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Old September 28, 2012, 09:38 AM   #1
915A
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First handgun, advice?

First off I am new to the forum and personally owned firearms, and this might be lengthy. I am in the Service so not completely out of the loop with firearms. I have been doing my howework on various makes and models of handguns I have never fired any of the models I have looked at, but I have handled many in the store and the S&W M&P 9/40 full size , FNX/FNS 9/40, and Ruger SR9/40c felt the best in my hand and from what I have read that is a huge part of which to choose. I am not sure how much I will carry on my person, more so in the home, my vehicle, and the range. So here are my considerations , and I have read a ton so if it is redundant I apologize;

1) Ruger SR9/40c; Price wise these are the best, they felt great in my hand(had the full size mag in, and it was ok with the compact with pinky plate). I have read the trigger is pretty sweet compared to the other two. I have read multiple issues on the 9mm with light strikes and other issues, but just as many or more very positive results. And I got it nothing is perfect and Ruger seems to have top notch CS.

2) S&W M&P 9/40 full size standard or pro versions(Pro mainly for the sights). I tried the compact and it just didnt jive in my hand like the FS did. I know the full size mag with X grip would help. I know a lot of guys drop the APEX parts in and swear buy them. And I like the fact the .40 can be coverted to 9mm and .357. The 9mm seems to being getting some poor feedback about the newer style barrel being used, but again outstanding CS. And I am sure the aftermarket arena has lots of options for the M&P.

3)FNH FNS/FNX 9/40 is the most pricey of the bunch. Did feel really great in my hand. From what I am being told the FNX 9 is replacing the Beretta 92 series for the Army, so having what I carry at work could be an upside. The FNS was nicer, but I am concerned about the Slide lock issue with the trigger and hard hits. I was easily able to replicate both in the shop. Again FNH seems to have good CS.

4) Lastly the age old debate on Caliber, really it comes down to price for me. I like the fact that the M&P can be converted, and I am hearing the FNH can be as well.


I think they covers it for now, I look forward to the responses and sorry for being long winded.
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Old September 28, 2012, 10:50 AM   #2
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Well, they are all good, reliable, well regarded pistols.

I personally would pick the FN. I just think their build quality is better.
The Ruger would be my second choice, Ruger has never let me down.
The Smith, I am admittedly not a fan of. Just personal taste. I carry a S&W 640 in .357, but I HATE the M&P lineup. Just my opinion. Plenty of folks here love them and shoot them.
For all around carry in a semi, I'd get a slim single-stack. But you really can't go wrong with any of the guns you've listed. Just pick YOUR favorite, and go have some fun at the range!
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Old September 28, 2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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If you think those feel good, hold a CZ P01 some time. There's also a 40 version called the P06.
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Old September 28, 2012, 12:08 PM   #4
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No one can be certain of the future, but the probability of you of liking the Ruger SR40 in the fullness of time is very high. I would go for it.
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Old September 28, 2012, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
From what I am being told the FNX 9 is replacing the Beretta 92 series for the Army, so having what I carry at work could be an upside.
The Army just purchased an additional 5,000 M9s this month and there is no ongoing trials that I know of (for Big Army at least). I go to the FN factory a lot and they have mentioned nothing about this and I'm 99.9% they would if this was true.

But your point about carrying what you carry at work is valid; at least in terms of trigger system. With the M9 being DA/SA, that's something to think about.

I would say you'll get equal performance (very reliable, easy to maintain, ect...) out of any of the guns you mentioned but if you plan on using it primarliy for HD/range use I'd bump your Ruger choice to the full size.

As far as ammo, the 40 and 9mm are very, very similar in terms of performance with modern duty ammo. I personally fell the 40 is harder to shoot well for most new (or relatively new) shooters. The snappy-ness of the round tends to induce flinching and low/left shots (for righties). I'd go 9mm, for this purchase at least.

If I had to choose one, I'd get the M&P.
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Old September 28, 2012, 12:20 PM   #6
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If you're not going to carry it on your person much, why are you only considering polymer. I know, the gun store guys push them, and most younger people only know polymer. That being said there are many fine, all steel or alloy framed pistols out there, but if you settle on polymer, that's OK too. Stick with 9MM for lower cost of practice.

CZ-75B, P-01, PCR, SP-01, or P07 (polymer) are all good choices
Sig P229
Beretta 92FS
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Old September 28, 2012, 12:30 PM   #7
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I rarely disagree with plouf, but I will on this one.

If you plan on carrying even part time, or are considering it, the SR9c/SR40c or M&P 9c/40c are what I would suggest. Simply put, they give you more flexibility than a dedicated full size, and SD or home defense performance won't suffer. I have a Ruger SR9c, and it's easy to be accurate with at 50 feet. You won't suffer for going with the compact M&P or SR9/40
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Old September 28, 2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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Plouf- yeah I just read that as well, I guess the guy at the shop was misinformed

Pilot- I just didnt like the weight of the Non-Polymers, with the exception of the FNX-9

RBid- I am leaning heavily towards the SR line more so towards the 9mm for ammo cost. I read your post and it what got the SR noticed for me. What ammo would you reccomend?

Thanks for all the input so far.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:23 PM   #9
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If you plan on carrying even part time, or are considering it
I absolutely understand what you're saying here; I guess only the OP can answer that one in terms of how likely it is that he'll carry it. I just think the larger frame tends to allow most people to shoot the gun better. That's a broad generalization, I know.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:30 PM   #10
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915A - how a gun feels in your hand at the sales counter is not exactly how it's gonna feel in your hand when you shoot it and how it feels when you fire a round or two is not the same as when you fire a whole lot of rounds, particularly with some of the semi-autos that have sharply checkered grip frames.

My advice is the same for everyone in your position: go to one or more indoor ranges that rent guns and try as many different ones as you think might meet your general criteria. B.S. with the owner about what you thought, after firing them. Some ranges will give you big discounts on the second, third, etc. rental at the same session. Also ask the owners what they would NOT recommend and why.

It costs more to do this, but not as much as you will lose if you buy a gun you are unhappy with and then turn around and dump it and start over. Unfortunately, most gun shops that don't have their own indoor range will not recommend this to you, because they naturally fear that you will buy from the guy who rents one to you.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:52 PM   #11
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A little more weight in a gun is a good thing for actually shooting it. That being said, many of the full size or semi compact polymers have good shooting characteristics.

Gun stores push polymer because of the cost, and margin.

If you are stuck on polymer look at a CZ P-07, or full size Phantom.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:58 PM   #12
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More good advice, thanks guys I should have come here sooner vs a brand dedicated forum. I will look in my area and see whats available.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:59 PM   #13
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Are you on the Front Range?
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Old September 28, 2012, 05:05 PM   #14
915A
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I am down in the Springs.
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Old September 28, 2012, 05:23 PM   #15
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Oh, OK, I use to live in Lone Tree near Castle Rock, and was going to recommend a few good gun stores with ranges that you could rent some guns to try them out.

If you get up to Aurora, the Firing Line has an indoor range and rents a wide variety of pistols.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
I just didnt like the weight of the Non-Polymers, with the exception of the FNX-9
The FNX has a polymer frame too. The M&P and SR are similar in operation, and both can be had with a manual safety if you are looking for that. The FNX has an exposed hammer, which gives the option of DA or SA. I would also recommend going with one of the compact models if you even think of carrying it, because you can always have the extended magazines for the range. The only thing you'd miss out on is a slightly better sight picture, but given the range of shooting, that's not a bad tradeoff.

For the three models listed, I don't think you can go wrong with either.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:36 PM   #17
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I like my SR40c and decided on a few upgrades... SSteel Guide rod assembly, polished metal striker indicator (both of which also improve the looks) and a stronger striker spring (all from gallowayprecision.com).... I also epoxied a small square of thin polymer in the lower back of the magwell to tighten the magazine fit somewhat as I prefer it this way.

This gun fits my hand perfectly and is a natural pointer. I'm accurate with it and prefer the power of .40 (vs. 9) as the gun is a relatively soft shooter partly due to it's beefy well-made rugged slide. It holsters and conceals nicely for a double-stack .40... I'm confident with it in both configurations and really appreciate the versatility of choice between 9+1 or 15+1.

I haven't had much exposure to the other two guns you mentioned in your 1st post but I can say that I've been keeping my SR40c at my side more and more as time marches on. Aside from some minor holster wear in the trigger area, it's proving durable... and making me a convert to .40.

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Old September 28, 2012, 06:42 PM   #18
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The recoil spring system in the SR9c and SR40c is great. I love the way the recoil translates. For me, it's a soft, very low flip, direct push backward. Follow up shots are quick and accurate.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:49 PM   #19
915A
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Can the 40c be converted down to 9mm like some others?
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Old September 28, 2012, 07:30 PM   #20
CWKahrFan
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Quote:
Can the 40c be converted down to 9mm like some others?
I just did a quick net search on the topic... I'm no expert, but from what I could see, the answer is NO... (unlike the S&W M&P's) the Ruger SR40's aren't compatible with a 9mm barrel conversion.

..."SR9 and SR40 do not share the same chassis"...
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Old September 28, 2012, 08:21 PM   #21
915A
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I found both answers, but heck at the price I may just try one of each.
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Old September 28, 2012, 09:00 PM   #22
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CWKahrFan - in terms of "enough to notice," did the SSteel Guide rod assembly affect the weight or balance and has the beefier striker spring added ounces to your trigger pull? I don't own any striker-fired guns, otherwise would have assumed the new spring would add up to a pound or so. Also, were you getting light strikes before then?
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Old September 28, 2012, 09:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
in terms of "enough to notice," did the SSteel Guide rod assembly affect the weight or balance and has the beefier striker spring added ounces to your trigger pull?
In both cases, no, not enough for ME to notice... But as I said, I'm no expert.

Quote:
Also, were you getting light strikes before then?
Yes. From the net chatter I've read, light strikes seems to be the biggest bugaboo in SOME units of this series, in both 9 and .40... It's kinda mysterious... A lot of hi-round-count owners report excellent reliability with no problems.

From what I've read, most owners whose units eventually developed the light-strike problem, and who sent them in to Ruger CS, have been generally satisfied that the problem was taken care of. Exactly WHAT Ruger CS is doing to them, I don't know.
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Old September 28, 2012, 09:52 PM   #24
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Thanks. Gonna' have to try one, one of these days.
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Old September 28, 2012, 11:53 PM   #25
CWKahrFan
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Youtube... Hickok .45 on Ruger SR40c:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mElslmZN9g4

Chapter 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5O4Id5bi6g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNlqwm6_ol8

& SR9c:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT1q1C_PnIY
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