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First Handgun

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by fendermallot, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. fendermallot

    fendermallot Aloha, OR Member

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    Hi folks,

    First post, just found the forum! Sometime in the near future (when I can save a bit of money up) I plan on buying my first handgun. I generally plan to use it for target and SD/HD. Sometime in the future though I'm planning on becoming a reserve with one of the local agencies.

    So my question is, what would YOU say would be a good starter pistol? I'm not new to guns or gun safety as I grew up with guns in the house. My father is an avid sportsman and trained me early on to respect firearms.

    I've been doing a bit of research and talking with a friend with an FFL license and he's recommended the Springfield XD-M to me. I'm thinking a 9mm for my first would be sufficient and a little less costly than a .40 S&W or .45ACP.

    so, hello and what are your opinions?

    Caleb
     
  2. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    1911 45 acp.
    My first was a 40 because no one showed me a 45 I liked. avoid the pain and get the 45 now.
    Of course i reload so it cost me about 6.50 a box for ammo.
     
  3. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Welcome and get ready for widely different opinions for what is to be your first handgun.

    My favorite handgun is the 1911 in 45 ACP.

    But, if you don't have experience or someone with experience to teach you how to safely handle autoloaders, you might consider the good ol' double action revolver in .357.

    Good luck on your search. It's one of the funnest parts of gun ownership!
     
  4. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

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    I take it when you say reserve you mean the police department. If so, you might talk to them about what they are allowed to carry. If that is not a issue I myself like the 40S&W or the 45. Or as orygun said a wheel gun in 357. You can't go wrong with any of them. Good luck
     
  5. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest you find a range that rents handguns & trying a bunch to see what you like. A Glock 19 was my first handgun. I still like it & think it would be a fine first handgun for someone, but you may not like shooting it, so it's best to try a few for yourself. If I had it to do over again, I might get a 4" .357 Mag revolver as my first gun - although, it'd be harder to carry concealed.

    I agree with the advice to check what your local agency might allow you to carry.
     
  6. Aero Denezol

    Aero Denezol Salem Active Member

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    Lots of good answers here. A DA .357 is a good choice, lots of loads available from not so hot to pretty hot... 38 sp is not that cheap anymore though. For that reason I'd also recommend a semi-auto in 9mm. Ruger makes some very affordable and high quality 9mm pistols.

    Don't overlook a 22LR pistol either, I am amazed how many people don't have one... that is the cheapest way to get lots of practice in for next to nothing and it will really, really, improve your centerfire pistol shooting. A Browning Buckmark or a Ruger Mark III is a $300 investment that will more than pay for itself.
     
  7. buick455

    buick455 se portland Member

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    I think that most police deptartments are going towards the striker fired guns like glock xd and m&p. So if I was looking into law enforcement that is where i'd look. I think that the original xd's are the best deal going right now because the prices dropped after the xdm came out. Also another great deal right now is the Sig 2022 guns
     
  8. t.huynh

    t.huynh vancouver, wa Active Member

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    The smith and wesson M&P series are nice, rather inexpensive too.
     
  9. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    My first handgun was a S&W 686, 6". I will forever regret selling it.
     
  10. sprocket3

    sprocket3 Oregon - Wet Side Member

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    I 2nd that. I have had a bunch of pistols and the most fun comes from one of the .22s that I own. Ruger, Browning, and Smith all make nice .22 autos.
     
  11. nebraskagunner

    nebraskagunner Whidbey Island Member

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    +10
     
  12. fendermallot

    fendermallot Aloha, OR Member

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    opinions on Walther p22's? I am told that the Ruger is one of the best 22 semi-autos, but God, I hate how it looks.

    I guess my biggest problem is the lack of money (which is a pretty big problem hah!). My wife is just placating me because we both know that I don't have the money to buy anything in the foreseeable future. We have too many bills, my youngest has a severe speech problem and I work a decent paying, yet crappy, retail job (and a second P/T job as a custodian for BSD).

    Bleh, maybe in 2 or 3 years. Ok, done whining, back to cleaning!
     
  13. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    If I could only have one gun, it'd be a S&W686Plus. But A G19 is a great choice, too.
    For HD - a shotgun can't be beat
    For SF/CC - Get something small, light and easily controllable. As of late, I carry a J-frame loaded with 158gr LHP "FBI loads" from Buffalo Bore
     
  14. fendermallot

    fendermallot Aloha, OR Member

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    how would one find out about police trade ins? Call the precinct or would they have a website of some sort?
     
  15. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I bought a Springfield XD-M 9MM as my first had gun, and don't regret it. I held the Glock 19 and for some reason it didn't feel right in my hand. My wife's uncle has the XD-M in a .40 and I didn't feel any difference between the 9MM and the .40. The 9MM will be much cheaper to shoot.
     
  16. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    What do want it for, home defense, self defense, plinking, competition? What's your budget, both for gun and the ammo? Do you plant to take up reloading any time soon? Do you want something that also looks good/cool as well as work great? These are some of the many questions to ponder when selecting a gun.

    If you are on a budget, and you want a gun that can most of the above at least adequately at a minimum, then, can't go wrong with the G19.
     
  17. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    Agreed. The caliber argument has been going on longer than conflict in the middle east it seems. 9mm is plenty effective. Plus, being cheaper to shoot, means you will be able to get out and practice more.

    If this is a home defense/target practice gun, then you don't need a compact/snubbie gun like you would or concealed carry. Shorter barrels are harder to hit your target with. So I would suggest something full size.

    I went to one shop and the guy tried to sell me on a XD. I just didn't like it. I know it has this and that and all the other hoohah's but it just didn't turn me on. I love the glocks and had decided on that, until I saw/shot the M&P. Try out a couple and get the one that instinctively feels right to you. Between ammo, range fee's and gas you can spend a bunch of money "trying out" guns and will have not made a single step towards the actual cost of buying the gun. If you buy something that is a popular gun, i.e.. XD, Glock, M&P, then you will have no problem selling it if you decide that you want something different for most of what you paid for it.

    As far as money goes.. a lot of shops offer a layaway program for 90 days. Still means you have to come with a little less than $200 every month for a couple months, but that might be easier to do. Sometimes you have to start getting creative when it comes to raising money. Got anything you can sell on ebay? Of course... with christmas coming up it might be tough sell on the wife on you spending $500 on a toy for yourself. Then again.. if you've only got a little left to go until it's paid off then others might just chip in towards your gun instead of buying you a gift. :) Just food for thought.

    Good luck and happy hunting.
     
  18. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Make friends with someone that owns a lot of guns and get some free shooting in before deciding (well, pay for the ammo at least) but until then I will add this. If I only owned one gun it would be a .357mag snubbie revolver. Powerful, compact, fool proof and affordable. If I could not have that I would have a Glock 23 for the same reasons.
     
  19. Chipperxd

    Chipperxd Buffalo Active Member

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    Ruger P89 was my first handgun or first gun period. it was a great gun that I bought from a coworker for like 50 bucks (his wife was pretty much giving it away). great shooter but boy was it heavy
     
  20. fendermallot

    fendermallot Aloha, OR Member

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    opinions on:

    Bersa Thunder 9 or .40
    Taurus 111 or 140

    I got to go down to the gun broker in tigard yesterday and fondle a few pistols. The guy who helped me said that these were great starting pistols and I would save money which I could then use to pay for my chl, gun lock box, etc.