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Thread: Buying a handgun, need some advice

  1. #1
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    Buying a handgun, need some advice

    Ok, I'm probably going to buy a handgun within the next month or so. Right now, I've personally narrowed it down to two choices; but, before I name them, I am open to other suggestions that meet the following criteria:
    1. I want a semi-automatic; no revolvers.
    2. It should have NO external hammer.
    3. It should have NO grip safety (the lever on the back of the grips of newer model 1911s that has to be squeezed).
    4. It should have NO magazine-release safety (I want it to fire if a round is in the chamber, with or without a magazine inserted).
    5. The gun will be primarily a defensive weapon, with target shooting being a secondary function. Therefore, I am limiting caliber choices to standard 9mm or .40 cal.
    6. Not that I would carry it this way, but it should be small enough to comfortably fit in a standard-size front pocket on blue jeans.

    That being said, my personal choices are the Glock 26 or the Glock 27. I have some further questions about these:
    1. How much is the recoil of the 9mm model 26 compared to the .40 cal model 27? As further information, I have fired exactly 9 rounds from a model 27 and thought it was a little "snappy." Then again, those 9 shots are the only times I have fired anything larger than a .22 cal, meaning the "snappiness" could just be lack of experience with larger caliber guns.
    2. How do the prices of target (i.e., NON-hollow point) ammuntion compare? I had heard somewhere that 9mm ammo is significantly cheaper than .40 ammo. Don't worry about the prices of hollow piont (defense) ammo, since I will probably (and hopefully) purchase just one box.
    3. How reliable are these guns?
    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    They're reliable, the lighter the gun the more the recoil, 9mm is cheaper, and why don't you want a grip safety? Will you be firing the gun with your toes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    They're reliable, the lighter the gun the more the recoil, 9mm is cheaper, and why don't you want a grip safety? Will you be firing the gun with your toes?
    The more the parts, the more things that can go wrong when seconds count (actually, fractions of seconds in self-defense situations). Basically, I don't want the gun to not fire just because (1) I in haste gripped it too low (most grip safeties are near the top of the grip), (2) I didn't grip it hard enough, or (3) the assailant was trying to grab my gun and move it in such a way that my finger was still on the trigger but my hand could not activate the grip safety (I know, weird worse-case scenario).

    That's my reasons in a nutshell.
    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nascar24Glock View Post
    Ok, I'm probably going to buy a handgun within the next month or so. Right now, I've personally narrowed it down to two choices; but, before I name them, I am open to other suggestions that meet the following criteria:
    1. I want a semi-automatic; no revolvers.
    2. It should have NO external hammer.
    3. It should have NO grip safety (the lever on the back of the grips of newer model 1911s that has to be squeezed).
    4. It should have NO magazine-release safety (I want it to fire if a round is in the chamber, with or without a magazine inserted).
    5. The gun will be primarily a defensive weapon, with target shooting being a secondary function. Therefore, I am limiting caliber choices to standard 9mm or .40 cal.
    6. Not that I would carry it this way, but it should be small enough to comfortably fit in a standard-size front pocket on blue jeans.

    That being said, my personal choices are the Glock 26 or the Glock 27. I have some further questions about these:
    1. How much is the recoil of the 9mm model 26 compared to the .40 cal model 27? As further information, I have fired exactly 9 rounds from a model 27 and thought it was a little "snappy." Then again, those 9 shots are the only times I have fired anything larger than a .22 cal, meaning the "snappiness" could just be lack of experience with larger caliber guns.
    2. How do the prices of target (i.e., NON-hollow point) ammuntion compare? I had heard somewhere that 9mm ammo is significantly cheaper than .40 ammo. Don't worry about the prices of hollow piont (defense) ammo, since I will probably (and hopefully) purchase just one box.
    3. How reliable are these guns?
    If you like glocks try the M&P, they are a whole bunch alike but the M&P just seems to fit most hands betters. And it looks a whole lot better, in my opinion, but this should be a secondary factor.

    2. might not be too good of an idea. With glocks or XDs the M&Ps they feed hollow points pretty well. BUT you MUST know your gun is going to feed whatever you are going to be shooting. Buy a variety of defensive ammo, see which one you like best and feeds well. Then buy some more of that ammo and target practice with it.

    It won't do you a bit of good if you can hit a golfball at 100yds with you pistol and cheap rounds if you can't hit the broad side of a barn with your defensive rounds, or if your defensive ammo only loads a 3rd of the time.

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nascar24Glock View Post
    The more the parts, the more things that can go wrong when seconds count (actually, fractions of seconds in self-defense situations). Basically, I don't want the gun to not fire just because (1) I in haste gripped it too low (most grip safeties are near the top of the grip), (2) I didn't grip it hard enough, or (3) the assailant was trying to grab my gun and move it in such a way that my finger was still on the trigger but my hand could not activate the grip safety (I know, weird worse-case scenario).

    That's my reasons in a nutshell.
    Just to temper your fears a bit. Grip safety's are pretty reliable (been on 1911's for about 100 years now) and offer a little extra safety cushion for you as they keep a gun from firing out of ones grip. That little extra cushion far outweighs any negatives IMHO. The pressure it takes to activate them is seriously tiny. Anywhere near a decent grip location where you can still get at the trigger and you can compress them. It sounds like you may have not tried any guns with a grip safety.

    The reason I bring this up is that your preference takes away the Springfield XD which compares very well against the Glocks.
    Last edited by Brass Magnet; 11-10-2011 at 03:03 PM.
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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nascar24Glock View Post

    ...I am open to other suggestions that meet the following criteria:
    1. I want a semi-automatic
    2. It should have NO external hammer.
    3. It should have NO grip safety
    4. It should have NO magazine-release safety
    5. The gun will be primarily a defensive weapon, with target shooting being a secondary function. Therefore, I am limiting caliber choices to standard 9mm or .40 cal.
    6. Not that I would carry it this way, but it should be small enough to comfortably fit in a standard-size front pocket on blue jeans.
    Sound like you described the Taurus PT740 Slim .40 S&W to a "T".

    Note: Taurus handguns have a lifetime warranty on each handgun they sell. The warranty is for the life of the gun, not just for the first owner.







    Last edited by MilProGuy; 11-10-2011 at 05:55 PM. Reason: edited for clarity
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  7. #7
    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    You also just described the Walther P99 exactly. The biggest difference between a Glock and the P99, besides ergonomics, is the trigger. The P99AS is a traditional SA/DA with a long reset for the first SA round if you've cocked the striker. However, for those that really like the Glock trigger, they also have the P99QA which is...basically just like a Glock trigger.

    Also, like brass magnet said, I wouldn't discount a grip safety. It's as innocuous as a trigger or firing pin safety, all of which modern guns have, and get deactivate as soon as you pull the trigger. And yeah, the Springfield XD is an excellent weapon that shouldn't be discounted.
    "Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice." -Zeus

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    I would also take a serious look at the Kahr line. If you go with a CW or CM series as opposed to the PM series, you can save a couple of hundred bucks. The main difference there is that the C series only comes with 1 magazine and has less machining on the slide. They even come with a polished feed ramp and will run 50-100 dollars less than Glock. They are, however, single stack, so less round count. I am a huge fan of Glock and my Kahr CM9 has proven just as reliable (0 malfunctions of any sort at the 1200 round mark). When pocket carry is my only option, this is what I go with. Otherwise, one of my Glocks or 1911's is on my waist with the Kahr on my ankle or weak-side pocket. If I remember correctly from another thread, you are currently using a Charter Arms 38. The Kahr will give you 2 additional rounds (including one chambered) and faster reloads (which is why I am assuming you want an auto-loader). I too would agree with the other posters on the subject of the grip safety, but this is YOUR gun that YOU carry for YOUR safety and peace of mind. There is certainly nothing wrong with the criteria you have outlined if these are things that are important to you and I hope you are able to find the gun that fits you best. The only other thing I might suggest is to go to a range that rents guns and try a few different ones out. Buy a big box of 9mm or .40 and see which ones you like. Most ranges have a flat fee for gun rental and will let you switch a few out during your session. Best of luck and choose the one you are most comfortable carrying, as something someone talks you into buying may lead to carrying less frequently. Happy choosing.

    Carry Safely, Carry Proudly, and Carry ALWAYS

  9. #9
    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    With the exception of your 'NO grip safety' requirement, the XD/XDM Compact range fits all the OP's points. Mine will fit in my pocket easily and I'd much rather have a firearm with a grip safety in my pocket than one without (not that I carry that way, but I know I could if I had to).
    Ultimately, though, it's the OP's decision as to what he gets

  10. #10
    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    Glock 26 is the way to go if you are a new shooter.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

  11. #11
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    I would check out the Kahr CM9. Since buying mine. The Glock, S&W, and XDM have all been sitting in the safe.

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran Glock9mmOldStyle's Avatar
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    Question

    Just a quick point: you should train on a regular basis with the defense ammo you will count on to save your life. I say this because I know my G26 handles very differently with the nasty +P+ defense rounds that scream down range @ 1400fps than it does with standard 115gr. ball target ammo used at the range moving @1050fps.

    just saying....
    “A government that does not trust it’s law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust.” James Madison.

    “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.” “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.” George Washington

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