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Thread: Selecting first handgun

  1. #1
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    Selecting first handgun

    Howdy! Been lurking for sometime now and I'm just really learning about hand guns. Took a basic class today and will be taking my CHP class next week although I'm mainly planning on OC but want something I can also CC. I've settled on getting a .40 caliber.

    I shot a Glock 23 today and enjoyed it but I've been thinking about an XD .40. The prices seem a bit better on the XD .40s. Hopefully will be going to another gun shop that will have one I can rent and test out.

    Got a few questions...the gunshop I was at today had a XDm .40 for rent...how differently do they shoot then the XD?

    Been looking at the XD9109HCSP06 Package that comes with Tritium Night Sights and 4" barrel which will be $498 from Bud's. Is it better to get one with the night sights already on or purchase that later?

    There are so many packages for the same gun and I'm just wondering if all the extras are worth it.

    Can anyone recommend other .40 guns in the $500ish price range? I want to try several out and make sure the grip and all fits before purchasing.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by spiderjohn; 07-06-2011 at 11:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I would suggest 9mm for its very similar performance with premium ammo, higher capacity, and cheaper practice. .40 Short and Weak is a piss poor excuse for a 10mm substitute. Not that it won't work, but it provides no significant advantages over 9mm which I am aware of.

    About night sights, let me first explain that in a defensive shooting at typical civilian close quarters distances, the sights are almost never going to be something which is used. Unless you are EXTREMELY well practiced, your body won't allow it, and you'll instinctively fall back on point shooting because it's faster and your mind will be focused on your assailant, not your sights. If you don't practice live fire at least several times a month with at the very least several more dry fire practice sessions, forget the sights up close.

    If the average person isn't likely to use sights in the day time, imagine how much less likely sight use is in the dark. This is the key reason why night sights aren't likely to help you. HOWEVER, I can't and won't knock them if it's something you're interested enough to get. The thing I don't recommend is any style other than XS Express night sights. They combine very good usable precision with extreme speed, relative to most of the rest of what's out there. The only thing better is laser sights. I don't know of many models which have them as OEM, so if you want them I suggest adding them later.
    Last edited by Michigander; 07-07-2011 at 12:03 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Bersa makes good guns at good prices. I got a new .40 for $300 or so.

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    Regular Member nate0486's Avatar
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    Smith and Wesson M&P are very nice in that price range. They come with changeable back-straps. This is a cool feature when grip size and comfort are a big issue. I have one in 9mm and love it.

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    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    the fnp40 might be worth a look also
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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcmech View Post
    the fnp40 might be worth a look also
    My very first handgun was an Springfield XD45 which I highly recommend. I also recommend the FNP-40, it is a beautiful gun.
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    Nothing less than a .45 acp. With the huge selection of compact models out there now days, there's no longer any excuse to skimp and go with girlie guns.

  8. #8
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    <snip> ...
    About night sights, let me first explain that in a defensive shooting at typical civilian close quarters distances, the sights are almost never going to be something which is used. Unless you are EXTREMELY well practiced, your body won't allow it, and you'll instinctively fall back on point shooting because it's faster and your mind will be focused on your assailant, not your sights. If you don't practice live fire at least several times a month with at the very least several more dry fire practice sessions, forget the sights up close.

    If the average person isn't likely to use sights in the day time, imagine how much less likely sight use is in the dark. This is the key reason why night sights aren't likely to help you. HOWEVER, I can't and won't knock them if it's something you're interested enough to get. The thing I don't recommend is any style other than XS Express night sights. They combine very good usable precision with extreme speed, relative to most of the rest of what's out there. The only thing better is laser sights. I don't know of many models which have them as OEM, so if you want them I suggest adding them later.
    I won't knock lasers (even though some hate them) since they have their place. Laser grips like Crimson trace allow for quick sighting of where your rounds will go and allow you to shoot from non-standard positions (such as lying on the ground). I would recommend them for outdoor self defense shootings. Indoors with dust and such they can give away your position. I have two but prefer night sights on most of my guns.

    There is a warm feeling that comes over me when I wake up in the middle of the night and see the glowing green tritium sights of the handgun on my nightstand. :-) It has been so dark in my bedroom that a black gun disappears on the nightstand pretty easily. So for locating my gun it helps. I also have shot in low light and the night sights help in aiming even if you aren't waiting for the perfect sight picture. I have been participating in some practical pistol matches indoors at my shooting range and I was impressed how the night sights jumped out at me during target acquisition.

    Night sights run about $100 and I think they are worth it. Lasers typically cost more from $150-$400. You can get the rail mounted laser and move it between guns if you want but I like the Crimson Trace grip activated lasers which cost more.

    ETA: Whatever gun you decide on, try to shoot it first to see how you like it. I prefer .45acp but acknowledge that what "you" shoot best is best for you.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 07-07-2011 at 09:01 PM.

  9. #9
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    my advice would be for you to go shooting a lot and try out a lot of guns and in different calibers.
    Everything is a compromise... for example if you carry a full sized 45 Auto 1911 you might find it too large or too heavy, if you decide to carry a 380, it will be lighter and possibly easier to conceal, however, I'd consider a 380 to be a minimum carry caliber.
    Get together with a bunch of shooters, I'd guess that most of them will let you shoot their weapons.
    One thing I did find out when I first got into CCW was the importance of a GOOD holster and a GOOD gunbelt makes all the difference in the world.
    I live in AZ where it is pretty WARM during the summer (118 above last Sat). When I first started to carry, (I am a big believer in the 45 ACP round) and I got some gippo holster. The gun moved around a lot and rubbed me raw, plus it really was not "secure". I then bought a Glock model 30 (compact 45 that holds 10 rounds of 45). I carried that under my left armpit in a kramer confidant tee shirt under my regular shirt. This worked very well, but it took a few seconds to deploy as you had to unbutton one button on the outer shirt (511 sells velcro shirts but velcro makes a lot of noise when you seperate it). This set up is just too HOT for during the summer.
    I then got a real nice tucker gunleather IWB holster that had the rough side out (so it was nice to my skin) and I carried a 9 mm makarov on the 3 oclock. This worked well, but the holster still moved around on me, I had a belt that was 1-1/2 wide leather but was only about 1/8 inch thick.
    I then moved to AZ (from MN) and when I took my CCW class, I used the glock 30 and its Galco holster. The instructor told me I'd need a better gun belt. So I bought his and it is 1-1/2 wide but almost 1/4 inch thick. It is an IHL brand (made in Phoenix, AZ) All of the sudden I realized that this really "anchored" the weapon and holster. So I then put my Kimber Polymer Target 1911 that holds 14 + 1 rounds of 45 and the comp-tac IWB holster/IHL belt anchor it. It has been my carry piece for 6 years now. I shoot it well and I dry fire it and "draw it" at home with a snap cap in it. BTW...this Polymer 45 weighs 2 pounds 13 oz with 15 rounds in it. MY Colt gov't model weighs 2 pounds 15 oz with 8 rounds in it!!
    I would carry and shoot the biggest weapon that you can carry and shoot well. I know of one fellow in Phoenix that carries the 50 Desert Eagle. It works for him!!
    Good luck and hope this helps.
    Bob
    Last edited by Cava3r4; 07-07-2011 at 11:37 PM.

  10. #10
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    I can highly recommend the Taurus PT740 Slim .40 S&W as a superb CC handgun.

    Mine has never had any "issues", always goes "boom" when I pull the trigger, is remarkably accurate at self-defense ranges, and comes with a lifetime warranty on the pistol!

    It comes in a nice hard case with two magazines, two security keys, and a cleaning brush.





  11. #11
    Regular Member FireStar M40's Avatar
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    Another Newcomer To Our Ranks!

    SpiderJohn said in part..

    Quote Originally Posted by spiderjohn View Post
    Howdy! Been lurking for sometime now and I'm just really learning about hand guns. Took a basic class today and will be taking my CHP class next week. I want to try several out and make sure the grip and all fits before purchasing.

    Thanks!
    Congratulations. It sounds like you've got a good head on your shoulders. From the second (and especially the last) sentence quoted above.. you've started 80% farther ahead than other newcomers who go in and buy whatever the salesman tells them to.

    Sent you a PM with more information on the subject.

    FireStar M40
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  12. #12
    Regular Member ARADCOM's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    I can highly recommend the Taurus PT740 Slim .40 S&W as a superb CC handgun.

    Mine has never had any "issues", always goes "boom" when I pull the trigger, is remarkably accurate at self-defense ranges, and comes with a lifetime warranty on the pistol!

    It comes in a nice hard case with two magazines, two security keys, and a cleaning brush.


    I also carry a Taurus PT740 Slim .40, in a Crossbreed MiniTuck, and think it's a great setup. I put the Crimson Trace Laserguard on and really like it. Have about 350 rounds thru the Taurus with zero issues and in the Crossbreed it just disappears as a CC piece. But the 740 is definitely not a gun you want to shoot a 100 rounds thru at the range.

    I also carry a Firestar M40 in a Milt Sparks IWB holster and I really love that gun. But the Taurus is about half the weight and much easier to CC in the Crossbreed.

    I mostly carry the Firestar and a Ruger SR9 OC and the 740 when I want to (or need to) CC.
    Last edited by ARADCOM; 07-09-2011 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Type of carry explained

  13. #13
    Regular Member GuidoZ's Avatar
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    My recommendation is in my signature below. I've also shot the XDm 9mm and I've found, personally, I'm more accurate with the .40 SC than the full BBL 9mm. Of course, YMMV.

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