Buying My First Handgun

Buying My First Handgun

This is a discussion on Buying My First Handgun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi, I've never really owned a gun before, but would like to get a concealed carry permit and a nice compact concealable handgun. I do ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array lgreen's Avatar
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    Buying My First Handgun

    Hi,

    I've never really owned a gun before, but would like to get a concealed carry permit and a nice compact concealable handgun. I do have some basic safety/shooting training with shotguns from a trap shooting course I took in college, however I have never fired a handgun. The gun store in my area offers 4 different hand gun courses and I plan to take all 4. I've been researching this idea for about 6 months and so I have a pretty good idea after reading threads on here about what's really important when it comes to picking out a gun. I have managed to narrow down my list to a few guns. One issue though is that my local gun stores doesn't seem to carry some of these guns normally, but are willing to special order them. Therefore, I really have no way of being able to check them out/fire them before purchasing. My motive behind purchasing a hand gun is basically defensive carry. I want to be able to protect myself and whoever is around me.

    Here is the list:
    -HK P2000SK .40
    -HK P2000SK 9mm
    -Walther PPS .40
    -Walther PPS 9mm

    I am still undecided between going w/ a 9mm vs. .40. I am getting mixed stories as to weather there is significant enough difference between the recoil to make me go one way or the other. I also realize it is more important that I shoot it accurately than have some particular caliber. IMO, if I can handle it and shoot well, I'd like to go w/ the .40. I can think of a lot of great reasons to go with either the HK or Walther. HK has a great reputation, known to reliable, and are commonly used as main duty weapons by many border/customs agents (where I got the recommendation to look at the P2000sk from). Also heard great things about the LEM trigger and it appears the hk can hold a few more bullets than the pps. Walther is also great historically, but some seem to be a bit more skeptical of their reliability lately. The walther does appear to have great safety features though. The pps is pretty new still, but haven't really heard any major complaints so far. The size of the pps is also very appealing.

    So not being able to really see these guns or try them, I'm not really sure which way to go. I'm leaning more towards the .40 HK P2000sk.

    The other thing I got to keep in mind is that I'm a small guy. 5'7" and I can wear a small size mens shirt, lol. Also have small hands. Anyone know how the recoil might compare between the HK and Walther? I don't want a gun that is going to knock me on my butt, lol.

    Any thoughts? The gun store seamed really low on stock, so I'll talk to them later this week and see if either of these guns are going to be in anytime soon to see/shoot.

    I guess I'll throw out too that I have been looking at the glock 27 simply because of its price. I need to read up more about some of the safety concerns I have briefly heard with regards to the glocks though. The gun store here does have a glock 27, and so I will have to go try it out.

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Senior Moderator
    Array MattInFla's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Are there any ranges in your area that rent guns? Being able to shoot a few models might make your choice easier.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

  3. #3
    Member Array lgreen's Avatar
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    Not sure about ranges that rent guns, but I can look into that. The gun store here does have an indoor shooting range and rents guns. I'll have to ask what they have available to rent. Might even be able to find some comparable guns that would answer my basic questions and lead me to the right choice.

    Thanks for the welcome.

  4. #4
    Member Array spooter66's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of self defense, you've picked a good forum for info.

    Take all the courses you can, you can never get enough training. If your local dealer offers training classes they will most likely have guns to rent/use, try them out. You may find one that you are more comfortable with, don't get locked in on a gun to soon. If your dealer doesn't have a gun you want go online and buy it, have it transfered to your local gun shop (ask your local shop about FFL transfers). Most will do it for a fee.

    There are a lot of good beginner guns out there (point & shoot), take a look at them before you make a decision. Try the Springfield XD, or the Glocks, both are good because of their ease of use and dependability. Make sure the gun fits your hand. A gun thats not comfortable in the hand isn't fun to shoot.

    As far as caliber, both the 9MM and .40 are good and both will get the job done. One thing to consider though is ammo cost, with prices going up the 9mm is the cheaper (cheaper ammo = more practice).

    Good luck and be safe!

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    H&K my choice

    It sounds like you have done your research and come up with some excellent candidates. Personally I would tend to go with the H&K P2000sk on your list, in .40 caliber. I have the very similar H&K USP 40c, and it is an excellent gun that is easy to shoot well.

    I have handled the P2000sk and it is very compact and concealable, yet allows all fingers a place on the grip and has enough weight to manage recoil. The magazine capacity is 9 rounds in .40 caliber, which seems adequate to me. There are also a number of holsters available on the market for this gun.

    The Walther PPS is probably a fine gun as well, but is newer on the market and not as proven over time as the H&K.

    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    welcome to the forum from s.e. michigan. try the g-27, i think you
    will like it. i know i do but thats imho. (picked up the pinke finger ext.
    yesterday at at gun show,really makes a differents in handling)
    but to the range tomorrow to really try it out.
    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
    the world coming too"

    NRA LIFE MEMBER

    U.S. ARMY FT.SILL, OKLA.

  7. #7
    Member Array HKtexas's Avatar
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    I might be biased, but I would go with the HK. I know its higher than the Walther, and the Walther from what I've read is a good gun but If its in your budget I would pay more for the HK and the peace of mind that its going to go bang every time.

  8. #8
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    You might also want to look at the Sig 229 or 239.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

  9. #9
    Member Array Pizza Bob's Avatar
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    Igreen:

    The length and content of your post shows that a lot of thought went into it, I'll try to respond in kind.

    I'll preface this with the fact that anything (including this post) that you read on the Internet should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. The Internet is a great research tool, but the second edge of that two-edged sword is that you are exposed to a lot of personal biases, unique bad experiences that are made to sound like the norm and just plain misinformation, right along with the good stuff. I don't want to sound pedantic, but I have been shooting for 45+ years (in which time I've formed my own biases, as well gained experience and insight).

    I am going to put forth another gun for your consideration. I believe this gun to be one of the finest I've ever shot and more than admirably suited for defensive purposes. I propose that you consider a Sig Sauer P250 Compact in 9mm. In this you have a gun that has the major advantage of a polymer gun (weight), without really being a polymer gun, in that all the critical systems (trigger group, hammer group and all linkages) are mounted to a stainless steel sub-frame that is secured in a polymer grip shell. The guns are shipped with a medium size grip shell, but your dealer may swap that out for a small size one at no additional charge. Worse case scenario is that you may have to pop for another $50 for the small one (and then you'd have two - in case someone of larger stature wishes to also shoot your gun). It is a D/A only gun with a long, smooth, non-stacking trigger with a pull of about 5.5 lbs. This is not achieved through partial cocking when the slide cycles, like striker fired D/A guns. This is also a hammer gun which means you have double strike capability. Even with the small grip size the capacity of the 9mm is 16+1. It also comes standard with night-sights and is the lowest priced gun in Sig's line-up.

    I was present at a pre-SHOT show event where Sig gave people the opportunity to shoot both the P250 and the 556. With literally thousands of rounds fired, by many different people, through several different guns, I am unaware of any malfunctions - and these were new guns. It has been a long time since I have been as impressed with a gun as I am with the P250. There is one in my future, as soon as the sub-compact in .357 Sig becomes available.

    I seconded the choice of 9mm for the reasons previously stated - cost (more practice), mag capacity and recoil. Better to hit your target three times with well-placed 9mm shots, than to miss it four times with a .45. Years ago you may have given-up quite a bit by going with a nine, but with today's modern defenive ammo, that is no longer the case. Stoke it with Hydra-Shocks, Gold Dots, EFMJs or other high-quality ammo and you will be well protected.

    Sorry to complicate your life, but I thought this should be put forth. In closing let me say I have no vested interest in the recommendation of this gun.

    Adios,

    Pizza Bob

  10. #10
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    Hmm a first gun...If you want to do it right, forget about a 40 for now, and I would select a more common gun for the time being rather than your two listed choices. If you are married to those two, I'd pick th HK, other wise I'd go with a G19, 229, M&P 9C or even an XD on the low end of the spectrum.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array snowdoctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgreen View Post
    Not sure about ranges that rent guns, but I can look into that. The gun store here does have an indoor shooting range and rents guns. I'll have to ask what they have available to rent. Might even be able to find some comparable guns that would answer my basic questions and lead me to the right choice.

    Thanks for the welcome.
    +1...if you can rent some and get a feel first, that is the best bet...PLEASE take your time and make sure the firearm you buy is right for you....all are expensive, so be methodical in your decision.

    If you want my guess on a firearm that you may like, that I really like is the Springfield XD....around 500.00 bucks, and an absolutely great gun...or a SW642 for pure carry purposes.
    ----DOC-----

    --people ask why I carry, and I show them this picture. I think it says it all.--

    NRA Certified Instructor--many disciplines

  12. #12
    Ex Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    +1 on SIXTO's advice, start with a 9mm and then get a lot of shooting practice with the cheaper ammo. After you are more comfortable then you can consider whether you really want a .40

    I would also suggest looking for a used 9mm if you have any of those for sale in your area. They are already broken in and many times already have the minimum upgrades done to them.

    I bought a used glock 19 for $340 and I am very happy.

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array echobaby's Avatar
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    Also consider a CZ 9mm Compact

  14. #14
    Member Array Preacher Mick's Avatar
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    My first pistol was the Bereta 92FS, an easy to handle, excellent, reliable 9MM with wihich to learn to shoot, etc.
    My first carry gun was and is a Kahr P9. It's a polymer & steel carry pistol that has had NO malfunctions with 1000-2000 rounds through it. It will easily fit a medium size hand, is light weight, and concealable. I comfortably carry mine in a Bianchi IWB holster just under my right elbow with no printing.
    While the guns you've mentioned are good quality guns, I highly recommend the Kahr P9. And for what it's worth, the P9 is worth the difference between it and the Kahr CW9 which is identical in size, but not in quality.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    First, welcome!

    Second, for the most part we all go through a process to find that one or two or more carry guns... I've sold two carry guns that I thought were THE carry gun. Then I found out they just did not work for me.

    Personally, I love the reliability and size of Glock's compact and subcompact models. The carry capacity of the Glock compact 19 (15+1 9mm) and the 23c (13+1 .40S&W). Recently I added the Glock subcompact 26 (10+1 9mm) to my collection, and found I can shoot the 26 as well as my 19 or 23c, or any other gun in my collection. They are all very light to carry all day, but will not hurt you when you practice.

    Have fun trying to figure this out for yourself. My one main recommendation: Shoot each gun yourself before you buy... you may find that what you think should work for you does not feel right or shoot was well as you think for who knows what reason.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9, and Glock G26, G19, G23C,
    and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

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