First post Need opinions Re: first handgun

First post Need opinions Re: first handgun

This is a discussion on First post Need opinions Re: first handgun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; First off, I just wanted to say Hi and this forum is a great resource. Been lurking for a while now and finally just joined ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Corlissimo's Avatar
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    Question First post Need opinions Re: first handgun

    First off, I just wanted to say Hi and this forum is a great resource. Been lurking for a while now and finally just joined up.

    As someone who is just looking to get into handgun ownership and carry, Im putting together a list of the things I am fairly sure I want in a first handgun. While my budget is very limited (as in Im only going to have one pistol for a while) and I am working towards a CCW, I would like to stay with quality brands and have no problem justifying a slightly higher initial cost in order to have the quality.

    Im leaning heavily towards 9mm to start with, mainly for capacity, ease of shooting, lower practice ammo costs. However, Im not averse to the larger calibers (.40S&W, .45ACP) if I can use barrel conversions to practice with. Of course, I will only select a larger caliber if I know I can shoot it well.

    Im not a small guy 6 @ 250 lbs. My hands are not small either, with long fingers that have no problem wrapping around full-sized frames and using the controls with relative ease. The only issues I have are being a lefty in a righty world (no biggie) and lack of time & familiarity manipulating said controls.

    To this point in time, I have handled some, but shot none yet.

    Have fondled a G21SF and feel like I could conceal it well.
    I like the feel of the Sig P226 but think its too big for EDC and had no ambi controls.
    The HK P2000 was very nice. Pointed very naturally for me.
    The FNP-9 also felt very good and pointed well.
    It seems that compact versions of these would suit me well, but I have no confirmation yet.

    Im going to get a chance to shoot an HK .45 Tactical this Monday so Ill know more about HK in general. Will also get a chance to shoot the G21 & G34 the same day so that should help.

    In my research, I have been looking at: Glock, HK, XD & XDm, Sig, M&P, and FNP.
    Im really looking to get my hands around the XD/XDms, a compact M&P, and a wider variety of HKs & Sigs, although the Sigs Ive seen dont seem to have ambi controls, so I may rule them out altogether.

    I am looking to the members here for any recommendations, experiences, and advice about brands and models that fit my criteria*:

    1. Ambidextrous mag release, decocker/manual safety (if equipped), slide release (optional)
    2. Caliber conversion capable (optional but will help practice greatly)
    3. Concealable (IWB preferred)
    4. DA/SA, SA, DAK (or similar)
    5. Accessory availability (holsters, sights, mags etc)

    *Not in order of importance

    Id really like to learn more about the Springfield XD & XDm in compact sizes as well as the M&P9 and 9c.

    Any advice, suggestions, and experiences that you can share with me are greatly appreciated. This is especially true for those of you that may EDC any of these.

    Thanks for your help.
    Life is NOT like a box or chocolates. It's like a jar of jalapenos... what you do today can burn your butt tomorrow.

    Why be armed? Because it's not the odds... it's the stakes


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    The glocks are perfect for your criteria. You can get a g22 in 40, and buy a conversion barrel for 9mm or 357 sig And have 3 in 1. Or if you like the size of the 21sf, you can buy the 20sf in 10mm, get conversion barrels for 40,357sig, 9by25 Dillion or 400 Corbin. Any of these are exellent choices and give you alot of versatiity. The main thing is get proper training and have fun.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    I would seriously look into an M&P 9mm. Compact in .40 is my carry piece. It has the ambi slide release and interchangable backstraps(feels much better in the hand than a glock or XD in my opinion).

    It can be had with a manual safety or without, with a lock or without, with a magazine safety or without...your choice.

    Not sure of any guns that have an ambi mag release, many guns allow you to reverse the release to the other side if you'd like. I don't think this should rank much on anyone's criteria when there are so many other important things to cover first.
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    Oh, and I would stick with a 9mm for your first gun. If funds are tight then $ would be better spend on ammo or a reloading setup so you can shoot more, instead of a $100 conversion barrel so you can shoot a different caliber.

    9mm is a great platform for SD and to truely learn to shoot with with since it has less recoil than the .40 or .45. Master the 9mm and then start worrying about the rest if you choose to down the road.
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngda9 View Post
    Oh, and I would stick with a 9mm for your first gun. If funds are tight then $ would be better spend on ammo or a reloading setup so you can shoot more, instead of a $100 conversion barrel so you can shoot a different caliber.

    9mm is a great platform for SD and to truely learn to shoot with with since it has less recoil than the .40 or .45. Master the 9mm and then start worrying about the rest if you choose to down the road.
    40 cal glock with a 9mm conversion barrel for learning. Then you are covering all the bases, and you won't feel like you need to buy something more powerful later on .

  6. #6
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    Welcome...

    from Central Florida!

    A Glock-19 will fit your hand and serve you well for life, or until you buy another Glock...one is never enough.

    ret
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    You are looking at some very good choices of handguns.

    I also suggest going with a .40sw and get a 9mm barrel. It will slip right in and give you the flexibility of another caliber.

    Glock, XD/XDm, M&P, Sig and H&K are all good choices.

    Get what fits and feels most comfortable. Consider how you will be carrying and how you will be dressed. Shoot as many of those as you can and choose what you shoot the best/most accurately versus comfort and concealability.

    I am an XD guy. I carry, and have for several years, an XD45acp. I am also a .45acp guy but nothing wrong with .40sw or 9mm.

    I am not a Glock fan but that is not because they aren't awesome guns. They are great weapons, they just didn't fit me well.

    The only FN that I had a chance to use was too fat. It was bigger than my XD45 and felt ungainly.

    Sigs and H&K are fine guns but were out of my price range if bought new. I do not, however, care for Sig double action triggers. Just my opinion.

    The XD series comes in the original XD and now the XD-M. Other than some cosmetic differences, the XD-M only offers an adjustable backstrap, different trigger feel (supposedly improved) and a stainless match grade barrel. There are only two choices of size with the XD-M version; 4.5" or 3.8" barrel. The original XD series offers several choices from Tactical, tactical compact, service size and subcompact. One drawback to the XD-m is it is not offered in a compact or subcompact grip size.

    All XD's are ambidextrous mag release. All have the grip safety as in the 1911 design. All XD's are striker fired (no hammer). They have three safety features. The grip safety, a trigger safety (like the Glock trigger) and an internal striker block safety that is virtually 100% infallible. As long as the trigger is not pulled, the striker block will physically keep the striker from making contact with the primer. You could use an XD as a hammer and it will not fire unless the trigger is pulled.

    XD's fall into a SA category (single action) whereas Glocks are kind of both SA/DA. Not sure that would matter to you.

    Glocks have a much better aftermarket support for parts because they have been around for nearly 30 years. The aftermarket for the XD series is booming and there are many parts available now. Same for the M&P series Smiths, however, they are still way behind in the aftermarket parts category.

    Glocks, XD's and M&P's pretty much have equal excellent aftermarket for holsters and accessories such as lasers, lights, night sights and weapon lights.

    I would think that there are offerings from all of these manufacturers that would fit your criteria and offer a concealable configuration to suit you.

    In my opinion, I would advise you to stick with one of these three; Glock, XD or M&P.
    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
    - Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

  8. #8
    Member Array i10casual's Avatar
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    I would get a Ruger. You can use it as a hammer if needed.
    They are tough gun for beginners. Then you will want another firearm in a few weeks time. I'd go for a Glock.

  9. #9
    Member Array Corlissimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tally XD View Post

    I also suggest going with a .40sw and get a 9mm barrel. It will slip right in and give you the flexibility of another caliber.

    Glock, XD/XDm, M&P, Sig and H&K are all good choices.

    Get what fits and feels most comfortable. Consider how you will be carrying and how you will be dressed. Shoot as many of those as you can and choose what you shoot the best/most accurately versus comfort and concealability.
    Yeah, I know that if I can't carry it somewhat comfortably, then there's not much point in having it as it will tend to be left home. This is exactly what I'm trying to avoid.


    *snip*

    The XD series comes in the original XD and now the XD-M. Other than some cosmetic differences, the XD-M only offers an adjustable backstrap, different trigger feel (supposedly improved) and a stainless match grade barrel. There are only two choices of size with the XD-M version; 4.5" or 3.8" barrel. The original XD series offers several choices from Tactical, tactical compact, service size and subcompact. One drawback to the XD-m is it is not offered in a compact or subcompact grip size.


    XD's fall into a SA category (single action) whereas Glocks are kind of both SA/DA. Not sure that would matter to you.
    I've been trying to find a local shop who has XD's & XDm's on hand but haven't had any luck there yet. On paper, the XD seems to be pretty close to everything I'm looking for, but I have got to hold it, and preferably, shoot it. I will make the leap without shooting if everything else seems right about my choice though.

    SA is something that I think I'd prefer as my research seems to show that they shoot more accurately. A DA/SA (DA for first shot, SA thereafter) looks like it offers the best compromise between SAO smoothness and DAO safety (avoiding ND's & AD's)


    *snip*

    Glocks, XD's and M&P's pretty much have equal excellent aftermarket for holsters and accessories such as lasers, lights, night sights and weapon lights.

    I would think that there are offerings from all of these manufacturers that would fit your criteria and offer a concealable configuration to suit you.

    In my opinion, I would advise you to stick with one of these three; Glock, XD or M&P.
    Funny, those are the original 3 I started looking at. But, I expanded my search since I didn't want to be myopic, especially considering the fact that I have no experience with handguns so as to make an educated guess.

    As a clarification, can a 9mm barrel be dropped into a .40sw XD? Does it matter if the frame is compact at all?

    Thanks for the tips!
    Life is NOT like a box or chocolates. It's like a jar of jalapenos... what you do today can burn your butt tomorrow.

    Why be armed? Because it's not the odds... it's the stakes

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Just my .02, while you are looking at your choices, just pick up the Springfield Armory XD9 Sub-Compact, it's a sweet weapon. I bought the SA XD40 SC and I love it. I put a LaserMax laser in it (replaces the slide & spring). Shoots great. Have on order a Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro holster, can be worn IWB or OWB, in a total of 23 different positions, cants, high, low, etc., one great holster that you can use in about any location.

  11. #11
    Member Array Corlissimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i10casual View Post
    I would get a Ruger. You can use it as a hammer if needed.
    They are tough gun for beginners. Then you will want another firearm in a few weeks time. I'd go for a Glock.
    I generally like Rugers very much... long guns that is. Looked at the SR9, which seemed nice but the slide was very low and difficult for me to easily grasp and rack.

    It would work at the range, but I want something that will function & be manipulated easily under duress, when gross motor skills are the norm.

    Thanks for the suggestion though. :)
    Life is NOT like a box or chocolates. It's like a jar of jalapenos... what you do today can burn your butt tomorrow.

    Why be armed? Because it's not the odds... it's the stakes

  12. #12
    Member Array Corlissimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    Just my .02, while you are looking at your choices, just pick up the Springfield Armory XD9 Sub-Compact, it's a sweet weapon. I bought the SA XD40 SC and I love it. I put a LaserMax laser in it (replaces the slide & spring). Shoots great. Have on order a Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro holster, can be worn IWB or OWB, in a total of 23 different positions, cants, high, low, etc., one great holster that you can use in about any location.
    Like that Laser Max idea! How dependable is it? I am definitely looking to get my hands on some XD's in the near future... as soon as I find someone near me who has them in stock. At least there'll be a local gun show in May. Should have luck then.
    Life is NOT like a box or chocolates. It's like a jar of jalapenos... what you do today can burn your butt tomorrow.

    Why be armed? Because it's not the odds... it's the stakes

  13. #13
    Member Array Corlissimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    from Central Florida!

    A Glock-19 will fit your hand and serve you well for life, or until you buy another Glock...one is never enough.

    ret
    Thanks! Yeah, I'll find out more about some Glocks on Monday when I shoot a few. How concealable is a G19 though?
    I'll need to look at it more closely I guess.
    Life is NOT like a box or chocolates. It's like a jar of jalapenos... what you do today can burn your butt tomorrow.

    Why be armed? Because it's not the odds... it's the stakes

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array kylebce's Avatar
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    Cool

    The G19 is the quintessential Glock.

    If you have the bucks- you could get a G23 and use the conversion barrel. You mentioned the G21sf- That's the largest frame for Glocks! So, any other model will conceal easily.
    G-23, 27, 35 (all .40)
    G-29 10mm
    H&K 45c
    Les Baer Thunder Ranch 5"

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M590a1 Man View Post

    SA is something that I think I'd prefer as my research seems to show that they shoot more accurately. A DA/SA (DA for first shot, SA thereafter) looks like it offers the best compromise between SAO smoothness and DAO safety (avoiding ND's & AD's)
    I like SA triggers as well, but, I have to say that Glock triggers are not typical of a DA gun at all. Glock triggers are probably a little better OEM triggers than XD's. Much better take up, reset and overtravel than an XD from the factory. The only thing about Glock that I did not like was the grip angle and some of the grips are really fat.

    Now, with Canyon Creek and Springer Precision trigger kits for XD's, the XD trigger can be made very sweet.



    Quote Originally Posted by M590a1 Man View Post

    As a clarification, can a 9mm barrel be dropped into a .40sw XD? Does it matter if the frame is compact at all?

    Thanks for the tips!
    The .40sw XD's will accept a 9mm or .357Sig barrel as a drop in fit with no modification. You cannot do the same with a 9mm designated gun.
    The frames on the XD's do vary as to what you can swap. A service, compact and tactical frame will accept either slide (4" or 5"). The sub compact frame (3.5"), I do not believe will accept a longer slide.

    The XD and XD-M slides WILL NOT interchange with each other though.
    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
    - Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

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