First Handgun

This is a discussion on First Handgun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi all I'm new here. I'm going to buy my frist hand gun. This will be a gun that I'm going to carry. I'm looking ...

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    First Handgun

    Hi all I'm new here. I'm going to buy my frist hand gun. This will be a gun that I'm going to carry. I'm looking at a used S&W 340sc airlite in .357 mag. But I've read that it kicks like a mule. How bad does it really kick? I'm also looking at a new S&W SD40 VE any one have one of these and how do you like them? I like going out back and shoting my shotguns and rifles all day and would like a hand gun I could do the same with.

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    Welcome if you get a S&W 357 you can always shoot .38 spec in it. Very nice to shoot.
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    The SD40 will be more fun to shoot, the 340 will be more fun to carry.
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    All personal preference and within budgetary constraints. The best recommendation that I know about is to try to shoot those of friends, rentals at ranges, anything you can. Then you can make a better determination about what YOU like. Me, personally, I am an M&P guy through and through. But I would be comfortable with a Glock 26 or 27 if I couldn't have an M&P. There are also a lot of others I would be comfortable with. Me, I'm not a revolver guy. I just can't get myself to go with such a low round count and also that it takes more steps to reload than a semi-auto pistol and, under stress, that may be important. Others have no qualms about carrying one. Again, it is what YOU are comfortable with (as well as is reliable).
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHoss View Post
    ... my frist hand gun ... a used S&W 340sc airlite in .357 mag ... it kicks like a mule ... How bad does it really kick?
    If you've never actually shot an ultralight snubbie in .357, you really need to do so. It's not all sweetness and light. Many quite literally cannot hit the broad side of a barn with one, even after trying hard to do it.

    That said, in .357 the S&W "airweight" grade revolvers can be a stout handful. At minimum, they're going to bruise your hand. At worst, they're going to be difficult to control beyond a shot or two, let alone rapid follow-up shots. But they are certainly about the most-compact and easiest to carry of all the revolvers out there. Have been down the S&W "airweight" road with a 442 AirWeight .38sp. In the right loads, it was manageable, though accuracy-wise it wasn't my best choice. How you shoot it will depend very much on your technique, determination. You can mostly practice with .38's and occasionally with .357's, carrying .357's in the "right" load that'll work for you.

    One option, as well, particularly if you're going to be carrying a revolver holstered on the belt, is to opt for a ~20-25oz revolver instead of one of the scandium/aluminum variants. That additional 7-12oz of extra weight can make a big difference in ability to put rounds on target rapidly, particularly in .357 magnum. Check out the Ruger SP-101, in both 2" and 3" bbls, if you're able. As well, look at some of the somewhat-heavier S&W revolvers in the lineup as well, including some of the used Model 10, Model 36 and variants you can find around (often in many of the local pawn shops, larger gun shops that deal with pre-owned guns).
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    You might want to read Massad Ayoob's "Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry". It'll probably change your mind on carrying a revolver nowadays.

    IMO, a Glock is a great first CC gun. They allow you to learn how a striker fired pistol operates, easy to detail strip, easy...... Glock 19's are very popular for a first gun.

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    Snubbies, for a first handgun, are pretty difficult to shoot well. They require a lot of practice and an experienced revolver trigger finger doesn't hurt either. I have a Smith 40VE, Sigma that I love and it shoots very well. I suspect that the SD40 would be real close, so it would be a good place to start.
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    I second the recommendation that you try to find a range where you can rent different guns so you know how they feel, not just in your hands, but actually while shooting them. A lightweight .357 is definitely a handful. It will all depend on how recoil sensitive you are, which you won't know until you actually shoot a few guns. There is nothing wrong with a .357 snubby, you just may be better off with a steel framed gun such as an SP101 or similar, rather than one of the lightweight models.

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    Welcome.

    The SD40ve will serve you better if you plan on shooting at a range at all. The revolver is a sweet gun and will be easier to conceal. But a gun to learn and shoot well consistently will definitely be the SD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceapea View Post
    Snubbies, for a first handgun, are pretty difficult to shoot well. They require a lot of practice and an experienced revolver trigger finger doesn't hurt either. I have a Smith 40VE, Sigma that I love and it shoots very well. I suspect that the SD40 would be real close, so it would be a good place to start.
    I couldn't agree more. I'm a woman, but am a pretty good shot. In fact, I shoot my .45's one handed...and am a very good. Having said that, I have a Ruger SP 101 .357 mag. (stainless steel, so it's much heavier than what you're looking at) and have a pretty hard time shooting it well...unless I wear padded gloves and even then, I'm not a very good shot. Also, for a CCW, you should really think about a semi-auto, because of the number of rounds you'll have. I carry a Glock 30 (.45 ACP) that holds 10+1 rounds. A revolver will only give you 5 rounds. What if you come up against several bad guys? They'll know how many rounds you have. As a new shooter, you should consider a 9mm. A Glock 19 would be perfect for you (compact that holds 15 rounds!!!). Bottom line, I would go with a 9mm or a .45. Most find that .40cal semi-autos have too much kick. I know I did and I'm used to shooting .45 cal and 12 gauge shot guns. I had one .40 cal and ended up selling it because I just couldn't handle the "pop" (this is the way most people describe it). I would say the .357 mag should definitely be out. However, I'm sure others will chime in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dooger View Post
    You might want to read Massad Ayoob's "Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry". It'll probably change your mind on carrying a revolver nowadays.

    IMO, a Glock is a great first CC gun. They allow you to learn how a striker fired pistol operates, easy to detail strip, easy...... Glock 19's are very popular for a first gun.
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    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnilson View Post
    I I have a Ruger SP 101 .357 mag. (stainless steel, so it's much heavier than what you're looking at) and have a pretty hard time shooting it well...unless I wear padded gloves and even then, I'm not a very good shot.
    OP, if you are into revolvers, the SP101 was one of the sweetest shooting guns that I have tested out. I'm not sure why dnilson is inaccurate with it. I could shoot it just as accurately as my XD .40 caliber. This gun shoots 38 special and 357 rounds. It is extremely easy to manage with the 38 loads. If size is your issue because you want to carry, don't be scared of mid size guns. You can get a good holster that can spread the weight and make carrying comfortable.

    If you really must have a smaller gun, there are better choices than a 357 hand cannon. Like most have said, I would tell you to steer clear of the airweight guns. The really do kick like a mule - even with light loads. They are not a good first gun to have. I hated shooting the 442 model at the range. After 4 shots, I was done with that noisy cricket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dooger View Post
    You might want to read Massad Ayoob's "Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry". It'll probably change your mind on carrying a revolver nowadays.

    IMO, a Glock is a great first CC gun. They allow you to learn how a striker fired pistol operates, easy to detail strip, easy...... Glock 19's are very popular for a first gun.
    Also, couldn't agree more. I went to my local range and rented a bunch of stuff.... Turned out I really, really liked the CZ they had. So, that's what I got. Also, my experience with the airlite is it really is tough to shoot well. But, you could absolutely get used to it... Read Massad's book. Gret advice!
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    Member Array BigHoss's Avatar
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    Well after reading and talking to more people that have shot the 340 I'm not going to get it as my frist gun. Thanks for all the input here it really helped me out. I looked at the glocks but didn't like the way they felt in my hand. I did how ever like the ruger SR9C and put it on layaway.

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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHoss View Post
    Well after reading and talking to more people that have shot the 340 I'm not going to get it as my frist gun. Thanks for all the input here it really helped me out. I looked at the glocks but didn't like the way they felt in my hand. I did how ever like the ruger SR9C and put it on layaway.
    The Sr9c is a nice pistol. I don't think you'll be disappointed in it. However, have you had a chance to shoot one? I would still recommend renting different guns to shoot. If you find one you like better than the Ruger, the shop will probably transfer your layaway payments to your new choice, at least my LGS has done that for me before. More choices are always better than fewer.

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