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Thread: Buying my first handgun soon!!!

  1. #1
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    Buying my first handgun soon!!!

    Hello everyone, first time posting and soon to be a first time open carrier.

    I'm not able to check any shops out currently, as I am deployed(Navy), but will be home soon enough and will begin my search for my first handgun. I have done a good bit of research with what i can(magazines and internet), but was hoping for some more advice(to go along with everything else i've read on the forum). I'm not too worried about price, as you cannot put a price on your families safety. I definately want something reliable and well made. I've been looking around at mostly H&K P30, HK45, many sigs(i guess i have something for german made) and many 1911s. I feel i'll be fairly competant at findng my way around when cleaning and maintaining a handgun, but i am still unsure as i've heard of the difficulty with the many parts involved in H&ks specifically. I'm open to whatever will work best for me, and i also know i'll have a better idea of what I want I want once i get home to handle and fire some handguns. Oh and i'm not too worried about caliber at this moment, but i'll most likely look for a more popular and easily available round. Anyway, I'm very new to handguns and have only fired a couple and probably fired less than 40 rounds in my existance, so any advice will be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Wow!!!

    coming here and asking , what kind of gun should i get is kind of like asking,,,,
    what color shoes would go with my new pants?
    See how silly this is?

    plenty of useless threads already out there discussing the relative merits of guns, and calibers.

    what did you qualify with in boot camp? me, 1911... US Navy 1971-1975.

    and another thing, fix your profile, what state will you come back too?
    and maybe the city too, so that local gun guys can try to get with you to visit and exchange advice and ideas, make friends.

    and,,, Thank you for your service!

    H&K is great, Sigs, Glock, RIA 1911. Their are really soooo many choices.

    I have an FNP45, a star modelo super, CZ-82, and P-64, among Many others!

    Since price is really of no concern, just go out and buy the Biggest, Baddest, Most expensive H&K you can find!
    Its all good.

    Your question is not really a question.
    Unless you just dont care,,,, Or just dont know nuthing.....
    Last edited by 1245A Defender; 11-02-2011 at 08:51 AM.
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

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    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  3. #3
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    1245A Defender is right. Pretty much the sky's the limit with this. I would suggest a few things for you to consider.

    o Keep an open mind and don't rush into this.
    o Spend a lot of time reviewing manufacturer's sites, websites, opinion pages, and the like. Learn, learn, learn.
    o Visit a major gun show, preferably several, to see and handle a wide variety of offerings.
    o As you learn and handle the different choices out there, try to narrow your field.
    o Establish your criteria for the gun. Target shooting, self defense, carrying, etc. are all major considerations.
    o Visit a shooting range where you can rent different guns to see how they work for YOU.
    o Again, and I can't stress this enough, learn, learn, learn.
    o Take courses in firearms and the laws within your state as to their use in deadly situations.


    I could go on with that list, but you get the picture. First off, you need to gather together possible candidates for your consideration and don't cut yourself short with this. Since you have mentioned that the gun will be used for self defense, here are the prime considerations you MUST keep in mind in order of importance;

    1. Reliability. The gun MUST go bang when it is suppose to. If it is not as close to 100% reliable, the next two factors don't matter.

    2. Practical Accuracy. This is the combination of the inherent accuracy of the gun and the person using it. If you cannot consistently deliver rounds to target, the next factor doesn't matter.

    3. Power. You should select the most powerful gun/caliber/load that fits your specific needs and criteria, is practical and sensible, and with which you can effectively and consistently deliver rounds to target. Generally this means using the common self defense calibers (not hunting calibers/loads) which have a proven track record and can be easily adapted and used by you on a daily basis.


    There are superb offerings out there so I will not belabor you with the different products. You should already know and recognize a fair amount of their names. Glock, Smith and Wesson M&P, Springfield Armory XD and XDM, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Taurus, CZ, H&K... the list goes on and on. Narrow it down to those guns which you feel best fit your wants, needs, and budget and which you are likely to carry and will fit your comfort.

    And one more thing. Learn to recognize and separate the BS from the real and valid information you are certain to receive from people when you pose questions to them. Just because someone works in a gun shop or is a police officer does not mean they are a valid source of good information for you. This ain't easy but you should quickly pick up on it. And use the many websites to your advantage. They are a wealth of information and most of the people on them will go out of their way to give you a hand.

    Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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  4. #4
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    Thank you

    I appreciate the input 1245A Defender and Southernboy. I suppose my post is pointless in a way, but i made sure specifically not to ask "what gun should i get?" as i know that everyone has a different opinion, and usually very strong ones at that. For the most part I'm eyeing the H&Ks and The sig p220 and p226 quite a bit. I do love everything about the 1911, but I have heard so many opinions(good and bad) about so many different companies' 1911s that I'm not even sure i want to set my eye on any of them until i learn more.

    Anyhow, Defender, to answer your question, we qualify on the Beretta M9...I usually hear that most people don't like them...I'm not really a fan, but to each his own.

    Now, i WILL NOT bring up the caliber debate, but i mention it only to state that my caliber choice is still an ongoing internal struggle.

    Thank you very much for all the advice, if anyone feels they need to post more, i will not complain, i'll take all the input i can right now.

    Oh and I will be changing my location here shortly. I will be returning to Virginia.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. And welcome.

    I have long been a proponent of revolvers for beginners, since things like jams and having to work switches and levers are not major issues. Draw, present, fire. Simple.

    But be your choice revolver or semiautomatic, I have always held to one belief: Find the maximum caliber and power you can handle, and carry one step below that. If you can handle a .357 in a 3 inch barrel, then either carry a .38 +P in 3 inch or carry the .357 Mag in a 4 inch or better. And so on. Remember that when you are at the range, nobody is apt to shoot back at you. On the street and in an emergency that "one step down" from the max you are good with in a controlled situation might just give you the ADVANTAGE in the chaos of a street melee.

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO!!!!! Stick around and you will learn a lot!!! Do your research, try out a lot of different guns. When you are finally sure what gun you want don't let anyone change your mind. The best gun for someone else might not be the best gun for you. Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Since you are from VA you should check out the Virginia Citizens Defense League. It is a great group dedicated to gun rights in VA. If you go to their website you can sign up for VA-ALERT (on the right side of the page) which is a free email system that will keep you informed about everything gun-related going on in the state. The website is http://www.vcdl.org.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 11-02-2011 at 05:04 PM.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  7. #7
    Regular Member Steeler-gal's Avatar
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    Im not an expert when it comes to purchases but here's what I recommend to friends.

    Visit the store once or twice before buying to get a sense of their customer service and attitude.

    Do not let them talk you into something you do not want. They will show you multiple guns but stick to your guns if you know what you want.

    Don’t shop any place that treats you like a “girl” – like if they call you honey, sweetie, and the like. Only shop at places that respect you as a buyer and not because you’re a “girl”.

    Make sure the gun really fits you in your hand. This goes back to making sure they don’t talk you into a gun that you didn’t intend to buy.

    They should demo the features of the gun to you just as if you’re any other buyer.

    If you have questions about the gun or its accessories, they should be able to answer all the questions and do it without making you feel stupid.

    Always ask – “is this the best price you can give me.” I have a friend who uses that phrases at almost every place she shops (for anything). I’m amazed at the discounts she gets. You may/may not get an additional discount but it never hurts to inquire.

    Good luck!
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  8. #8
    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    I don't see much point in a 1911 for a family safety gun unless you really like the fit or something or if it's a double-stack version. If you're going to use a full-size gun, why not use something that holds more and has better reliability. If someone wants to add "arguably" in front of "has better reliability," go ahead; either way, the capacity part still stands.

    If you want something cheap-but-good to sort of tide you over while you're deciding, consider picking up a Hi-Point C9 for around $140. Maybe shoot it for a bit to then decide what you would like different on your next gun, and if you want to sell it, take a small loss on it that was probably worth it for the experience. It's single-stack too, but the price is right. Even if it's not someone's favorite gun, it's kind of hard to go wrong having another gun around with a lifetime warranty for $140, y'know? Or pick up a cheap .22 and shoot that for a while for cheap practice while you're deciding.

    Grip feel is so important, and you may not know what you want until you do. For instance, when I was first eyeballing a Taurus 24/7, I then got to shoot one, and learned my hand/grip doesn't work well with their "notch" design on the underside of the trigger guard. Other Tauruses have similar guards. So to shoot those with comfort and ease, I have to consciously change my grip on them. And now I know to beware of other guns with similar grip designs. It's a personal problem, but it is what it is. It's just one of those things you become aware of by shooting more and shooting different guns.

    Also, XDs feel like cordless drills to me, so I personally find those annoying. Once again, hold as many guns as you can, even if you can't shoot them.

    As for caliber, if I'm using hollow points, I don't feel undergunned with a 9mm, and 9mm holds the most, so there we are. Doesn't hurt that it's cheapest and popular, either.

  9. #9
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Advising against a 1911 and then recommending a Hi-point. That is funny....

    I do see your point, but 1911s have proven their worth for 100 years now.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  10. #10
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Openlyaware View Post
    but i am still unsure as i've heard of the difficulty with the many parts involved in H&ks specifically.
    When you hear that about HKs people are talking about detail stripping the gun, not stripping it for cleaning after a trip to the range. I've never detail stripped my HK and I've never felt the need to. It's been through thousands of rounds without any problems. A small part of the allure of a 1911 for me is the fact that I can relatively easily strip it almost completely to component parts... but I'm an Engineer and have a proclivity for such things.

    HKs are very easy to field strip and clean. 1911s aren't exactly difficult to field strip, but they are more of a pain to clean mostly because of the crevices that take a lot of q-tip work. (at least for me) Really I think that's only something you'll worry about when you have multiple guns... and you will eventually.

    There should be an OC dinner coming up soon in our area. Check out the Virginia forum for a sticky about one every once in a while. You are roughly in my area; you are welcome to try any of my guns. I have a few 1911s, and an HK. I have access to a Glock 17. If you come to a dinner I should be able to get you in touch with someone who has something I don't.


    I agree with the part about wanting high capacity for a home defense gun, however I don't take my own advice. Most nights its a 1911 next to the bed but I don't really have a super hi-cap gun - yet.


    The single most value piece of advice I can give for a gun that is to be carried frequently is pay attention to its loaded weight. Nightstand guns are different.
    I've carried a gun almost every day and to almost every place I've been. 2.5 pounds on your belt for 8 or 10 hours a day gets old.
    Last edited by t33j; 11-04-2011 at 01:34 PM.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and thank you for your dedicated service to our nation in the U.S. Navy.

    The Taurus PT1911 is one very fine handgun which comes with a lifetime warranty on the pistol, itself. I have one in the alloy frame, and can highly recommend it to you.


    Last edited by MilProGuy; 11-08-2011 at 10:44 AM. Reason: edited to change font color to conform to forum standards
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    Welcome to the forum and thank you for your dedicated service to our nation in the U.S. Navy.

    The Taurus PT1911 is one very fine handgun which comes with a lifetime warranty on the pistol, itself. I have one in the alloy frame, and can highly recommend it to you.
    Taurus pt1911 is a fine 1911 for the money. It is the least expensive 1911 that is built on a forged frame & comes with all the things that standard 1911 offerings need to have added later. My wife's pt1911 has been 100% reliable so far. One just needs to be sure they get a reliable one. Sometimes Taurus allows a few lemons out that other companies might catch. But it's worth the risk to be able to get this gun at this low of a price.
    Last edited by ET.; 11-04-2011 at 09:48 PM.
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  13. #13
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ET. View Post
    Taurus pt1911 is a fine 1911 for the money. It is the least expensive 1911 that is built on a forged frame & comes with all the things that standard 1911 offerings need to have added later. My wife's pt1911 has been 100% reliable so far. One just needs to be sure they get a reliable one. Sometimes Taurus allows a few lemons out that other companies might catch. But it's worth the risk to be able to get this gun at this low of a price.
    +1. I also have a PT1911. It was was first 1911 and it still runs flawlessly. Never had a problem with it. And if you get a lemon they'll replace it for free.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  14. #14
    Regular Member carry for myself's Avatar
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    here is the gun sexy list for you :-D

    Glock-ANY

    Beretta- 92FS, 96, Cougar 8000

    Sig- P229,226,228

    H&K- any USP model

    ANY 1911 - minus the Chinese made dirt cheapo models , Kimber makes great 1911's so does Colt, Para-ordinance, Taurus and Rock island

    Springfield- any 1911, or XDM

    Cz-any

    would stay away from cheap Kahrs *the pricey models are good*, Bersa, helwan and iver johnson, hi-point, jennings, raven or pheonex :-D other than that you should be good!
    Last edited by carry for myself; 11-05-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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    My first handgun was a Walther PPS 9mm. I was so happy with it that I eventually bought the same exact model in .40S&W. I have yet to see a better quality single stack pistol than what Walther has done with the PPS. Whatever you choose, aim high when it comes to quality. You won't regret spending double or even triple on a quality pistol, trust me.

  16. #16
    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carry for myself View Post
    Kimber makes great 1911's
    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/201...et-traded.html
    ALE director John Ledford said the Kimber pistols repeatedly suffered such problems as rounds jamming during training exercises, broken sights and the weapon's safety button sometimes falling off.
    What do you expect for only $1,055, I guess.

    New Kimber isn't like old Kimber.

  17. #17
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    I've heard before a few times that Kimbers aren't all they are hyped up to be, how much truth is in that?

  18. #18
    Regular Member carry for myself's Avatar
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    well Kimbers definitely have a ROUGH break in period.

    it is hard to make a bad 1911........it really is. however the tighter the tolerances you put on it, the more issues your going to have.

    now you can make a loosey goosey 1911 like the original A1's which is unstoppable, ultra reliable but also equally NON accurate.
    you can make a semi-1911 like the Taurus PT1911 which is built to more strict guidelines, runs great and shoots great.

    OR you can build a Kimber, or Dan Wesson, or para ordinance.

    issue with the above 3 is competitors wanted a extremely tight weapon, they want it tight down to the mili-fraction. for accuracy. the tighter the design, the more of a nail driver it is. downside the tighter the design the more things there are to go wrong. when you cram all that greatness into milling down to human hairs.......its gonna mess up.

    i own a Kimber PRO covert II........never had an issue. but then i broke it in lightly. i didnt beat on it like a drum like i would a normal 1911.

    i think the people who review these pull one brand new out of the box and "torture test" the hell out of them from round 1........that WILL destroy a kimber. but if you gently put 500-1,000 round through her.......she will loosen up and run like a deer :-p
    Last edited by carry for myself; 11-10-2011 at 09:50 AM.
    i would rather run out of blood, breath and life. and die fighting. than run out of ammo , and die with my pants down -Tom Scantas

  19. #19
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Kimber is nowhere near being in the same league as Dan Wesson.

    I have owned 3 Kimbers. I sold the 2 that I bought new because of multiple stupid problems with both of the guns. I will probably never buy a non 5" Kimber again, and might not even buy a new 5" Kimber.
    I own 2 Dan Wessons, both of which are leaps and bounds tighter and more reliable. They also have nicer triggers, smoother actions, more and better executed non-essential features like undercut trigger guards, and are generally better made firearms.
    Last edited by t33j; 11-10-2011 at 10:26 AM.
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  20. #20
    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carry for myself View Post
    well Kimbers definitely have a ROUGH break in period.

    it is hard to make a bad 1911........it really is. however the tighter the tolerances you put on it, the more issues your going to have.

    now you can make a loosey goosey 1911 like the original A1's which is unstoppable, ultra reliable but also equally NON accurate.
    you can make a semi-1911 like the Taurus PT1911 which is built to more strict guidelines, runs great and shoots great.

    OR you can build a Kimber, or Dan Wesson, or para ordinance.

    issue with the above 3 is competitors wanted a extremely tight weapon, they want it tight down to the mili-fraction. for accuracy. the tighter the design, the more of a nail driver it is. downside the tighter the design the more things there are to go wrong. when you cram all that greatness into milling down to human hairs.......its gonna mess up.
    The Walther PPK and PPK/s had the same problems (over-precise fitting) when S&W took over the license from the defunct Interarms. Over on Gundirectory.com there's a thread on the PPK where a bunch of us PPK owners discuss using such things as valve lapping compound, jeweler's rouge and a dremel tool to loosen tolerances and polish the feed ramp. Funny thing, S&W had to recall a bunch of their new design due to an unfortunate flaw in the decocker/safety which could cause the weapon to fire when the safety/decocker was engaged. When they came back with the old design decocker, the safety ramp had been polished and it was the difference between night and day. You don't need super-tight tolerances with a fixed barrel, I guess they found out.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Brimstone's Avatar
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    If you want superior reliability in a semi-automatic handgun your best bets are wither Glock or a Smith and Wesson M&P. They have different grip angles so I would suggest trying them out and seeing which one you feel more comfortable with. Pick the caliber that you shoot the most accurately. Shot placement will generally serve you better than a slightly larger caliber bullet.
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  22. #22
    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    So little love for Walther. Makes me sad.

    Just as reliable as a Glock, has a decocker, ambi mag release, loaded chamber indicator, and had the best ergonomics of any gun I'd ever held until I held the HK45 (But I could almost buy two P99s for the price of an HK45). To me, the ergonomics alone are worth the price premium over a Glock.
    "Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice." -Zeus

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    EDC = Walther PPQ 9mm

  23. #23
    Regular Member mel5051's Avatar
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    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by SovereignAxe View Post
    So little love for Walther. Makes me sad.

    Just as reliable as a Glock, has a decocker, ambi mag release, loaded chamber indicator, and had the best ergonomics of any gun I'd ever held until I held the HK45 (But I could almost buy two P99s for the price of an HK45). To me, the ergonomics alone are worth the price premium over a Glock.
    I wouldn't give up my Walther P99 AS 9mm except to possible get a P99 AS .40 cal

    mel

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    The best advice I've every read or heard goes something like this: Find a moderate or greater caliber firearm that fits you like a glove. It should feel like a natural extension of yourself, with simple, intuitive controls, decent magazine or cylinder capacity, and the ability to draw and fire with minimal fuss, while retaining at least one safety feature which will prevent inadvertent firing should it be dropped.

    All the other claims about muzzle velocity vs caliber vs momentum vs kinetic energy are largely superfluous if you don't thoroughly enjoy your firearm, because if that's the case, you won't carry it, and if you don't carry it, it's useless for most situations.
    Last edited by since9; 11-23-2011 at 04:52 AM.
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  25. #25
    Regular Member Malcolm's Avatar
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    Well......

    I would just point out that this is the centennial of the 1911. Something to think about. I would feel pretty good if I bought my first handgun that was a 1911 on the 100yr anniversary of it. HK, Sig, Cz, FN, GLock, THey'll always be there. Now is the history to jump on a 1911, Besides Sig is making a pretty awesome 1911 now. So you would have a Sig, 45acp, 1911, centennial firearm and expensive handgun all in one. something to tell the kids about. an heirloom that has a story.


    Good luck
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