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Old June 22, 2011, 03:23 PM   #1
oneloudvous
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First handgun: 22lr vs. 9mm

Im saving up for my first handgun and cant decide which gun I would rather have first. I will probably end up buying the other eventually but it wont be for a while. It will be used to for learning the basics and target shooting.

The two guns Im considering are a Ruger MKIII 22/45 5.5" bull barrel and adjustable sights (model # 10140) and a RIA tactical 1911 9mm.

Im a full time college student and my gun will be kept at home, this basically means I wont get to shoot as often as most of yall do. This is why Im considering the 9mm, I wont be shooting often so the cost of ammo wont be as big of a deal.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Last edited by oneloudvous; June 22, 2011 at 03:30 PM.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:27 PM   #2
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What do you plan to do with this gun? You say that it will be kept at home, but is it to be a home/self defense gun? If so, go with the 9mm. The 22LR is a fantastic, cheap plinking cartridge, but I wouldn't recommend it for self defense.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:32 PM   #3
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I edited my OP to answer your question but it will be to learn the basics and target shoot.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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can't go wrong with the ruger mk3. great piece. not a fan of 1911 personally. def not of 9mm 1911's. never heard of the specific model. if you want a 9mm to learn on and get your confidence up early, i recommend a cz 75b. i have seen a beginner out-shoot a seasoned shooter when the beginner has the cz and the veteran has something like a taurus, ruger, or s&w.

as a starter, it's definitely good to learn form, sight acquisition, and trigger pull technique with a 22, but shooting a 9mm (or bigger) is a whole different world. if you are going to want this gun for any self defense scenario, i would recommend jumping right to the 9mm, you can always buy a 22 later for plinking. i find that most men don't have trouble handling and learning on the 9mm, while it can sometimes be a little much for a beginner woman.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:33 PM   #5
aarondhgraham
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Buy the .22 pistol,,,

That's my advice anyways.

Ammo cost may or may not be a consideration,,,
Until you have to leave the range when you are just getting it down.

You can do everything a pistol is supposed to do with that Ruger.

With the 9mm you can also do everything a pistol is supposed to do,,,
Except plink.

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Old June 22, 2011, 03:34 PM   #6
loose_holster_dan
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before any of you go nuts on me for knocking the 1911, take a look down in my signature and notice that i own 2. i'm just saying, there are much better options out there if you are settling on one model.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:36 PM   #7
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I really like the Ruger Mk series. It's hard to go wrong with one of those.

Also, I don't own one, but isn't there a CZ model in 9mm that has either a 22 counterpart or a conversion kit? It seems like I've seen posts from Aarond about that. . .
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:39 PM   #8
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as to the cz that can go both ways, if you buy one of the older models of the 75b, you can get the kadet kit to convert to 22. the newer models i've seen all have the omega trigger system. the old kadet kits won't work with it. good call tho. definitely an option for this guy.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:42 PM   #9
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It's the CZ,,,

CZ-75B in 9mm for around $500.00

CZ-75B Kadet, .22 LR conversion kit for around $385.00

CZ-75B Kadet complete .22 LR pistol for around $600.00

Very high quality but not the least expensive option out there.

Aarond
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:44 PM   #10
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I think the process of researching and selecting a handgun is fun.

Purchasing that firearm and actually getting it for the first time - it's like getting a new car, I think it's fun anyway.

Whether you decide you need a gun for whatever purpose, you can probably learn a lot from practicing the fundamentals with a .22

If I were you I would get a .22, take some classes, take your time researching what you want a handgun to do. In the meantime, you can't go wrong with a .22

Zoinks ! The OP changed while I was writing this !

OK, my advice is definately get a .22

Last edited by C0untZer0; June 22, 2011 at 03:46 PM. Reason: The OP changed while I was writing this response
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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Nothing wrong with a 9mm. But, like some others have said, I'm not sure I'd want a 9mm 1911 - just not sure what the advantage would be. There are some very fine 9mm platforms out there: S&W 3rd Gen; CZ 75; EAA 9mm; And, then there are the polymer framed guns. Lots to choose from.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:47 PM   #12
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Zero is right. As you can tell I have way too much fun with the process of buying. Done it more than 20 times
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Go-to carry setup - Walther PPS or PPQ in FIST kydex holster 1AK
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:48 PM   #13
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out of all my guns i only own one 22lr pistol. I think everybody should have one for fun plinking or maybe if you want a challenge some small game hunting....but id lean more towards the 9mm as a first. Most everybody i know including me, have pistols for carry/self defense...and the plinking and target shooting falls on the rifles and shotguns.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:50 PM   #14
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Learn target and marksmanship skills on a 22. Later on keep it and buy a center fire pistol or sell it to buy a center fire pistol if the budget doesn't allow both.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:52 PM   #15
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If you are a college student and have little or no experience with firing handguns, I recommend you consider the .22 for your first pistol.

Learning the fundamentals of shooting, including breathing, trigger control, body position/grip, and the rest are key to being able to shoot well in the future. Even experienced shooters occasionally take time away from their routines and return to a study of the fundamentals.

They are easier to learn using a .22 pistol, particularly for first-time shooters, because the recoil and blast (on an indoor range) are not as intrusive. Also, .22 ammunition is relatively inexpensive, and the key to being a good shooter is to shoot often - while focusing on the fundamentals.

As a college student, I'm sure your funds are limited - and thus I think you will get more out of your shooting if you are able to (affordably) shoot as often as you can - which a .22 will allow you to do.

Just MHO. Best with your decision, and with learning to shoot well.

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Old June 22, 2011, 03:52 PM   #16
C0untZer0
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How accurate are the conversion kits?

Not just the CZ - but also like the Advantage Arms .22 conversion for Glock?
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:56 PM   #17
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A friend of mine has a nice custom built Wilson .45 and uses the Kimber .22 cal conversion kit on it. I've fired it on numerous occasions.

The conversion kit is nice, and works very well. It certainly gives you the option of shooting both calibers off the single platform.

My preference, however, is to separately own a .22 cal pistol and a .45 cal pistol, and thats why I decided against getting a conversion kit myself.

Just personal preference.
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Old June 22, 2011, 03:57 PM   #18
aarondhgraham
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I dunno about the conversion kits,,,

But my CZ Kadet is extremely accurate.

Off of a sandbag rest it shoots as small a group,,,
As any of my dedicated target pistols.

Offhand I shoot as tight a group with the Kadet,,,
As I do with it's 9mm counterpart.

But honestly I don't recommend the Kadet as a first .22 pistol,,,
For half the price you can get a Ruger that will serve the newbie shooter just fine.

Aarond
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Old June 22, 2011, 04:05 PM   #19
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OP, everyone should start with a 22lr....I don't care who you are.
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Old June 22, 2011, 04:13 PM   #20
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Here's the other thing - it's easy to kind of fall in love with some particular pistol and you get to where you really want it, but it doesn't always make sense necesarily to get it.

Maybe the RIA Tac 1911 in 9mm caliber is like that for you.

I've noticed that for me, my thoughts on a pistol can change. Eight months ago, I was pretty sure I wanted a Springfield XD Tactical Model 5" Then I started thinking about getting a CZ75B SA. Then I started thinking about getting a Glock 34 (even though I hate Glock triggers).

It's like if I wait long enough my mind will change.

For me - an auto either has to have the traditional 1911 / Browning Hi-Power thumb safety which I flick DOWN, or it has nothing at all. I don't like knobs or levers that flick up I don't like decockers there... just personal preference.

I also don't like DA/SA setups. Personal preference.

If you like the the external thumb safety then I think there still are some better options than the 1911. A Browning Hi-Power, or a CZ75B SA is another option.

I just have to say, I have to start taking my reading glasses to the gun store when I go. I looked at a CZ75 yesterday and I swear the dot on the front side was not centered on the blade. It looked high and to the left. The store owner looked at it and said he thought it was fine. I am going to bring my glasses next time.

Anyway you have a lot of time to figure that out. Six months from now you may decide you don't want 9mm at all - that you want a 10mm. Or maybe you decide you want a 5.56 "pistol" instead (I don't know....)

I would just get the .22 for now, great caliber to learn on.
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Old June 22, 2011, 04:26 PM   #21
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+1 on .22 for starters - low recoil facilitates learning of basics, cheap ammo.
+1 on adjustable sights unless it is for CC.
+1 on 1911 9mm - cheapest centerfire ammo, ammo/pistol combo gives mild recoil, great 1911 ergonomics.
==========
I agree with Countzero, +1 on thumb safety like 1911 or no thumb safety. Slide mounted thumb safety feels awkward to me. I guess it is a matter of getting used to.
==========

Last edited by pilpens; June 22, 2011 at 04:36 PM.
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Old June 22, 2011, 04:31 PM   #22
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there are all kinds of hammers and screw drivers and what you would need would depend on the purpose. same with guns. for protection i would take a 9mm over a 22 although lots of people get killed with 22's. for learning, range work, becoming a good shot and shear fun i would opt for the 22. everyone needs a 22, most decide to get it sooner than later. the cost of ammo is much much less, it is a very accurate cartridge and nothing will allow more trigger time tha a 22.
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Old June 22, 2011, 04:42 PM   #23
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I agree with getting a .22, you can get a quality .22 that will last a lifetime for a few hundred dollars and you can pour thousands down range for the same price as a few boxes of 9mm. More trigger time = better skills + smiles. That being said when you're ready to move up the 9mm is a great choice, the ammo is cheap, recoil is on the lighter side and it is a capable self defence round with the right ammo and good shot placement.
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Old June 22, 2011, 04:47 PM   #24
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My first pistol was designed by a man whom I admire greatly, a gun design that will never be obsolete, the 1911. If I had to give up all my handguns except one the choice would be very hard to make, which 1911 to keep? There is no comparison to the 1911 for a lifelong keeper, all the others are junk by comparison, and I have a large number of handguns of all kinds that I enjoy and treasure.
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Old June 22, 2011, 04:54 PM   #25
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Well I do like the idea of having a conversion kit if it's as accurate as the whatever it's converting from. Having another pistol that is the exact make & model except in .22 caliber is good too. I think you can get a lot of good practice in that either way.

I know some people say that unless you have the same recoil - you're not really training, but I disagree.

For that Kadet, $600 is steep for a .22 - although I have to admit, I'll probably buy a 617 someday.

There are whole threads on this forum about "what's the best entry level .22 pistol." You can get a lot of information on them.
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