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Old May 24, 2012, 03:34 AM   #1
JimmyR
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Taking suggestions...

OK, I am looking to make my first gun purchase for my third gun. I have two pistols already, which I inherited after my father passed away. The two I already own are a 1960 production Beretta Model 950B Minx chambered in .22 short semiautomatic and a 1950's-1960's Smith & Wesson Model 31 police issue revolver with the 2" barrel chambered in .32 Long. My primary purpose will be personal protection and concealed carry, and I'd like to semi-retire my dad's guns. I am leaning towards getting either a compact-full sized 9mm semiauto or a .38 special revolver, preferably with a 4in barrel. One of the gun shops in my area has a number of rentals available, and I am looking for recommendations/ other suggestions. I would like to start shooting more for practice, but not many places offer .32 long ammo, and my Beretta, for all its positives, is basically a pea shooter. I want a good middle ground weapon, with reasonably priced ammunition (hence the 9mm and .38 special) but also one I could use for home protection. Any suggestions would be great!
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Old May 24, 2012, 04:08 AM   #2
RobertInIowa
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JimmyR,

There's a whole lot to choose from, but I think one that is fantastic for home defense and not too bad to carry is the 9mm. I personally carry a compact .380 Sig which is basically a short 9mm, but that's the lightest I would go for home defense or carry purposes. People will argue over the effectiveness of both calibers, but I think they are both adequate for the job. They both have a large selection of self defense ammunition available also. How large of a weapon are you comfortable carrying? That will be a big factor in what's available. Good luck with the purchase.
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Old May 24, 2012, 04:18 AM   #3
Buckeye4255
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Try out a Ruger SR9/SR9c
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Old May 24, 2012, 05:28 AM   #4
JimmyR
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@RobertinIowa: I am still pretty green in the concealed carry, and since I work in a hospital, this would largely be kept in a glove box/at home. I have a hefty frame, so concealing a compact 9mm or 38 shouldn't be too tough. I live by myself, and since my fiance and I won't get married until next May, I don't have to worry too much about children around my firearms.

While I like the dependability of a revolver, I am really leaning towards a 9mm, simply due to capacity. While I own one of each, my Beretta holds a whopping 6+1. A subcompact 9mm typically holds 10+1 easily, and I am looking at compact or full sized mostly.
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Old May 24, 2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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Jimmy a .38 revolver from one of the well respected gun manufacturers makes a great SD weapon. The 9mm .40 cal. and .45cal. are the most popular SD pistol calibers.

Today the modern semi auto is very reliable. There are a few exceptions but a 9mm Glock, Sig, Rugar, Smith to name a few will all serve you well. I suggest you handle a few down at the gun store and rent the one's that feel best in your hand.

Sig and H&K both make very high quality 9mm's. They come at a premium price however. If money isn't an issue they would be the first two I would look at. Good luck.
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Old May 24, 2012, 10:50 AM   #6
RobertInIowa
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Some good, reasonably priced choices would be...

Ruger SR9 as suggested above
Springfield XD 9mm compact
Walther pk380
S&W M&P Shield in 9mm or .40 S&W

If you're open to used guns the list gets endless. Just make sure you can find a place to let you handle one before you buy. I believe that all the above are 4 - 500 dollars new. Picking one out is one of the fun parts, look a lot of them over before you decide.

Happy hunting.
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:25 PM   #7
JimmyR
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I am definitely open to used guns, especially since the guns I have are 60+ years old. If I get used, I'm def aiming at a well known, quality manufacturer I.e. Beretta, S&W, Ruger, Sig, Springfield, Glock, etc. Read too many negative reviews about some of the cheaper brands.
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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Another vote for the Ruger SR9C. Was a tossup between SR9C and the Smith & Wesson M&PC and I went with the Ruger since it was alot slimmer and had a much better trigger than the M&P. (Note: to those who try a SR9/SR40 trigger at the store, it has a magazine disconnect from the factory, so with no mag in the pistol it is not the true trigger pull). The difference of trigger pull with and without the mag inserted is night and day, so don't read into alot of the talk about the awful triggers on the SR9's, because chances are they handled them at the store without a mag inserted. I removed the magazine disconnect which is a simple procedure. The SR9C shoots like a full size but carries like a compact, I am amazed by the accuracy of this gun. So far I have about 700 rounds through it with no failures of any type.

As much as I love the SR9 I will say that I had to do a little work on it. It seems Ruger sends the SR series guns out with very tight tolerances and sometimes too much material is left on the barrel hood. I had to use very fine sandpaper, specifically 800 (very lightly), 1000, and finished with 1500 grit wet-dry to take some of the excess material off the top of the barrel hood and under part of the slide. The two parts were meeting during cycling and was peening the top front portion of the barrel hood and under part of the slide. Basically what I did with the sandpaper was accelerated the break-in and removed the burs for aesthetics. I finished up with mothers mag polish to give it the barrel hood a mirror shine and have not had one sign of peening in the 400 rounds I have had through the gun since. I enjoy working on my guns so no biggy to me, similar to buying an aftermarket barrel and having to fit it to the gun. Should not have to been done in the first place but its a total of 20 min of work.
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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Jimmy,

I suggest you go to a shop with a good sellection, look them over, and decide wich gun really catches your attention! I think a person should really like the asthetics his first gun! If you really like the way your first gun looks, you are more likely to keep it, even if it does not shoot well for you.

A mans first bought should be kept and passed on to his first born!

You can always buy another thats fits a certian need as your second gun!

Just my opinion. Have fun making your decision.
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Old May 24, 2012, 02:02 PM   #10
JimmyR
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@wyoredman- If that's the case with the ruger, I might be best looking for a used one mayube.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I think I may be leaning towards a 9mm, just because of capacity. I think it fits best with what I have already, but I think I'm still going to rent a few to make sure.
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Old May 24, 2012, 03:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
I am leaning towards getting either a compact-full sized 9mm semiauto or a .38 special revolver, preferably with a 4in barrel.
Buckeye4255 got it right...

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Old May 24, 2012, 04:14 PM   #12
JimmyR
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With the two different sized magazines and the extender, I think the ruger might be my best march for me. Any negative reviews on it?
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Old May 25, 2012, 12:36 AM   #13
JimmyR
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I was doing some research, and found the "Carry and Range" kit for the S&W M&P 9mm. For just over $600, they offered:

An M&P 9mm full size
3 17 round magazines
Kydex holster
Kydex double magazine pouch
A Maglula Uploada Speedloader
Earplugs.

From what digging I have done, that looks like a great price for a Smith and Wesson. Any thoughts?
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Old May 25, 2012, 02:55 AM   #14
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What's the model number on that?
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Old May 25, 2012, 05:54 AM   #15
JimmyR
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@Robert- Its just listed as a Model M&P9 Carry and Range Kit.
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Old May 25, 2012, 06:13 AM   #16
Manson
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The M&P is a nice gun. Some folks find the trigger a bit gritty. Dry fire it before you buy and pay close attention to the trigger feel. If you don't object to the trigger than it would be a good choice. Solid and reliable. The M&P 9mm now comes in three sizes. The full size, compact and the even smaller Shield. Be sure to look at all three if you decide on the Smith.
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Old May 25, 2012, 06:20 AM   #17
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Sooner or later you will want to carry in a pocket holster.

The Kahr PM9 will fit in any front pocket.
It's been around long enough to have the bugs worked out of it.
Your fiance will be able to handle it.
9mm ammo is cheap.
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Old May 25, 2012, 06:46 AM   #18
JimmyR
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@kcub- For any pocket carrying, I can actually bring out my Beretta Minx. Its small enough to REALLY pocket carry this thing- easily mistaken for a cell phone.
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Old May 25, 2012, 06:36 PM   #19
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JimmyR,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

Depending on where you live, 9mm is generally cheaper and more available than 380. 38 Special is fairly inexpensive, too. So, what you decide to go for will depend on whether you like and trust the operation of the revolver or the aemi-auto better. Some people like the fact that all the springs in a revolver are "at rest" normally. Some people like the idea of the greater capacity of the semi-auto, as you have mentioned, but others reckon that civilian shooting solutions rarely consume more than 2 rounds.

Me, I reload, so having a gun that doesn't mistreat my brass is a blessing. But in a social shooting situation, my brass will be the least important consideration.

I would try to buy a pair. One in 22 rimfire identical to your centerfire choice. That way you can practice a lot cheaply with the familiar grip and sight picture and practice a little more with full-power loads. Either that, or start taking up reloading so you can practice adequately. Anyone who carries in public owes a duty to all the bystanders around him or her to be a good shot.

That you live near a place you can rent guns for tryouts is fortunate. Make use of that.

One advice I have for new shooters which might apply to you as well is to get a decent target 22 (not Olympic quality, but something like the Browning Buckmark or Ruger Mk I, II or III with adjustable sights) and spend time on the range, the more crowded the better. You will get to see a lot of different guns and talk to their owners. You might even get invited to throw a few slugs downrange and get advice from people who have lived with the guns for a long time, not just a rental hour.

Most gun owners are right proud of their hardware and if they see someone who is polite, appears to care about accuracy and observes good gun handling (maintenance and safety) are overjoyed to share their wisdom, experience and a few spare rounds.

Good luck, good shopping.

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Old May 28, 2012, 07:56 AM   #20
JimmyR
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OK, so after going to my local gunstore andd holding each of the reccomended pieces, I narrowed my selections down to the full size Beretta px4 storm and the M&P 9. Gonna go to a local range and test the two of them out. The Sprigfield xd9 just kinda threw me off with the back trigger, the ruger sr9-c rubbed my hand with the 10rd mag in and felt wobbly with the 17. The store owner said he preferred the m&p, but that was more his personal preference rather than mechanical issues.

Any further suggesttions?
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Old May 28, 2012, 09:05 AM   #21
Manson
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Your top choices to this point are both good firearms. You won't be disappointed by either one. I would humbly suggest a Glock 26 might be worth a look. Great carry size and drop dead reliable. If I could only own a few pistols a Glock would be one of them.
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Old May 28, 2012, 10:21 AM   #22
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I would second the notion of strongly considering the "c" version of the M&P9 or Ruger SRC. Best of both worlds. High cap capability with the extended mag/grip accessory, and cc'abiliity in their "pure" compact configurations. So, if you're set on the two brands you've just mentioned, my vote is the S&W. The Shield looks promising, but as a choice down the line. For now the 9(c) seems a better all-around compromise.

Last edited by gak; May 28, 2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old May 30, 2012, 02:19 PM   #23
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Have you tried the Glock 19 or 26?
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Old May 30, 2012, 03:14 PM   #24
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A Walther (PPQ or P99) might make a nice choice . They're a little "different" in the mag release, but for the money they're both very nice shooters. Plus they're a bit less common and can serve as a conversation starter at the range. Or if you have money to burn the HK P30 has all the same benefits.

For that matter you can't go wrong with the M&P. IMHO the "gritty" trigger is overblown, and if it ever does bother you it's an easy fix. It seems to be the way you're leaning, so if you like it go for it.
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Old May 30, 2012, 04:47 PM   #25
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I find it easy to carry a 642. The G26 isn't too difficult to conceal but I wouldn't want to go any larger here in the summer.
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