Tips with First Gun (Brand New)

Tips with First Gun (Brand New)

This is a discussion on Tips with First Gun (Brand New) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; At 30 years of age I've finally decided to purchase my very first gun and what I've got going against me is a total lack ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array snappca's Avatar
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    Tips with First Gun (Brand New)

    At 30 years of age I've finally decided to purchase my very first gun and what I've got going against me is a total lack of experience combined with no close family or friends that are in the know. I've been lurking in numerous forums reading up but there is only so much info I can glean without posting questions of my own.

    I've decided to purchase the new H&K P30s in .40 S&W when it finally comes out in the next few weeks. This is really intended to be my only weapon (at least for a long time) and what I'm hoping to capture are some tips for a person purchasing his first gun with very little experience.

    First step is cleaning. From what I've read, when you purchase a gun new it is coated in grease that needs to be removed before your first time at the range. So do I just field strip it and get every last bit of grease out of every nook? What do I use as a degreaser? Can I just use denatured alcohol for that?

    Since I'm starting from scratch, I'm currently looking at purchasing the "Otis Professional 40 Caliber Pistol Cleaning System" kit along with some Militec-1 lubricant.

    I've been reading people's recommendation to clean the gun thoroughly and then apply the Militec-1 and use a hair dryer to heat it up to bond with the metal. I suppose the question is do I just apply it based on the P30s manual's instructions for normal lubrication? Or do I douse every last bit of metal in the Militec and heat it up? Also, how concerned do I need to be with getting chemicals on the grip?

    My last question is related to the first rounds put through the weapon. I've read plenty of people talk about using 124 grain in the 9mm for the first 200 rounds in order to work the kinks out. But since I'm totally green with this I'm not sure how that applies to the .40 S&W. Any recommendations for initial ammo plus long term ammo for range and home defense would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks all,


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Welcome, Snappca! I'm sure you will be getting plenty of great advice from fellow forum members, but I'll start off with a little advice from personal experience.

    Some of the guns I have purchased over the years, but not all, have been "greased". I usually wipe them down with clean rags, and then disassemble as in normal cleaning. I use Gunzilla, but Hoppes is probably ok as well. I wipe down the entire gun with the Gunzilla, to get every trace of grease off, especially inside the barrel. Once clean, a very, very light touch and wipe down with some fine gun oil (like Rem Oil). The key here is to go lightly. Too much lube is just as bad as not enough, as it attracts grime and dirt.

    I am not familiar with the Militec process you mentioned, but someone else I'm sure will chime in on that.

    Also, you may wish to see if there is a range or club nearby, and join up. You're bound to get plenty of advice there, and also get to practice. If this is going to be your carry gun, I would put through at least 300 or more rounds of the ammo you are going to use; not the cheap stuff. Once you are sure the gun is flawless with the good ammo, you can then use less expensive ammo to practice with.

    Have fun, stay safe, get practice, and feel free to ask members here for help and advice and keep us posted on your progress! We've got a great crew on this forum ready to offer advice and help!
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Well you could do way worst than start with a HK. The P30 in 9mm is a big hit with anybody who handles and shoots one. Good luck. Read and listen to pepole here. Buy (invest) in a quality holster and belt for your gun. Youwill wish you had if you dont. Practice. Practice. and pay for training professionally whenever you can aford it. Welcome to the forum.
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    You do know that H&K hates you?

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    Distinguished Member Array Arko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappca View Post

    I've decided to purchase the new H&K P30s in .40 S&W when it finally comes out in the next few weeks. This is really intended to be my only weapon (at least for a long time)

    Ok, in general HK makes a very fine gun. Some would say wait until that particular variant is proven, but I think as long as you pay attention during break in, all will be fine.

    I would ask, however are you going to CARRY this gun? If not, and the objective is home only defense, have you considered a shotgun for your first gun?



    First step is cleaning. From what I've read, when you purchase a gun new it is coated in grease that needs to be removed before your first time at the range. So do I just field strip it and get every last bit of grease out of every nook? What do I use as a degreaser? Can I just use denatured alcohol for that?

    For now, keep it simple. Use a commercial gun cleaner. Field strip your gun several times (with no ammo anywhere near it) and get a feel for it. Now do it again and spray and brush out everything you can. Watch out for grips and plastic parts. Don't let solvent sit on them.


    Since I'm starting from scratch, I'm currently looking at purchasing the "Otis Professional 40 Caliber Pistol Cleaning System" kit along with some Militec-1 lubricant.

    Any decent cleaning kit is fine as long as it has the brushes and jags you need. You'll develop a preference and a kit as you go.

    I've been reading people's recommendation to clean the gun thoroughly and then apply the Militec-1 and use a hair dryer to heat it up to bond with the metal. I suppose the question is do I just apply it based on the P30s manual's instructions for normal lubrication? Or do I douse every last bit of metal in the Militec and heat it up? Also, how concerned do I need to be with getting chemicals on the grip?

    I don't use Miltec. Standard lube here. Someone more knowledgeable on that product will be along soon, I reckon!


    My last question is related to the first rounds put through the weapon. I've read plenty of people talk about using 124 grain in the 9mm for the first 200 rounds in order to work the kinks out. But since I'm totally green with this I'm not sure how that applies to the .40 S&W. Any recommendations for initial ammo plus long term ammo for range and home defense would be greatly appreciated.

    Don't get too caught up with this. The theory is that a lighter load=lower chamber/barrel pressure and a more gentle break in. I'm of the opinion that it shouldn't much matter.




    Thanks all,

    Good luck, and welcome!
    "Don't Tread on Me"

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    HK makes quality firearms. The .40 is a great caliber, but may be a bit much for your first gun and getting used to shooting. If you are going to have one weapon for carry, home defense, and range be sure to find one that fits your needs, carry methods, and that is comfortable for you. Small autos in large calibers can have a lot of recoil, especially in compact lightweight carry guns.

    Find a range that you can rent and fire various guns before you purchase. That way you can be familiar with them and know what to expect from various types of guns and calibers.

    As for cleaning, it is generally a good idea to clean a new gun. Don't go overboard and wipe everything down with a dry cloth.

    Break-in (first 200 rounds or so) is usually best with a good brand of full metal jacket (FMJ) round nose ammo. Self defense rounds (rounds you carry and keep in the weapon when not practicing) are typically hollow-point rounds. Buy quality ammo for self-defense.
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  7. #7
    GM
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    Congrats, you got a very nice gun! H&K make very good firearms
    However, I think that you might be disappointed about something; you say “This is really intended to be my only weapon (at least for a long time)”. Let me tell you something, you just got infected by a very bad virus (at least for your wallet), it is called firearms, and there is not cure for that

    About the ammo (I never use crappy ammo); during the break-in period I used only 115gr FMJ in all my nines. After that, I use 115gr ad 124gr FMJ at the range and for SD Cornbon DPX 115gr
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    My other other bit of advice would be to double up on hearing protection at the range. Use ear plugs AND ear muffs. Either of them alone isn't enough for range time.

  9. #9
    Member Array hk45c's Avatar
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    Good stuff, the first hand gun I ever purchased was a......wait for it HK45c. I have only ever fired .45 chamberd handguns (the other was a glock) and the recoil is just fine by me as I don't know anything else. As for cleaning, I took my gun out of the box and took it right into the range. No strip, no clean, no problem. I was soo excited and I could not wait. However I strip and clean my gun once a month and lube it almost every week. Overkil? Maybe but I enjoy handling my gun LOL!!!

    Have fun with your new tool!! But most of all be safe!!!

  10. #10
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Well, gosh. Brand new pistol? What would I do? Simply wipe it down with a 100% cotton rag, then lube the slide rails, then go shoot it. Plenty of time for lubing everything else necessary (should consult the user manual) after range time and the initial cleaning. Some parts/pieces should be avoided with lubrication, mainly firing pin systems or strikers. Everything else should be by the owner's manual, or at your discretion with a mind for mechanics and operation of your firearm. Where surfaces contact, slide, or pivot is generally where lubrication is needed, but lube sparingly, wiping off or swabbing away excess. Personally, I use Gunzilla for everything now. Militec lubricant and CLP could be runner ups for some, but I only depend on only one thing now. Getting on with things....ahem.......the Otis cleaning kit......I have two actually, and they are the universal cleaning kits. Very nice! I recommend the Otis kits for taking to the range or on extended hunting trips, or thrown in the bag for the just-in-case ordeal. Otis kits generally have an attachment for stuck case removal. Other than that....the Otis kits are rather expensive, and the universal patches and how to thread them on the eye take some getting used to. IMO...if you're determined to go with the Otis kit...for $48.99...for caliber specific.....then I would go for the universal instead. Now........Bore Snakes are real nice for the quickie clean right at the range, while the barrel is still warm. Do this, and your cleaning time hours later will be cut down considerably after the barrel, lead, copper, and carbon have had time to cool and make more of a bond. All of my center-fire rifles get the Bore Snake treatment before going into the bag from the range. It may be a step above what's necessary, but I love all of my firearms, and plan on making them last more than my lifetime. Now......down to bronze or brass brushes for cleaning bores. Personally, I've been into firearms and had them and maintained them for just around 26 years. IMO, stiff nylon brushes do the job very well, and save the bronze or brass brushes for deep cleaning of neglected bores. The stiff nylon brushes keep their shape longer no matter which direction they are pulled or pushed. The bronze and brass wires will fold over, bend and conform very quickly, and be less effective the longer they are used. The hard nylon are good almost indefinitely (I can't say for sure since I won't last indefinitely). You want to what I think the best nylon bore brush/patch rod there is out there today? The one that comes with the Glock pistols. Nylon rod, nylon brush, integral patch holder, universal from .380 thru .45acp. If you shoot a lot of lead bullets, then you might look into bronze brushes, but if you do the initial swab at the range while the bore is still warm, you're going to make things a heck of a lot easier. But with the right cleaning agent (Gunzilla), you can still do a very good job later. Bonding with the metal? I think Gunzilla does that very well. I can't promise overnight delivery, but if you hit me up in a PM, I'll see what I can do to get a sample out to you. Heating up with a hair dryer? What? If you've got to take extra steps to get the best out of your cleaning, solvent, preventive agent, then you're doing way too much work IMO. You should expect your choice of product to do all of that up front with no silly routines or processes involved to enhance it's performance.
    Working the "kinks" out of a pistol? I never knew pistols came with "kinks"....well.....okay, I take that back. The only pistols I've heard of that come with kinks are the way out of my price range, and they are mainly in the 1911 platform of some sort. I stay around the no-kinks price range and expect at least that much out of them. No 'break-in', no 'kinks', no two thousand dollars. I like things simple, ready to use, and dependent on my upkeep rather that some form of ceremonial acts to make things as they should be from the get-go. To me that's ridiculous. Add to that supposedly breaking in a pistol with a few hundred rounds of expensive PD ammo is apparently another concept I just can't seem to wrap my simple mind around. I'm all in favor of running quite a few rounds of your PD ammo of choice through the pistol to know it, but a few magazines full and you should get the gist of it, and stick with that ammo. If you change PD ammo, then repeat the process. After that, regular range ammo should be all that's needed to keep on top of things. If you want to mix it up, throw in one round of your PD ammo in a mag full of range ammo. Personally, I do like the 124gr+P for my 9mm PD ammo and shoot anything from 115gr-147gr FMJ for range practice or competition. 40S&W are generally 180gr for range/practice, and 155-165gr for PD. In my opinion, I do think the 40S&W round was tailor made for CC. It just has so much going for it in that capacity. I've been an avid fan for a long time. No experience with H&K, but I have a 'No Compromise' t-shirt because it's cool. The choices we make have reasons behind them. That's why we do the best we can, and work with them since we always seem to have a goal in mind when we do. Your lack of experience is about to change. You break the ice, and you're far ahead of most who have the notion in mind, but just don't have what it takes to find out on their own. It's a step in confidence, believing in yourself, feeling secure, and becoming less dependent on outside influences that may seem to comfort you in a normal, peaceable community in daylight hours, or give you the confidence to walk through the darkness in a place you've never known. Becoming independent, and knowing there's a remote possibility of changing your own destiny, and an oath to yourself to never become a victim is priceless. It's an affirmation of life, and how we want to live it. Best of luck to you in everything you seek.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappca View Post
    At 30 years of age I've finally decided to purchase my very first gun and what I've got going against me is a total lack of experience combined with no close family or friends that are in the know.

    First step is cleaning. From what I've read, when you purchase a gun new it is coated in grease that needs to be removed before your first time at the range. So do I just field strip it and get every last bit of grease out of every nook? What do I use as a degreaser? Can I just use denatured alcohol for that?

    My last question is related to the first rounds put through the weapon. I've read plenty of people talk about using 124 grain in the 9mm for the first 200 rounds in order to work the kinks out. But since I'm totally green with this I'm not sure how that applies to the .40 S&W. Any recommendations for initial ammo plus long term ammo for range and home defense would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks all,
    Congrats! And good idea spending time doing the research. I was in much the same situation however I found that I really did know more gun owners/shooters than I realized once I started talking about my new hobby (my new hobby is shooting, not CC...there's a difference, IMO).

    As for cleaning the gun. I ordered mine online and had it sent to my local range/FFL. They guys looked at it and said it was fine....grab some ammo and go shoot! No grease on it, etc. So it depends on the gun.

    Ammo: Deleted: thought I read 9mm.

    Go witth whatever is cheapest. If unfamiliar, you can check for reviews online because some ammo is poor quality but in order to practice alot try to find something cheap. And then practice practice practice! (and enjoy).

    You'll get lots of recommendations re: defense ammo (and horrified looks re: my comments about not cleaning your gun at first if you dont have to)....but recommended to me was Federal Hydroshock, Be sure to practice with that in your gun enough to make sure your gun handles it ok.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  12. #12
    New Member Array snappca's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great info everyone! Pretty crazy how fast you guys are at responding.

    @JonInNY:
    Thanks for the pointer to the Gunzilla cleaner. I did some quick Google searches that brought me to this same forum where several people were raving about it. Someone named "Ram Rod" apparently did a 180 from not wanting to give it a chance, to really liking it. So that answered my first question of what I should use to do initial degreasing / cleaning. I'm still thinking I should use that to clean it off and then use alcohol to get rid of the Gunzilla and put the Militec-1 on (still open to experienced opinion though). Someone named ToddG at pistol-training.com has put 75,000 rounds through a 9mm P30 in a H&K sponsored endurance test. In one of his posts he mentioned that he has used Militec-1 for years and would generally go about 9,000 rounds between cleanings on this endurance test.

    @jwhite75:
    I've been looking at getting a 1.25" belt from thebeltman.net, but I'm not sure whether I'd need a 1.5" instead. I guess I'm not a big fan of a monstrous belt for every day wear. I'd also like to get a Milt-Sparks Versa Max II holster, but they are on a 7 month waiting list and I've been looking at a Surefire x400 light to tack on the front (opinions?). I was actually looking at a Raven Concealment Phantom which is a Kydex IWB holster, but I am a bit concerned that it would tear up the finish on my new weapon.

    @21bubba:
    no idea what that is supposed to mean

    @Arko:
    I'm pretty anxious to snag my first gun and hit the range, so I'm going to gamble on the H&K name and hope the .40 P30s is solid from the get go. I'm not exactly expecting a war within my home and would like to mearly stick my toes in the water before turning my home into an arsenal. :) I totally understand that a shotgun is the best home protection, but for now I'd like to only have one weapon in the house and would like the option to carry it IWB on occasion.

    @BugDude:
    I've heard that 9mm is a bit easier on the recoil, but without stirring up a nasty discussion over which caliber is best, I figured I'd go with the slightly larger .40 and hope I could "get used to it". I can't imagine it is THAT much harder to shoot than a 9mm and I'm not exactly going up against improperly learned technique or anything since I don't have any experience at all.

    @GM:
    Thanks, although I don't have it yet! As for being bitten, it'll be interesting if that turns out to be the case. I was raised in a family that hated guns and am only now looking to become more familiar with them. I sorta doubt I'll pull a 180 and become a gun nut. :) As for your ammo recommendations, I'll have to be honest...most of that looks like gibberish. I understand more grains equals faster bullet and assumably more "kick", but I don't have any experience to know how much more power one is versus the other. If someone were to just say "buy brand x for the first 200 rounds, brand y for range from then on, and brand z for personal defense from then on" I'd be a VERY happy camper!

    @tokerblue:
    Rgr, will do. I've got the ear plugs. Now I'll just have to look into getting some muffs.

    @Ram Rod:
    Funny how I was mentioning you earlier and before I had a chance to post this response you pop in. I take it you are a "regular" with a whopping 9,473 posts! Thanks for the tip on the "Bore Snake", but do you put any Gunzilla on it or just run it through dry before heading home from the range? Also, there seem to be a few items that share that name, could you provide a link to the one you use? I hear you on the "no kinks" statement and I may be doing the P30 a disservice with my ignorant statement earlier, but I believe the few people that have reported an issue made the statement that it was within the first ~100 rounds and that they merely tossed some 124 grain through it and all was well after that. At this point, I'm pretty sold on the P30s and it seems most agree with your statement about .40 being a decent caliber for CC which is something I'd like to become comfortable in doing. There is definitely a long way before I become comfortable carrying something that is meant to destroy whatever it is pointed at. As for the discussion of ammo, I would greatly appreciate more specifics on what brand/grain/type those that are in the know would purchase. Knowing that I've never even been to the store to purchase ammo nevermind learn the benefits of +P or FMJ are I'd be very interested in the recommendations so I can start out with a decent brand and learn from there.

    Thanks again to everyone for their uber-fast response to a noobie's questions!

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappca View Post
    Thanks for the great info everyone! Pretty crazy how fast you guys are at responding.

    @JonInNY:
    Thanks for the pointer to the Gunzilla cleaner. I'm still thinking I should use that to clean it off and then use alcohol to get rid of the Gunzilla.
    No need to remove the Gunzilla. It is a Cleaner, Lubricant and Protectant (CLP). It is OK to leave a thin coat on as the last thing you use after cleaning.

    (And I picked up the recommendation from RAM ROD a while ago, and now I rave about it as well).


    And here's the link to Gunzilla: http://gunzilla.us/
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snappca View Post
    I'm not sure whether I'd need a 1.5" instead. I guess I'm not a big fan of a monstrous belt for every day wear.
    - I bought a 1.5" tapered to 1.25" belt from The Beltman and wish I went with the straight 1.25". It's a really well built belt and should hold up any rig you have.

    Quote Originally Posted by snappca View Post
    I was actually looking at a Raven Concealment Phantom which is a Kydex IWB holster, but I am a bit concerned that it would tear up the finish on my new weapon.
    - I used a Blade Tech kydex S.O.B. holster for my Kahr MK9 for 10+ years. I have not noticed any unusual wear on the finish of the gun. I have a Crossbreed MiniTuck now for my Kahr PM9 and I doubt I'll see any wear on the finish either. Another thing to remember that this is your service gun. IMO, no sense in worrying about it losing beauty contests.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    Well as far as the ammo goes, I prefer FMJ for the break in and practice. FMJ means full metal jacket and means the bullet will be encased in copper instead of just a hunk of lead. (cleaner for health reasons and will not fowl the barrel as fast.

    Really for practice winchester in the big white box is fine. Or federal or remington. I would stay away from wolf, brown bear, etc because they tend to be pretty dirty. (But very inexpensive)

    Go ahead and head down to the local gun store(no walmart, but an actual gun store) and ask questions. Explain to the guy that you are new and have a gun on the way. He will answer all you questions and make recommendations, show the products etc. Remember, you will be a customer of his buying aMMO, cleaning stuff and probably more guns!!! He will be nice and courteous or you will go somewhere else.
    "In those days, there was a lot more respect for other people and it showed in peoples values.... Today the word value means nothing more than something you get on the $1 menu at McDonald's." -BARK'N

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