. I consider myself competent with both 9mm. and .45ACP. (I've fired 9mm semi-accurately at about 25 yards, and 45-much more recently- at 90-100 yards with relatively good accuracy.
i'm not worried about recoil with either round. Obviously in CA, the 9MM's ability to hold more rounds is irrelevant. The price however, is not. I understand that both are deadly rounds with good penetration, and I'm not aiming to start a flame war about which round is better. I'm just looking for some suggestions on pistols I should try out at the range.

I've fired the 1911, and while I liked it's accuracy (that's the one I shot at about 90 yards, ringing steel about a 6 inch target) I'm not a fan of the way it feels in my hand. I think I'd prefer a slightly fatter grip. I'm sure I could get used to it, and I haven't eliminated it yet. I realize that Glocks get a lot of flack due to the fanboys that follow them around; on the other hand, they have gained a reputation for reliability, and durability. I'm not going to discount them simply because others like them... I'm not a 'hipster'.I like feel of a Beretta, though I've never fired one, so I can't speak for accuracy, reliability, or how it feels for recoil.

Other suggestions will definitely be considered. I'm sure there are plenty of options I haven't thought of. I'm going to have to try out several before I make my mind up. If you live in the Sacramento/Vacaville/Woodland area, and own any of these or any other pistols that you'd recommend (preferably in these calibers), and wouldn't mind letting me try them out, I'd be very happy to meet up with you and do some plinking. I can help with the cost of ammo if need-be.



I've considered a .22lr pistol of some kind, but those don't tend to get taken very seriously... I know they CAN be deadly (as can any firearm) but I want something that isn't just for plinking; something that will feel the same way when practicing at the range, as when I'm using it in a home defense situation (which I hope I'll never need to do). With that said, I think it's out of the running.



Please keep in mind that I am not trying to start a discussion over which round is better, I've pretty much narrowed it down to these two, and either one will be acceptable. I know there are others, but I've already thought about most aspects, and between price (which unfortunately is a factor in this economy), reliability, and penetration, I think these rounds are best for me.

Thanks for you input, and please try to keep the conversation civil.

ElvenSoul
04-30-2012, 10:08 PM
Sounds like you have made a decision.

Exdc
04-30-2012, 10:10 PM
On the round maybe, but I'm sure there are plenty of pistols that shoot either of those rounds, that I haven't considered... (So, I'm not sure what you mean by "Sounds like you have made a decision.", and if I have, I'm not sure what my decision is...)
No disrespect intended.

NYY
04-30-2012, 10:19 PM
look around here.... only a few threads below yours..

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=566380

ElvenSoul
04-30-2012, 10:22 PM
Ok well the standard answer is go to a range that rents. Try out. a variety of guns. Buy the one you shoot you the best. Everybody is different. Why there are lots of makes and models.

I will tell you this. Sig Navy and CZ Phantom come with a lot for the price.

Exdc
04-30-2012, 10:27 PM
Thanks Elven. I know that pistols come down to individual choice, that's why I shared my prior experience (heck, that's why I started my thread even after reading several others in this forum). I've fired a 9mm, but it wasn't a Glock. I've held a Glock replica (same weight as glock 19) but... it was a replica. That said, it felt nice in my hand. I typically don't like revolvers; they just don't feel very secure in my hand. I'll add the Sig Navy and the CZ Phantom to my list of "to try's". Appreciate the input.

Solid Foundation
04-30-2012, 10:29 PM
You really need to isolate what feels good in your hands (don't discount what a hogue grip can do to a gun grip) and practice them at the range. I took a friend once that was convinced he was going to love the feel and firing of a Sig. He ended up spending the entire day with a Glock.

A few years back I was really thinking about a Mini-14 and almost picked it up but decided to take my own advice and went to the range. I did not like it. Every time a discussion comes up about the Mini-14 that strikes my fancy, I remember my practice trip and I come back to solid ground.

chaseface
04-30-2012, 10:35 PM
If you prefer a fatter grip Springfield XD's are very popular for a reasonable price (similar to a Glock's price). Glocks are great too. If you like the feel of a Beretta I'd recommend trying a Beretta 92. They are great shooters in a 9mm. If you are on the fence between a .45 and a 9mm they are both great rounds. I like my .45 the best but 9mm rounds are cheaper, and shooting is an expensive hobby.

Exdc
04-30-2012, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the advice Solid Foundation. Your personality seems to fit your name.

doug-y-doug
04-30-2012, 10:42 PM
They're all good. Seriously. Any service pistol you'll find at your gun shop will be extremely reliable and very accurate. It all comes down to your own personal preference. It sounds like you can handle 9mm and .45. Give .40 a try too. Just try a bunch of guns out. If you can't do that, hold and dry fire them at the gun shop.

Exdc
04-30-2012, 10:48 PM
I'll re-add .40 back to the list for consideration. Don't shops get upset when you dry-fire? In any case, I'll ask... I guess it makes sense that a commonly used pistol is going to be accurate and reliable, or it wouldn't be commonly used.

scotty99
04-30-2012, 10:51 PM
I always though the answer to my "if you could only have one gun" question would be a Glock, as it is for many people. But, last fall I picked up a Springfield XD in .45, and after six months of shooting it, it has become the nightstand occupant. It is supremely accurate, and mine has been dead reliable. I prefer the .45 for a SD round, but have never shot the .45 Glocks well (since you seem to prefer a fatter grip a Glock 21 may be just your thing), but the XD seems to be just the right size - substantial without being uncomfortable.

There will be a lot of pressure, and I'm sure a lot of advice, to get something different, or even exotic. We have all succumbed to that sentiment at one time or another. My advice to you is fight it. If you shoot the Glock or the XD well, buy it. There is a reason (beyond the reasonable cost) that these are the best selling handguns right now.

IBJanky
04-30-2012, 11:16 PM
Glock 19 9mm
Glock 21 .45ACP
XD in either 9/45 (my first pick)

myke

ChrisKalan
04-30-2012, 11:20 PM
Here is my story.

I started shooting 3 years ago. I went cheap for my first gun to make sure I liked it. It was a Sigma in 9mm. Don't knock it, I miss that gun.

I sold it, and bought a Sig P229 9mm. Kind of swung the pendulum in the complete opposite direction. Also loved that gun too, but for someone who shoots every other month, it seemed like too much gun.

I sold that gun too....on Calguns...this place Rocks!

I now have a Glock 19 in jail. For me, this is a perfect sweet spot of price and features.

I guess you can tell I'm a 9mm fan.

You mentioned the Beretta. I never shot more accurately than I did with a 92FS. But it's a heavy SOB! If you are going to be a guard carrying that gun, I hope you have someone that is going to be massaging your waist at night.

To sum up, get a Glock or XD or M&P in 9mm. The price is right, ammo is cheaper. You can do a lot worse for your first gun, wich you plan on carrying.

That is my 2 cents.

Cheers

lrj812
05-01-2012, 5:58 AM
CZ 75B my first semi-auto pistol. Bought it sight unseen purely on reputation recently from a fellow calgunner. I have put over 400 rds through it without one incident, other than running out of ammo. Love has found me.

According to CZ it is the most popular service pistol in the world. If you can find one it is worth a look. Mine is .40 flavor and since my experience is with .357's the snappiness is kinda cute. My first choice was for a 9mm only because it would be in its original form, but good luck finding one.

Personally I haven't shot a gun I didn't find appealing in some way or another as long as it fired. But, like my first revolver a S&W 686, the CZ 75B is something special.

Exdc
05-01-2012, 7:17 AM
Thanks guys, looks like I have several options. I'll keep you updated.

Whatisthis?
05-01-2012, 11:01 AM
It's pretty hard to go wrong with any of the following: M&P series, glock, XD, CZ, beretta, or sig. Personally, I like Glocks and M&Ps best, but you should shoot a variety and see what you like best.

daybreak
05-01-2012, 11:24 AM
It's pretty hard to go wrong with any of the following: M&P series, glock, XD, CZ, beretta, or sig. Personally, I like Glocks and M&Ps best, but you should shoot a variety and see what you like best.

I was just typing the same.

Can't go wrong with any of these for a first pistol. All very reliable from my experience and the general consensus.

XD9/45
Glock 17,19 - 21
M&P 9/45
CZ75 variants

I personally don't like the feel/ergos of sig and beretta, but they have a reputation for being very reliable.

J.D.Allen
05-01-2012, 11:33 AM
OK, no one else has brought it up, so I'll be the negative nelly. OP, do you live with your parents? You mentioned that they are prohibited. If you live with them and have firearms they could get nailed for constructive possession.

SoCalSig1911
05-01-2012, 12:01 PM
Also you haven't mentioned a budget that i saw for a pistol.. Personally in 9mm i would say Beretta 92fs or Sig P226, the Sig will run you a bit more money but i like the look and feel of the Beretta in my hand over the 226 personally, both great guns that you can't go wrong with.

verb1
05-01-2012, 12:34 PM
Being that you're in school, and thus I'm assuming money is an issue, I'd go with a 9mm. It's much cheaper to practice with, and it's a legitimate defensive round. In 9mm, there's plenty of nice choices: Glock 19 & G17, Springfield XD9, Beretta 92, CZ 75, and more.

SJgunguy24
05-01-2012, 12:38 PM
Glock 19, I think of Glocks as like Pi. It's a known quantity, is dead nuts reliable and you can bet your life on that gun. Parts are plentiful, accessories and mags can be found damn near anywhere on the globe. All you need is a 3mm punch to detail strip that gun. Add in Glocks customer service and you can't beat it.
Personally if I could only have 1 handgun it would be a glock. Now i'm a die hard CZ convert, I love my CZ's. But if I were in your shoes, I'd buy a glock 19

NeenachGuy
05-01-2012, 1:15 PM
I personally would go with a Glock 19. That's what I chose as my first pistol, and I have no regrets. The Glock 19 is a good size - not too big, not too small. I think it will work well for you in the future if you do get your CCW.

Legasat
05-01-2012, 1:59 PM
I agree with some of these guys. If you want start off with the price reasonable, then try the big three:

Glock
S&W M&P
Springfield XD

All of these have proven uber-reliable, accurate, not heavy, and they don't cost an arm & leg to get into.

I went with M&P because of ergonomics (more comfortable for me), but all are fine pistols, and will serve you equally well.

Just my $0.02

Exdc
05-01-2012, 10:21 PM
Being that you're in school, and thus I'm assuming money is an issue, I'd go with a 9mm. It's much cheaper to practice with, and it's a legitimate defensive round. In 9mm, there's plenty of nice choices: Glock 19 & G17, Springfield XD9, Beretta 92, CZ 75, and more.

I know I'm not going to be spending less than 300 on any decent pistol. I'm aiming for $300-$500.

OK, no one else has brought it up, so I'll be the negative nelly. OP, do you live with your parents? You mentioned that they are prohibited. If you live with them and have firearms they could get nailed for constructive possession.

It has been brought up in the past. A.) I have a safe, to which only I have the keys. I always keep them on me, never leaving them alone with anyone, especially my father. B.) I keep the gun bag locked with a combination lock, to which only I know the combination.

In theory, my dad could be nailed. My mom was in a mental institution for two days; to my knowledge that makes her not eligible to purchase a firearm. As it is, my dad is in a pretty bad situation due to a new law that is retroactive, preventing him from renewing his green card. Chances are he'll be deported before I get the pistol. It sucks, but that's the way it is.

In any case, I'm careful. In order to nail him, they would have to prove that I'm lying under oath (which I wouldn't be).

(Just a note: Before I even purchased my rifle, I consulted several attorneys. The general consensus was that I was perfectly within my rights, and would not endanger my father, as long as I kept the gun locked in the safe when it was at home.)

Again; not the best situation, but that's the way it is at this point. And it's my house, not my parent's, if that makes any difference.



I had another question about renting: Do I have to be 21 to rent a pistol? Also, if I'm renting, I have to be using ammo for that weapon... pistol ammo, which also requires the user to be 21... Just a question that popped into my head...

DavidR310
05-02-2012, 12:27 AM
As a side note, I remember a calgunner who took an armed security job and he was required to have a pistol with a thumb safety and an external hammer like a 1911 or beretta.

Bobby Ricigliano
05-02-2012, 12:29 AM
I would highly recommend the Beretta 92f 9MM as a first pistol. Here's why:

1. Very simple design and low learning curve. Manual safety is a big plus.

2. Very affordable for such a high quality pistol. Easy to find in the $500 - $600 range.

3. Parts, magazines, holsters, etc. available everywhere

4. 9mm ammo is affordable, has low recoil, and is plenty powerful for a HD /SD gun.

5. I have seen hundreds of police recruits and military personnel with little to no handgun experience pick up this weapon and gain rapid proficiency with it.

6. If it is good enough for cops and soldiers everywhere, it is good enough for you!

Just my .02 based on years and years of using this pistol.

Exdc
05-02-2012, 12:32 AM
As a side note, I remember a calgunner who took an armed security job and he was required to have a pistol with a thumb safety and an external hammer like a 1911 or beretta.

That's something I'll consider before I make the actual purchase, and I'll do some research before I get my guard card. Thanks for the info, I've never heard of that before.

I would highly recommend the Beretta 92f 9MM as a first pistol. Here's why:

1. Very simple design and low learning curve. Manual safety is a big plus.

2. Very affordable for such a high quality pistol. Easy to find in the $500 - $600 range.

3. Parts, magazines, holsters, etc. available everywhere

4. 9mm ammo is affordable, has low recoil, and is plenty powerful for a HD /SD gun.

5. I have seen hundreds of police recruits and military personnel with little to no handgun experience pick up this weapon and gain rapid proficiency with it.

6. If it is good enough for cops and soldiers everywhere, it is good enough for you!

Just my .02 based on years and years of using this pistol.

A bit over the price that I wanted to spend, but I'm willing to put some money down on this investment. Just need to save up.
Definitely will test it out and see how it feels.

The Virus
05-02-2012, 7:28 AM
M&P 9
cant go wrong

Lead Waster
05-02-2012, 7:42 AM
This is not a fanboy comment, but a glock 19/17 sound like a good choice for you. Unless there are VALID reasons not to.