Try Before You Buy

Try Before You Buy

This is a discussion on Try Before You Buy within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Obviously there are many terrific options for concealed carry. Each person's tastes, body types, and needs are different so buying via trial and error can ...

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Thread: Try Before You Buy

  1. #1
    Member Array Sigsi Paige's Avatar
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    Try Before You Buy

    Obviously there are many terrific options for concealed carry.
    Each person's tastes, body types, and needs are different so buying via trial and error can become very expensive!


    What brick and mortar stores have the best selection to demo before you spend your hard earned money?

    Thanks!

    ~ Sigsi Paige


  2. #2
    Member Array zdinnd's Avatar
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    typically larger ranges will have a rental counter, however, expect that none of the weapons will pass 'inspection' they will be absolutely filthy and you will usually only be allowed to shoot the stores ammo. They will have the standard selection of firearms such as glocks (Glock sends them sample weapons for free as long as they agree the count the rounds down the tube for testing purposes) ruger LCR and P's, a couple new snubbies MAYBE one high end 1911 that sort of thing. But its still a good way to try it out if you dont have a buddy with the weapon your looking for
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    There is a large range 15-20 minutes from me that has a lot of guns you can rent. you can either rent eh gun and buy a bunch of ammo, or have 10 shots with any gun for $10
    Glock 19
    Kahr PM9
    LMT-M4
    Mossberg 590
    Shodan, Jujutsu

  4. #4
    Ex Member Array Toorop's Avatar
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    I think Megasports in Plainfield, Illinois has a rather large selection of rental guns. They also have a huge inventory as well.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Can be a problem. If you are lucky like ct or me, you have a shop nearby where you can rent and try them. Just having a full service large inventory shop should go a long way to you at least being able to handle and dry fire before purchase. Probably not a good idea to just read articles and then buy via internet without having some personal time with your choice.This argument also goes for holsters. Some mfgrs will allow returns and you probably should put that into the equation of quality vs cost before accumulating a bunch of holsters you do not use. I know first hand and have seen my share of threads where members talk about their dozen of more holsters.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    This is where a gun show can actually be beneficial. It gives you the opportunity to see and handle many different weapons to see how they feel in your hand and get a good comparison. You can check the net to see if you have any coming up in your local area anytime soon.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.

  7. #7
    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    The first gun store I visited had a gnarly old former GI behind the counter, and he told my wife and me to go get an education and come back when we knew what we wanted. He was off-putting, but it turned out he knew what he was talking about. He suggested a range that rented guns. We tried that, and they suggested we get some .22 Rugers to start. Sadly, I took their advice, and now I have a couple nice Ruger IIIs gathering dust in the safe.

    My wife then tried to fondle several pistols and quickly liked the Kimber Ultra Aegis in 9mm. I choose a Sig P226 based on feel and reputation. Later, my wife struggled to rack the slide on the slippery little Kimber, and I found the P226 too bulky for an EDC. I then bought a Kimber Ultra CDP II because my wife's Aegis was such a neat gun and easy to carry. Later, I started having FTF and FTE issues with my Kimber.

    During this learning phase, I had been reading and posting here quite a bit. For my birthday last spring I asked for (and received ) my Glock 19, and I haven't looked back. The Glock in a Crossbreed Supertuck is my EDC rig, and it's very convenient. I learned both about the gun and the holster from many reviews and comments here on this site. The Sig has become my HD weapon of choice, and the Kimbers still go to the range every few months. I had a good pistolsmith work on my Kimber and it seems to be running fine now, so it may re-enter the line-up.

    Bottom line: I wish I had gone about the process a bit slower. I thought the first decision was figuring out what gun to buy. It's not. First you have to have a serious discussion with yourself and perhaps your spouse about wheter or not you'd be willing to clear leather and take a life as a last resort. Once you get that straight in your head, then you have to decide how you will use your gun and for what puposes, and start reading the threads here.

    The next step is figuring out how and where you are going to carry. For this phase, you need a deep understanding of the cc laws in your state and any other state you plan to visit and wish to carry. You'll need to understand how you'll be dressed at these places (business casual, sloppy, professional, etc.) That will determine what kind of clothing modifications you may need. You'll also have to know where you may need to disarm, and how you are going to store your firearm(s) safely. There's lots of wisdom and opinions here. Sift the bee poop from the honey, and learn from the experiences of others.

    If I had done it that way, I wouldn't have a safe full of range pistols. I have learned I don't want to have pistols as a hobby, I want them for a tool. Many here are also gun hobbyists. I am just an average Joe who wants a reliable, effective, and concealable tool for SD and HD. Had I done that, I'd probably have only a couple Glocks and my wife's S&W 642 that she has decided she prefers to carry.

    As always, YMMV. My opinion is worth everything you paid for it.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array USPnTX's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!!
    "Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon

  9. #9
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    My local gun store is Valley Guns II in Inwood, WV. They are very professional, will answer all your questions. They will spend all the time needed to work with you as to fitting a gun to your hand. They have an indoor range for you to fire any handgun.
    Member:USCCA, NRA, GOA, WVCDL
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    There are many shooting ranges/gun shops that have lots of handguns and weapons for rent. Even in my tiny home country of Costa Rica we have a shooting range that has a Glock 17, Sig Sauer P250, Springfield 1911, Taurus PT945, Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum & .38+P, Beretta M9, M&P9, Remington 870 Magnum and M&P15. I imagine that in the U.S. the availability of shooting ranges with rental handguns is huge so just browse around online and in your hometown. For example, I found the following with a quick browse:

    • Impact Guns in Ogden, Utah
    • Ace's Indoor Shooting Range in Miami, Florida
    • Top Gun Range in Houston, Texas
    • Red's Indoor Range in Austin, Texas
    • Texas Thunder Range in San Antonio, Texas
    • DFW Gun Range in Dallas, Texas
    • H&H Gun Range in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    • Silver Bullet Shooting Range in Wheat Ridge, Colorado
    • OC Indoor Range in Orange County, California
    • Midwest Guns in Lyons, Illinois
    • Westside Pistol & Rifle Range in New York, NY
    • Firing Line Indoor Gun Range in Michigan


    The list goes on and on and on in every state!

    I think there is absolutely no excuse for any person in the USA NOT to own a firearm. Your right to bear arms is included and protected by the 2nd Amendment of your Constitution, there are tons of gun shops and shooting ranges readily available all over the country for you to buy and practice with your guns, concealed carry or gun ownership it is not frowned upon by fellow Americans, you can buy ammo at 3:00 AM in your PJ's at Wal Mart if you need to, there are states that allow open carry and/or concealed carry, firearm prices in the USA are EXTREMELY CHEAP in comparison to other countries like mine (In Costa Rica a Glock is $1,200!) and you can buy absolutely any accessory you can think of at stores like Gander Mountain, Cabela's, your Local Gun Shop or Online. Sometimes I catch myself dreaming of living in a gun friendly state like Texas just for the sake of gun ownership and I imagine myself having a HUGE safe full of shotguns, AR-15's, revolvers, AK-47's, semi-automatic handguns and all kinds of toys and being able to carry a different pistol or revolver every day of the month. God bless America!

    Don't be dumb...Exercise your rights and enjoy it cause not everyone has it so easy like you guys!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array gilraen's Avatar
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    MadMac has good advice. Listen to him.

    I purchased 3 of my 5 guns without firing them first. One I gave to my son because I learned it didn't fit my hand (Bersa UC 9mm), and one (Bersa .380) hurts so badly when I fire it that I can barely shoot one mag's worth. It sits in my closet for emergencies. The third (Beretta PX4 Storm .40) is still okay for me.

    The other two I test-fired at Top Gun Range here in Houston (mentioned above) and they are my carry weapons. (Sig P239 9mm, and my newest baby: Springfield XD-M 9mm with smallest grips).

    Even if you have to make a trip out of town, go to a range where you can rent guns. You will almost certainly not be happy if you buy THEN shoot.

    I wish we could test out holsters the same way. I have 4 and counting....
    "I pledge allegiance to the war banner of the united states of Totalitaria. And to the Republic, which no longer stands, several bankers, who are now god, indivisible, with Bernanke bucks and credit for all."

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilraen View Post
    MadMac has good advice. Listen to him.

    I purchased 3 of my 5 guns without firing them first. One I gave to my son because I learned it didn't fit my hand (Bersa UC 9mm), and one (Bersa .380) hurts so badly when I fire it that I can barely shoot one mag's worth. It sits in my closet for emergencies. The third (Beretta PX4 Storm .40) is still okay for me.

    The other two I test-fired at Top Gun Range here in Houston (mentioned above) and they are my carry weapons. (Sig P239 9mm, and my newest baby: Springfield XD-M 9mm with smallest grips).

    Even if you have to make a trip out of town, go to a range where you can rent guns. You will almost certainly not be happy if you buy THEN shoot.

    I wish we could test out holsters the same way. I have 4 and counting....
    In Costa Rica we have no choice since there are very limited models of guns available for rent. Therefore, I took advantage of a recent trip to Miami to test out J frames, Glocks, Sigs, HKs, Walthers and Taurus and then went back home to make my purchases. The best advice is to first try it out and then buy it. Unfortunately, with holsters it is impossible and I have a drawer full of them but I have been slowly selling them online.

    By the way, I'm currently living in Germany and it is EXTREMELY hard to purchase a firearm and concealed carry is reserved for politicians, rich people and celebrities, there are very few shooting ranges and gun shops. Surprisingly, there are 10 Million privately owned and registered firearms in Germany. In order to get a hunting license you have a to take an intensive course which is comparable to a minor college degree in the US. I'm headed to Switzerland soon for a defensive firearms course at Edelweiss Tactical Training so all is good! Nonetheless, I miss all my firearms that are stored in a safe in Costa Rica and of course being able to conceal carry. Here my EDC consists of a pocket knife, pepper spray, S&W tactical pen and a Surefire flashlight with a strike bezel so I don't feel as vulnerable, but I do miss packing heat.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    This is where a gun show can actually be beneficial. It gives you the opportunity to see and handle many different weapons to see how they feel in your hand and get a good comparison. You can check the net to see if you have any coming up in your local area anytime soon.
    FFL dealers might give you that opportunity too. The shop that I use to visit always allows me to try several different guns even if I am not going to buy anything right then.
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

  14. #14
    Member Array 3rik's Avatar
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    Hey there fellow Washingtonian :)

    I STRONGLY recommend West Coast Armory:
    http://www.westcoastarmory.net/

    If you're anywhere near Seattle, that is..

    Their range location in Bellevue is top-notch:
    http://www.wctle.com/

    Staff are pleasant and easy, knowledgeable and very helpful. They have a large variety of rentals in any caliber and add even more regularly. It's a fairly new place and they're trying to get every gun for purchase available at the rental counter as well.

    Also available there are some excellent classes lead by a reputable organization:
    http://www.insightstraining.com/sect...categoryID_E_4

    Take care!

  15. #15
    Member Array MissouriBoun's Avatar
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    MadMac, great advice, great post. It's easy to spend a lot of money finding what you really want to carry. But then again, what's wrong with having more guns? And about those Rugers.....bring them to the range and recall why you liked them in the first place. Plinking is always fun and cheap.

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