Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun - Page 6

Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun

This is a discussion on Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I’ve not seen the topic addressed from the standpoint of “biggest mistakes” first time buyers make. I was hoping that some of you more experienced ...

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Thread: Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun

  1. #76
    Member Array lee n. field's Avatar
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    I’ve not seen the topic addressed from the standpoint of “biggest mistakes” first time buyers make.

    I was hoping that some of you more experienced owners, and those who own more than one defensive handgun, would be willing to relate any mistakes or oversights you made (if any) in your first purchase and that should be avoided by other first time buyers.
    Mistakes in this hobby are easy to rectify. If, down the line, you decide you've made a mistake in a gun purchase, sell it off and get what you want. It happens.

    My mistakes:
    1. buying a Taurus Model 66, instead of a stainless Ruger Mark II Target,
    2. Buying a CZ-100.
    3. Buying a Jennings .22, back in the day


    Oh, yeah. Another mistake, is paying too much attention to what people say in Internet gunboards. Know This: a lot of people simply do not know what they are talking about.


  2. #77
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    Some thoughts from another beginner.

    The feel of the gun in the shop is an ok data point, but it really comes down to the feel when shooting. And how accurate you can be. I've felt some guns that are not too impressive in the shop, maybe bulky feeling, but shoot very pleasantly and accurately (like the xd's). To me now, I like the feel and fit in the shop as it relates to how it fits my body for carry, then shoot it for the hand feel and accuracy.

    Another thing I learned is if you are testing the trigger in the shop to cycle it through as if it has shot then you will see what the second or subsequent pulls are like on the trigger.

    For me, it became clear that a first gun should be something common that you can try many styles of holsters at the shops - the in stock ones. For instance, for the Glock 19, it is easy to go try tons of holsters because everybody has them. Or the XD, etc, just pick a widely available gun. Finding holsters for the Sig 239 is nearly impossible in the shops, then you end up ordering without trying first. (ok, you can try a similar style, but it is still nice to see the exact thing before you buy). You will probably end up getting some more expensive custom holster, but there is a point from which you need to depart.

    Lastly, get something which you are comfortable carrying one in the chamber. and a holster that you can unbelt in the restroom while wearing. If it's too complicated or not intuitive to do that, or you have the wrong (cheap or illfitting) holster, then we end up with another "do I carry one in the chamber" and "how do I go to the bathroom" thread. I helped rehash all that myself a while back, and it is something to avoid if possible.

    Have fun

    PS Would you be sure to check back in after you buy a gun......then check back in again after carrying for a bit to add your thoughts to this thread. Thanks again for starting it.

  3. #78
    Member Array Dadoo's Avatar
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    Hey KoriBustard, welcome to the forum. Let me echo what has already been said. The biggest mistake is to rush into a gun because it's cheap, or because "everyone has one". What I always tell someone looking for their first gun is:
    1. decide what the gun is for. A bedside table or truck gun is different than a concealed carry gun.
    2. Have a realistic price range. Just like cars, there are cheap ones, moderately priced ones, and really expensive ones.
    3. go to a gun show and walk around handling every gun that fits your needs. Find one that feels good in your hand. Don't buy anything yet.
    4. Find a gun range in your area and rent several different guns, hopefully one that matches what you handled.

    after all this settle on a gun or a couple of guns, that suit you and then find the best price.

    Choosing a gun is decision you can live with in more ways than one. And remember, you can always make a change. It took me three try's to get the gun that best suits me. Just keep asking questions and evaluating the answers.
    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
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  4. #79
    los
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    Biggest mistake purchasing a defensive handgun typically occurs post sale when the owner/carrier does not take the time to become proficient with said handgun.

    Practice drawing from holster. Practice clearing a jam quickly. Practice reloading quickly . And most important, Practice Point-Shooting at CQB distances.

    Practice until you become proficient.

    practice, Practice,..PRACTICE.. ,..then PRACTICE SOME MORE.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  5. #80
    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    Quick Summary: Consider the lowest denominator.

    Explanation:
    The first handgun I bought was a Springfield XD9 Subcompact. Based on what I read, it was reliable, durable, ergonomic, etc. The reviews were correct and it's a great pistol. Problem was, this was going to be both a carry AND a house gun and my wife would need to be able to manipulate/shoot it as well. She really likes it, is a great shot with it, but has a heck of a time racking the slide because of her arthritis.

    1. Make sure everyone intended/considered to use the weapon can work all areas/parts of it.

    I live in Florida and it's very hot most of the year (although this winter has been very pleasant) so clothing is pretty light. Because of my build, a large gun is hard to conceal so I opted for off-body carry most of the time. I don't feel safe having the XD in a soft holster in my carry bag.

    2. Take method of carry into consideration.

    My wife doesn't enjoy shooting. IMHO, carrying a semi-auto requires an intimate understanding of how it works to properly correct a failure (FTF, FTE, etc.) which takes time, practice, etc. Every time she's gone to the range and racked the slide/chambered a round, she's asked me "Is that it? Is it ready?" She's not willing to put in the time to familiarize herself with a semi-auto so a revolver was the way for her.

    3. Consider amount of practice both you and others will take to familiarize with the weapon.

    She didn't mind shooting .38 SPL, but .357 was too much.

    4. Take into consideration the largest caliber another would be willing to use if the weapon is to be shared/used by others. It goes without saying to go for the largest.

    In the end, I bought my wife a hammerless, Ruger SP101, gave it a trigger job, installed a Crimson Trace grip, loaded it with Speer Short Barrel .38 SPL +P and it's now about perfect for her. She likes it, trusts it, and knows how to work it. It's actually the gun she measures others by. I, on the other hand, carry different pistols based on mood, but they all function pretty much the same way (hammer-fired, decocker, etc.). I visit the range about every other week and include failure manipulation, point shooting, weak-hand shooting, etc. most of the times I go.

  6. #81
    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoriBustard View Post
    I'm starting to get the sense that buying your first handgun is like asking "If you could only play golf with one club, what would it be?" Thanks again for all the comments.
    I've been shooting handguns for over 50 years and if I had to I guess I could do a fair job of tossing some lead into a target with just about anything out there. As to getting something that is just right for you.... That is a tough one.

    Aside from your budget and any legal issues that may put some limits on your choices here's a few ideas:

    1. Caliber- Most seem to agree that you can go with just about anything .38Spl or above.

    2. Size- This is very difficult and is really up to the individual. Many smaller handed shooters, both male and female, carry 1911's for EDC.

    3. Revolver vs Semi-auto- Either of them can come in almost any size and caliber. Revolver is simple to shoot and maintain but does have limits as far as capacity. Semi's are a little more complicated as far as operation and maintenance but they can hold more rounds than a revolver.

    4. Brand- Over the years I have owned many brands both cheap and expensive and have now settled on going with the trusted brand names in the industry and own Colt, Ruger and Walther handguns in different calibers and platforms. There are many other trusted brands out there as have been named on this thread and I would feel comfortable with just about any of them as well.

    My, almost 100% of the time, every day carry is now a Walther P99 in .40S&W with a 10rd magazine (State law limit). It fits all my needs.

    All this being said, it has taken me a long time with a lot of buying and selling before I have settled on my current choices and who can say that with the next issue of some handgun magazine or at the nerxt shot show I will not make some changes to what I own an carry

    IF POSSIBLE TRY THEM ALL... THE CHOICE IS YOURS AND YOUR ALONE...

    Good luck

    bosco

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    That's funny.
    I don't have any of those, and I'm not feeling the loss.
    What is your choice for this role sir? A Seecamp?
    Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!

  8. #83
    Senior Member Array KoriBustard's Avatar
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    I really appreciate all the advice. I finally made a decision and purchased a S&W MP 9 compact. It just felt better in my hand than the Walther or the Ruger. I got to the range and put 100 rds through it without a hiccup. It was comfortable to shoot, felt very natural, recoil was minimal (150 grain Winchester range loads) and I felt that I was able to get the sights back on target pretty quickly...especially for not having fired a handgun in nearly a year.

  9. #84
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    Yes, welcome to the forum. This is THE forum, IMHO, for great advice and no one flames you for making mistakes. My two cents: "Pretty vs. Tactical". Don't let "pretty" be your deciding factor. Sometimes ugly just gets the job done while pretty gets a stove pipe, goes back to manufacturer, gets the ramp polished again, the grips don't work with sweaty hands, etc." Stuff I learned the hard way.
    "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Eccl. 10:2

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoriBustard View Post
    I really appreciate all the advice. I finally made a decision and purchased a S&W MP 9 compact. It just felt better in my hand than the Walther or the Ruger. I got to the range and put 100 rds through it without a hiccup. It was comfortable to shoot, felt very natural, recoil was minimal (150 grain Winchester range loads) and I felt that I was able to get the sights back on target pretty quickly...especially for not having fired a handgun in nearly a year.
    You cannot go wrong with this choice. I can assure you that you have a fine firearm that will serve you for years to come. I have not had one issue with the three of my M&P's but S&W also has some of the best CS is the business. My edc is an M&P9c and it has been flawless. Welcome to the M&P family!
    Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!

  11. #86
    Member Array 45MINK's Avatar
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    Don't buy something because your friend says they like it and it works for them . Same thing as a salesman pushing a gun on you because he likes it . Go with what you like looks wise ,then see if it feels good in your hand ,is the caliber right for you and what it's primary use , CC , HOME ,CAR ? Research brands and styles that you like . This forum is perfect for that but remember everyone has an opinion and that is all it is is an opinion . Ask 50 people you get 50 opinions . When someone comes in looking for a gun and have no idea thats exactly what I tell them . I let them look to see if they see something they like then go from there . Only suggest ,never push and give them as much useful information I can to help them with their decision . Good Luck

  12. #87
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    There was not a "bad" gun among the three you were considering, but the M&P would have been my choice, too. My M&P's are among my favorite pistols to shoot.

    You don't want to spend much time away from DC, but you might want to check out the M&P pistol board for M&P-specific stuff.

    Enjoy!
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  13. #88
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    Congrats, Great choice.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoriBustard View Post
    I really appreciate all the advice. I finally made a decision and purchased a S&W MP 9 compact. It just felt better in my hand than the Walther or the Ruger. I got to the range and put 100 rds through it without a hiccup. It was comfortable to shoot, felt very natural, recoil was minimal (150 grain Winchester range loads) and I felt that I was able to get the sights back on target pretty quickly...especially for not having fired a handgun in nearly a year.
    Good choice. The M&P9c is the pistol I bought for my Dad almost a year ago. He loves the thing. He doesn't shoot much, but hasn't experienced any failures.

  15. #90
    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoriBustard View Post
    I really appreciate all the advice. I finally made a decision and purchased a S&W MP 9 compact. It just felt better in my hand than the Walther or the Ruger. I got to the range and put 100 rds through it without a hiccup. It was comfortable to shoot, felt very natural, recoil was minimal (150 grain Winchester range loads) and I felt that I was able to get the sights back on target pretty quickly...especially for not having fired a handgun in nearly a year.
    Good choice. The M&P9c is the pistol I bought for my Dad almost a year ago. He loves the thing. He doesn't shoot much, but hasn't experienced any failures.

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