This is a discussion on First gun questions and I'm overwhelmed within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by tkruf Based on what you want it for, Home defense and range use. I agree with the Sig P226, but also do ...
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HK is no slouch either- USP or 2000
You could narrow your search by considering: polymer or steel/alloy frame, exposed hammer or striker fired.
For a home defense pistol, I find no reason for anything but full size duty frames.
I actually got introduced to blue ridge by a coworker and that is where I've done all of my shooting thus far. We've stopped in the NRA range, but it's always too crowded. And I'll be at the gun show this weekend. I don't have a VA license yet so I cannot buy handguns here yet, but it won't stop me from holding them all!
If you're looking for a full sized 9mm, I'd suggest the Glock 34 and/or the Glock 17. Glocks are stone reliable, which is important since you will be using the gun for HD. I'd only consider something smaller (like the Glock 19) if you were planning to carry this firearm. Glocks are hard to beat and after-market products are nearly unlimited should you decide you want your gun to 'grow' with you as you continue to improve. With that said, out of the box these guns will be far more accurate than you'll ever be firing them by hand.
Glocks might not be pretty, but there's a reason they're so popular with LE, folks looking for a SD/HD weapon, and with competitive shooters. They're reasonably priced too.
If you have shot a Sig 226 a lot, and liked it - then just get one of those. They make lots of different types - if you're not going to carry it, consider the heavier all steel versions. The normal ones have an alloy frame. Heavier = your wife will enjoy shooting it more since recoil will be less noticeable.
P226 Black Stainless
Be sure to get some extra mags too.
Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order. Not everyone is going to agree with them, but they draw upon almost 40 years of shooting experience:
IMHO, the best first choice for a handgun is a revolver. A mid-range 3" or 4" .357 is ideal. If I were starting over, I'd start with a 3" SP101. Learn basic gun-handling skills with a wheelgun, then look at semi-autos.
If you're absolutely set on a semi-auto, a 9mm is almost certainly the best choice.
$1000 is too much to spend on a first gun! Until you've got a better feel for what platform you're going to prefer, there's no point in tying up that much money in a gun you might find doesn't suit you needs. For $1000, you can buy a good entry-level revolver AND a very nice semi-auto.
For starting out, simpler is better. A single-action (only) semi-auto is a bad choice. I will get flamed for this, but it's true. As appealing as a nice 1911 or a P938 might be, you don't want to have to master its manual of arms for your first handgun. Best choice is a DAO striker-fired pistol. I'm very partial to M&P's & Kahrs, but Glocks, XD's, and several others are good options. Since you have no intention to CC, bigger is better than smaller. Think full-size M&P or XD, or a G17 or G19.
Unless you're planning to spend thousands of hours of range time, and tens of thousands of dollars on ammo, you will never be able to "outshoot" any modern, quality firearm. Ever. Not an issue!
So, if I were in your situation, I'd go get a 3" SP101, take it out & spend a few hundred practice rounds honing my shooting skills, then look for an M&P 9 or something similar. Between the two, they'll run you a little over $1000, but not by much. If you find either or both used, or start with a lower-end revolver (e.g. EAA, Rossi, etc.), you'll come in under $1000.
Good luck, and enjoy!
Last edited by Kilowatt3; December 30th, 2012 at 01:44 AM. Reason: 3", not 3' !
With a thousand dollars to spend, you want a 9MM high cap pistol that will fill what ever role eh?
My recomendation would be the "Browning High Power". Well proven platform, plenty of after market products available, all steel pistol, did I mention that they've been around a while?
Try a Smith & Wesson Shield in 40 caliber. You'll be glad you did.
I honestly have to parrot some of what Kilowatt says... For a first firearm I'd recomend an inexpensive police/security trade in revolver. A revolver is an easier, and much more forgiving platform for the inexperienced shooter. The revolver IMO requires a lesser level of dedication to maintenance, and care. IME the autoloader requires a much higher level of dedication to maintenance and upkeep. The manual of arms for the revolver is simple, and involves bery few steps. The manual of arms for either a striker fired , or a S/A or a S/A D/A autoloader is far more complicated.
Anyone can learn and master either, but as I say the auto-loader requires more time and dedication. Having said that I still recomend the Browning High Power as a good quality gun that meets your needs and is within your price range. It's obvious to me that your putting in a lot of research, and contemplation to your choice. Based on your questions and considerations I'm sure that you will put in the time and effort to learn safe firearm handling of any gun you choose.
Magazine <> clip - know the difference
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Smith & Wesson M&P 9 all the way it's a great platform and a simple design that you can drive tacks with. It has a rail for mounting a weapon light and it is a very user friendly pistol, perfect for a range/home defense gun. And at half your price range you could buy his and hers and enjoy the range together. My wife and I just got into shooting and really enjoy range time together.
Or another option as I've seen you stated you preferred 9mm for cost of ammo, you could do what I did and buy a S&W M&P 40 and buy a 9mm M&P barrel and 9mm 17rd magazine and you can shoot 9mm through your .40 at the range and then put your 40 barrel and mag back in for home defense. You can purchase the 9mm S&W M&P factory barrel from MidwayUSA.com for $68 and a 9mm mag for $23 from botachtactical.com. Then you get two calibers out of one pistol.
Last edited by guitarzNgunz; December 30th, 2012 at 08:07 AM.
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M&Pc .357sig, 2340Sigpro .357sig