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Thread: A handgun for a first time owner

  1. #1
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    A handgun for a first time owner

    Anyone know any good guns for a first time owner? I was thinking about a glock 19 but im not sure yet.

    Any suggestions?

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    Totally depends on your intent and preferences. A possible concealed carry gun? A gun just for home defense? Plan on hunting with it? You ever shot a gun before? Thought about a revolver?

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    Regular Member AaronS's Avatar
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    If I had it to do all over, I think I would start with a Ruger GP100 (.357).
    I just love that gun.
    After I was able to use it well, I would start to look at autos, but that is just me...

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    its for self defense i like the look of the glock 19 and i hear it was relible

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    But im going to look around so ill look at your suggestion also

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    Regular Member CalicoJack10's Avatar
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    Your handgun preference should be largely based on your ability in the beginning. It is always good to start with something that you are comfortable shooting. For personal defense, it is all about what you can be comfortable with. Starting with a Glock 19 can really throw you off as it is a heavy gun when loaded (By Carry standards) and can be uncomfortable when you start out. Not to mention I have found that a majority of beginning shooters that carry heavier guns end up not carrying that often. There is a lot more than just "I like that one" that goes into getting a good carry gun. If you have in depth questions, I am sure that we can help you out, but go for function, not presentation.
    Last edited by CalicoJack10; 01-28-2011 at 12:20 AM.
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    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
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    Seek out a gun store with a range that allows customers to rent handguns on their range. Select an option that allows you to select handguns to test fire that meet you initial requirements. Go ahead and shoot a Glock, a Springfield XD, or in revolvers a .357 snubby or 4 inch barrel. Note what you do best with without further competent instruction. Select that firearm and then get competent instruction.
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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Get one that fits your hand. If you have a grip you don't like, then that gun is not going to be the one for you. The two ranges I would suggest going to are Badger Guns and Fletcher Arms. I prefer Fletcher's as their customer service is a little better. I'm not sure about Badger, but Fletcher's does have an instructor (well, they allow him to be there, but he's not part of the company) that teachers you how to shoot. It's a 3 hour course that goes by quickly.
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    Regular Member XDFDE45's Avatar
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    I'm not 100% sure but I was talking to someone about renting and they mentioned at Badger you could rent a gun say in 9mm and then try a few different guns in the same caliber. So if you started with a Glock and then try a XD or S&W M&P. That way you could see what might fit best in your hand but I would call and ask about that before you go if you plan to. The new Gen4 Glocks, Smith and Wesson M&Ps and the SA XDM pistols now come with interchangeable back straps which will allow you to find the best fit for your hand. Also there is a XDM model that has a 3.8" barrel in 9mm and .40S&W now.
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    Regular Member mliederbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Get one that fits your hand. If you have a grip you don't like, then that gun is not going to be the one for you. The two ranges I would suggest going to are Badger Guns and Fletcher Arms. I prefer Fletcher's as their customer service is a little better. I'm not sure about Badger, but Fletcher's does have an instructor (well, they allow him to be there, but he's not part of the company) that teachers you how to shoot. It's a 3 hour course that goes by quickly.
    Badgers does not rent firearms anymore. :-(

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mliederbach View Post
    Badgers does not rent firearms anymore. :-(
    When did this happen?
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Regular Member mliederbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    When did this happen?
    Last year when a guy rented a firearm and committed suicide in the range.

  13. #13
    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mliederbach View Post
    Last year when a guy rented a firearm and committed suicide in the range.
    I wouldn't think that would stop them from renting though. Fletcher's had that happen last year as well and are still renting. I do admit, I haven't been in Badger in probably over a year now, so I don't know what has all changed there.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Regular Member XDFDE45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mliederbach View Post
    Last year when a guy rented a firearm and committed suicide in the range.
    I forgot all about that .
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    My Castle Doctrine Law

    Don't wish ill upon your enemy......plan it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Get one that fits your hand. If you have a grip you don't like, then that gun is not going to be the one for you.
    I have a few friends (yes, I have some) that bought handguns because the guns were "cool" or the rage. They are just not comfortable shooting their investments. Not only is the fit important, but the point-ability and the feeling that the gun is an extension of your arm, allows you to be a better shooter. Whether or not it has a safety and how the safety functions is important too. Do you want an exposed hammer or not? Where are the controls for the magazine release if it is semi-auto? Try revolvers too. There are advantages and disadvantages to almost all the different types of handguns out there. Smaller guns are usually harder to shoot. Bigger guns are usually harder to carry or conceal. But there are exceptions. The best advice I could anyone, which was already mentioned , is to try and shoot as many different styles of handguns before you make the purchase.

    And if you're like me, you'll eventually buy another one because the first one didn't fit every need or occasion.

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    Regular Member CalicoJack10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    I wouldn't think that would stop them from renting though. Fletcher's had that happen last year as well and are still renting. I do admit, I haven't been in Badger in probably over a year now, so I don't know what has all changed there.
    Ahhhh,,,, But the comments here only tells half the story, the rest of the story is here.

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/92599124.html
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    Oh well, here we go, everyone is going to way in on this one.

    I'd say think about what you want the firearm for first. Hunting, home defense, personal defense, target shooting, or some combination. I think that if you want home defense, personal defense, and target shooting that a 9mm pistol would be the one to look at. 9mm has good personal defense loads, but it's not too expensive to target shoot, unlike 45acp.

    If you want personal defense, i.e. concealed carry or open carry then consider a compact or sub-compact size. Once you have the type (pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc...), caliber, and size determined then go to the gun store. Get a feel of all the types of firearms that fit that profile. Try semi-autos and revolvers/pump/lever/bolt action. If possible rent them and fire them and try to cut it down to a few contenders.

    From there go with whichever one you like the look of, or is cheaper, or has a good reputation, etc...

    That's my $0.02.


    If you are looking for a target only firearm then a Ruger 10/22 or Marlin 795 is a great choice. 22lr is cheap and the rifle setup makes accuracy easier.

    If you are looking only for home defense then a nice Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 shotgun. The problem here is that not many indoor ranges will let you fire them there.

    If you are looking for hunting, then I can't help you there.

  18. #18
    Regular Member hardballer's Avatar
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    Go to a good gun shop and pick up and handle as many as they will allow. I carry and shoot a .45ACP 1911 in stainless steel.

    I like the gun. I have big hands and am a big person. The smaller 9mm are lighter, but have a sharper kick, not unpleasant but different. A .357 wheel gun has a very distinct and sharp kick but manageable by most. The smaller and lighter the gun, the sharper and heavier the recoil or kick. The ole 1911 is a big, heavy gun and has a very manageable recoil.

    Plus the cool factor, at least for me. It has history and is uniquely American. So much so that Utah is considering making it their state gun. Hat tip to John Moses Browning.

    Smaller hands and smaller frames might appreciate a lighter, smaller gun.

    Whatever you decide, Just make sure the caliber you choose is a threat stopper. .357, 9mm, .40, .45ACP.
    Last edited by hardballer; 01-28-2011 at 06:45 PM.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Archangel's Avatar
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    There is but one...

    The 40mm Glock...



    One shot stop, guaranteed.

  20. #20
    Regular Member LR Yote 312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardballer View Post
    Go to a good gun shop and pick up and handle as many as they will allow. I carry and shoot a .45ACP 1911 in stainless steel.

    I like the gun. I have big hands and am a big person. The smaller 9mm are lighter, but have a sharper kick, not unpleasant but different. A .357 wheel gun has a very distinct and sharp kick but manageable by most. The smaller and lighter the gun, the sharper and heavier the recoil or kick. The ole 1911 is a big, heavy gun and has a very manageable recoil.

    Plus the cool factor, at least for me. It has history and is uniquely American. So much so that Utah is considering making it their state gun. Hat tip to John Moses Browning.

    Smaller hands and smaller frames might appreciate a lighter, smaller gun.

    Whatever you decide, Just make sure the caliber you choose is a threat stopper. .357, 9mm, .40, .45ACP.
    Hardballer,
    I understand what you mean for a first timer,and I am not in disagreement with you in your advice.

    I have smaller hands and use and shoot a 1911 also.
    All depends on how they are set up.

    Wooden gripped guns usually have a wide selection of after market grips
    that can be swapped out for not a whole lot of money.
    (But then again too the sky is the limit on what someone can spend on a set
    grips for a 1911 or others)

    Something else for a newcomer to consider is budget.
    Some of the higher end polymer framed handguns come with
    switch panel grips or inserts to fit a wide range of users.
    Keep this in mind when a price is quoted.

    Whatever make,model,caliber is chosen....
    The gun is only going to be as effective as the user.
    If the user takes the time to practice with it,the results will show for themselves.

    If the gun is purchased and stuffed in the sock drawer after a box of ammo
    has been consumed and then forgotten about.
    Well.....Odds are good one cant expect the results to be as favorable.

    LR Yote
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiah Lee View Post
    Anyone know any good guns for a first time owner? I was thinking about a glock 19 but im not sure yet.

    Any suggestions?
    Glocks SUCK,and are got awfull ugly, but that's just MHO. If ur fond of that platform, go with an XD. (Here comes the flack from the glock lovers )

    No but honestly, go to a gun store, see a few guns,hell, see alot of guns. And let the gun pick you,don't pick the gun (if that makes sense). You'll know when it feels right. Good luck on the hunt, come back with pix when u find ur baby!

    -Landose-
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    Regular Member hardballer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LR Yote 312 View Post
    Hardballer,
    I understand what you mean for a first timer,and I am not in disagreement with you in your advice.

    I have smaller hands and use and shoot a 1911 also.
    All depends on how they are set up.

    Wooden gripped guns usually have a wide selection of after market grips
    that can be swapped out for not a whole lot of money.
    (But then again too the sky is the limit on what someone can spend on a set
    grips for a 1911 or others)

    Something else for a newcomer to consider is budget.
    Some of the higher end polymer framed handguns come with
    switch panel grips or inserts to fit a wide range of users.
    Keep this in mind when a price is quoted.

    Whatever make,model,caliber is chosen....
    The gun is only going to be as effective as the user.
    If the user takes the time to practice with it,the results will show for themselves.

    If the gun is purchased and stuffed in the sock drawer after a box of ammo
    has been consumed and then forgotten about.
    Well.....Odds are good one cant expect the results to be as favorable.

    LR Yote
    Yup. Good advice LR...

    Quote Originally Posted by Landose_theghost View Post
    Glocks SUCK,and are got awfull ugly, but that's just MHO. If ur fond of that platform, go with an XD. (Here comes the flack from the glock lovers )

    No but honestly, go to a gun store, see a few guns,hell, see alot of guns. And let the gun pick you,don't pick the gun (if that makes sense). You'll know when it feels right. Good luck on the hunt, come back with pix when u find ur baby!

    -Landose-
    I know you're kidding, Landose, mostly anyway. But yeah the XD is a fine looking and functioning gun. What the Glock gives up in looks, it more than makes up for in durability and functionality. My 1911 is pretty much a plain Jane and a Glock would be just fine too if it were all I had. The XD too. It is not like the old days where there were land mines at every turn, like the Lorcins and Jennings etc. Those were genuinely bad, poor quality guns. Today, if you stick with a fairly well known name brand, you can't go wrong.

    Plus you can always double check with this or other gun forums out there. Lots of free advice. Some worth exactly the price.

  23. #23
    Regular Member swfaninwi's Avatar
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    In addition to what is posted above:

    The World Wide Web can be your friend. Visit the gun manufacturer’s websites and do some research. Most have some info, a few like SIG’s have good specs. Very few prove why their products are better than others. Once you get a few model numbers, search the web and find forums and reviews. Keep in mind that most (95+%) forums and reviews are simply opinion with little fact. “I like brand XYZ” or “GTG” (Good To Go) is an opinion. You can find magazine reviews, but most will not say anything negative. Visit a place like Gander, Cabelas or a gun shop that has plenty to look at and handle. Learn that there are differences in guns – A Glock operates differently than a 1911, and 1911s are different inside. All have pluses and minuses. I use www.gunbroker.com check prices and availability.

    For my carry gun, I require the following:
    A metal gun
    Well built to last. I plan to never sell a gun I buy.
    Restrike or manual hammer cocking capability
    The ability to buy accessories like holsters sights, magazines, that fit.
    Fits my hand.
    Reliability

    The quality of guns has improved vastly in the past 30 years thanks to Computer Controller Machining. There are more choices than ever. There are BMWs and Chevys and Chevys that cost what a BMW does but doesn’t match the quality.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Krusty's Avatar
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    FIRST and FOREMOST.. Dependability and flawless function! Next on the list is simplicity of use. I mean no 2nd safety, extra locks, secret codes or whatever to manipulate when in an over stressed situation. For a first time gun, a .357 revolver! Name brand only. And since this is not a target shooter or a deer hunting gun, a short barrel. I mean 3" or shorter. And then practicing, do point and shoot. Don't concentrate on long range bulls-eye. If full house .357 loads seem too much, then go to a .38 +P or a .38 Special. GOOD holsters are essential too. If it's not comfortable to carry, you won't carry it, and then it doesn't matter what you own, it's useless!

    My own 2 carry guns are a .357 snub nose, ported, and an XDm .45 in a 4 1/2" barrel. And with good holsters I can carry either 24 hrs a day, comfortably!
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  25. #25
    Regular Member hardballer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
    There is but one...

    The 40mm Glock...



    One shot stop, guaranteed.
    Might be considered over kill but definitely a on shot stop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Krusty View Post
    FIRST and FOREMOST.. Dependability and flawless function! Next on the list is simplicity of use. I mean no 2nd safety, extra locks, secret codes or whatever to manipulate when in an over stressed situation. For a first time gun, a .357 revolver! Name brand only. And since this is not a target shooter or a deer hunting gun, a short barrel. I mean 3" or shorter. And then practicing, do point and shoot. Don't concentrate on long range bulls-eye. If full house .357 loads seem too much, then go to a .38 +P or a .38 Special. GOOD holsters are essential too. If it's not comfortable to carry, you won't carry it, and then it doesn't matter what you own, it's useless!

    My own 2 carry guns are a .357 snub nose, ported, and an XDm .45 in a 4 1/2" barrel. And with good holsters I can carry either 24 hrs a day, comfortably!
    Two excellent choices in sidearms and good advice.
    Last edited by hardballer; 01-29-2011 at 03:50 PM.

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