Need Help.

This is a discussion on Need Help. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey, I'm new here, I live in Minnesota, and am looking into getting a pistol and a Licence to carry. I figured I better get ...

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Thread: Need Help.

  1. #1
    Member Array pappy's Avatar
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    Need Help.

    Hey, I'm new here, I live in Minnesota, and am looking into getting a pistol and a Licence to carry. I figured I better get my hands on one of my own and practice a lot before I start thinking about getting the licence. I have shot a pistols before, mostly my dads 1911 and am fairly good at it.

    I came here to look for some advice from someone with more expieriece in different makes and so forth. I am a fairly small guy, im about 5'7 and only about 145 pounds . My dads 1911 was probally on the large side of somthing I would want. I am eventually going to carry this around so somthing a tad smaller would be good.

    I know everyone has their favorites, but if you could point me in the direction of a ~medium sized hand gun that wouldn't be any more then around 700 bucks. Just to get me started in where to start looking.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
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    Array MattInFla's Avatar
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    There are a slew of options.

    A smaller 1911 (4" or 3") would be an option.
    Several of the Glocks would fit the bill
    H&K's excellent USP and P2000 models

    Try to find a range that rents, and try out a few options before you buy.

    Matt
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    Oh, and try to budget for a good training class - there is a world of difference between defensive pistolcraft and standing in a booth punching paper.

    Matt
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    Member Array Mojoski's Avatar
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    I was in the same situation as you about a year ago and I ended up deciding on a Springfield XD after shooting quite a few things at the range. Check them out also.

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    Member Array pappy's Avatar
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    I was actually looking at the P2000, Anyone have any expierience with it?

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    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    You and I are about the same size; with my hands being on the small size for a guy. I find that double stack weapons often are too thick in the grip and therefore aren't very comfortable. It can be hard to have the right reach to the trigger. You have to hold'em to tell. the single stack weapons like the 1911 are much thinner and therefore they tend to fit medium to smaller hands better. Thinner grips also conceal easier too.

    Next, with "our" size and weight, it can be challenging to conceal the same weapon a 6'3" guy can who weights nearly 200lbs. The key is to go small and especailly THIN. A 4" 1911 with extra thin grip panels installed can be ideal. I'd also recommend a basic Kahr in 9mm. I wouldn't worry too much about all of the opinions and preferences about different makes as you can get a bad gun in any brand name. I think the key to starting out is to hold and fire as many weapons as possible and to buy something you think will be small and light enough to actually carry regularly and conceal. I'm amazed at the number of guys who'll almost brag that they can carry a full size 1911 and it "disappears". I don't want to be unkind but I suspect a little exageration. Printing is a big problem for smaller guys and so is comfort. Revolvers are very hard to deal with due to the cylinder.

    I'd recommend a 9mm for starting out as it's very cheap to shoot ALOT and that's important for training and for fun. Face it, it won't be your last gun but it needs to be a good starting point. So I'd look for a single stack 9mm that's very concealable. I wouldn't worry as much about capacity. Again some aren't comfortable unless they have 30 rounds with two extra mags. Truth is, most real world self defense scenarios involve very few rounds. Now if you live in an inner city or a war zone, then it's a different situation but most don't.

    I've never fired one but I think the springfield line of XD's are excellent so long as the grip isn't too thick for your hand. The Bersa .380 is an outstanding value and they're absolutely reliable but they're only .380s and a Kahr P9 is much thinner, lighter and chambered in 9mm.

    You'll also hear alot about steel versus polymer frames. You have to remember you simply won't carry it, if it weighs a ton. Smaller men will notice the extra ounces A LOT more than the bigger guys. If you go 1911 I'd recommend you consider the aluminum frames. in the 9mm and .40's I'd highly recommend polymer.

    In any event, i'd recommend something from one of the main name brands such as Sprinfield, Kimber, Kahr, Sig, H&K, etc.

    $700 isn't really too much for a good pistol but it can get you a Kahr. I personally have a Kahr P9 and consider it to be just about the best concealed carry weapon for guys my size.

    One last thought, I wouldn't buy something that's less expensive or something just to "start" with. I'd try to research and figure out what I want and then I'd buy exactly what I want even if I had to save so I could up my budget a lot. When I bought my first 1911, I had a number of recommendations to buy a basic full size 1911. Folks said that if I liked it I could modify it. Well it was well intentioned advise but truthfully, I wish I'd saved more and bought one that had more features and one that was a compact or "officers" size which is much easier for a guy our size to carry as opposed to full size or commander size. Now I have a SA Mil-Spec but to customize it, I'll end up spending far more than I would have on a new custom.

    Some food for thought.

    God Bless and hope you get something you really like!

    Gideon

  8. #7
    Member Array plblark's Avatar
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    Gideon has some good advice. I disagree about a started gun on basic principle. Better the gun you have than the one you're saving for.

    Bill's Gun shop has two locations in the twin cities and rents firearms. I haven't yet taken a class with them. http://www.billsgs.com

    http://forum.twincitiescarry.com is a great local forum. There are a ton of instructors and carrying folk there that should be able to help find info on instructors and local experiences. Joel Rosenberg taught my class. I hear great things about Andrew Rothman and his fees are a bit more budget friendly.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    H&K P2000 is a good choice

    Quote Originally Posted by pappy View Post
    I was actually looking at the P2000, Anyone have any expierience with it?
    I was looking at a P2000sk yesterday in the gun store, and it is a perfect size for a concealed carry gun. Based on my experience with other H&K pistols, I would bet that the P2000sk is solid and reliable. I believe it will hold 10 rounds in .40 caliber and should conceal easily.

  11. #10
    Member Array LTPhoon's Avatar
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    Consider a Sig P239 in 9MM or .40 caliber. You can get an aftermarket barrel from Barsto to convert the pistol from .40 to 9MM and a factory .357 barrel and have many choices in what to shoot for practice or what to eventually carry. My almost-new 239 .40 cost $699 with the DAK action and night sights.

  12. #11
    Member Array Falsemap's Avatar
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    For a good all around first pistol, I'd recommend the Glock 19. Reasons: Medium size, but can be carried for CCW later, rugged and reliable, and service caliber that is still cheap to shoot.

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    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falsemap View Post
    For a good all around first pistol, I'd recommend the Glock 19. Reasons: Medium size, but can be carried for CCW later, rugged and reliable, and service caliber that is still cheap to shoot.
    +1 on that, and I don't even own a Glock right now, I carry a 1911. But, Glocks are just tremendous guns that shoot and shoot and shoot. The 19 is, to me, the perfect balance of shooting size vs concealability. Pretty much my number 1 recommendation to anyone moving into handguns for CCW.

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    Member Array sailormnop's Avatar
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    +1 on the Kahr.

    However, I have heard that the Kahr polymer frame models sometimes have issues with rough areas where the frame meets the slide, causing a failure to go into battery. Everyone I've heard talk about the steel-framed ones say they function flawlessly. I plan on getting a K9 or K40 before next Spring. Carrying my PX4 this summer was a bear. I went ahead and carried it most of the time, but it was not comfortable. The extra shirt I had to wear made me sweat a lot. The weight (34oz. including 17 rds 9mm and a cheap holster) was not a problem, but the size was. For me, the K9/40 will be perfect. Originally I was looking at the MK9/40, but I found out the K9/40 is just big enough for a full grip and still easy to conceal.

    Of course, try out everything that might work for and then choose. Once you eliminate all the guns with reliability issues, between the rest it's just personal preference.

    (BTW I'm 5' 10 1/2" and 185lbs with 32" waist - if you add anything to my waist it really shows. I have to cover up with something thick.)
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    Member Array pappy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the quick help, now that you showed me the P9, I really like it from the looks, Ill have to find a store around that carries one. and it makes sense with the small hands to have the single stack. You guys are great help, I'm sure there will be a ton more questions I have for you in the future.

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    Member Array Exmasonite's Avatar
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    welcome to the forum. just a couple of thoughts:

    +1 on the 9mm... i got a .40SW as my first gun and spent a LOT of $$ on ammo that first year. THEN i got a 9mm. Wish i'd done that in reverse order.

    Also, i have 2 springfield XDs... the .40 service (4" barrel) and the 9mm Subcompact (3" barrel). they are both excellent guns and would highly recommend to anybody. glocks are great guns, i just don't like the grip angle (as a lot of people don't either).

    +1 on the Bersa .380. Great gun. I'd say get the Bersa/firestorm Mini Thunder 9mm as your first gun b/c the ammo is much cheaper and it's a bigger, better round.

    Lastly, i'd say look at the taurus line. they have some very nice handguns:
    http://www.taurususa.com/products/products-pistols.cfm

    the bersa, XD and taurus will probably be 2-300 cheaper than the kahr.
    good luck and let us know what you decide.

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