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Old November 4, 2012, 06:59 PM   #1
Davkul
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First Handgun Purchase

Hey everyone,

New member here and I am looking to buy my first semi-automatic handgun (first handgun at all actually). I plan to use this for home defense and as a conceal carry weapon.

I have been eye balling the Smith and Wesson M&P 40 for a while. I like its design and have read reviews how it shoots pretty well. I also like it because of the price, which I am trying to stay around 500.

Recently I was turned onto CZ USA and while looking through their guns I also very much liked what they had to offer. Since then I have turned my sights on the P-07.

What are everyone's thoughts on these two guns? Is there something else that you can suggest?

Another important question I have is caliber. For some reason I have it stuck in my head that a 9mm is not an effective caliber. I know that higher calibers offer my power but they are also very much louder and slightly more difficult to shoot. Speaking of which, I have shot a 357 and 40 but I have never shot a 9mm.


I would like to foster a good discussion on both of these topics as I like to do my research and be prepared.

Thanks everyone.
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Old November 4, 2012, 08:14 PM   #2
ka26
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First thing you should try to do is find a gun range that will let you rent both of them or if you can't at least a shop so you can hold them & see which feels better. In regards to those 2 guns, I've never fired the P-07 but I do like the S&W. Another gun you should consider is the Glocks (26, 27, 19, 23), they're lower maintenance & popular for a reason. When it comes to the caliber I'm sure you'll get plenty of varrying views but personally I prefer the 9mm, it has plenty of stopping power, usually hold more rounds, has cheaper ammo to practice with, & with the lower recoil allow me to put more shots on target faster.

The .40 is a great caliber too though & I'm sure you'll get plenty of good advise on here but nothing will benefit you more than handling & shooting them.
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Old November 4, 2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Thanks ka26, unfortunately my local ranges do not have the M&P. I also noticed a M&P357 which I feel is a good mix between the 40 and 9 assuming I went with the M&P. I will have to try a Glock out sometime, I know they have those.

I'm going to try to get into a shop sometime soon to hold both guns and I'm sure that will help me a little.
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Old November 4, 2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Both are nice pistols. After holding the a CZ for the first time last week, I wish I had considered one earlier. Try to hold both and see which feels better to you, then go for it.

Also, it is best to try and remove the notion that a 9mm cartridge is not an effective round. It most definitely is, and most likely would best suit your needs for reasons such as cost, size, availability, etc.
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Old November 4, 2012, 09:49 PM   #5
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I'm a fan of 40 but of the 3 major calibers (9, 40, 45) it is the most difficult to shoot well, especially for beginners. I recommend you go with 9mm as the effectiveness of the cartridges (provide quality modern JHPs like Gold Dots, HST, ect...) is virtually identical.

As to the guns you listed, both are high quality reliable firearms that will do right by you. That said, DA/SA is a more difficult system for new shooters to learn on in my opinion. So my vote would go to the M&P of the two.
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Old November 4, 2012, 10:09 PM   #6
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Both pistols have good reputation but I do not like the stock trigger on either one.
I would stick with a 9mm. Less expensive practice ammo allows for more practice and defensive ammo will give similar performance of higher caliber bullet.
M&P and P07 are good home defense sizes but I find that size too big for CC. I am experimenting with a DAO Kahr K9 to replace my Sig P6 or Walther P99 which are similar in size to the M&P and P07.
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Old November 4, 2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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plouffedaddy, I am not familiar with some of the acronyms that you are using there, especially the DA/SA part.

Pilpens, I was thinking that the P-07 was a smaller size, at least it appears to be in pictures. I guess I can determine that more when I go to the shop.
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Old November 4, 2012, 10:33 PM   #8
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9mm all the way..no need to go into another caliber other than a .22 for the cheap ammo. Or maybe a .45 just to say you own a 1911. Rest is just fluff.

Kids with .22s have killed people. +20 year military veterans have been killed holding .45s.
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Old November 4, 2012, 10:46 PM   #9
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DA is double action, the trigger cocks and fires.
SA is single action, you have to cock it manually, the triggers releases the hammer ( like the Colt Peacemaker of cowboy movies where you pull the hammer for each shot)
DA/SA is double/single. If you rack the slide it cocks the hammer. If you pull trigger it is SA. If you decock it, lower the hammer, the gun can fire as a DA. The trigger pull recocks and fires it.
DAO is double action only. Each trigger pull cocks and fires.

Single actions have a lighter pull since they just release the hammer. The DA is a longer pull, and usually harder. The DAO is sometimes considered a safety feature, a long hard pull, no hair trigger.

My Ruger P89 has a decocker and is DA/SA. My Ruger LCP is DAO, I think. It sure feels like it. The long trigger makes it so it wont fire until you are good and ready.
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Old November 4, 2012, 10:56 PM   #10
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Thanks TurkeyOak, I have shot DA/SA handguns and I feel like I like it more than the DAO, I would obviously like to get more practice on both to get a better feel.

I had read somewhere that the P-07 can use a decocker or a regular safety and it is interchangeable. Does anyone know about this? Does the part to change it come with the handgun? As far as I could tell you could still decock the gun with the regular safety by holding the hammer and pressing on the trigger.
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Old November 5, 2012, 08:21 AM   #11
loose_holster_dan
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of the two i would pick the m&p. the p-07 is the only cz i would not recommend. i only owned it for a couple of weeks, so i didn't see any problems, but i didn't get the feeling it would hold up in the long run. the polymer used was very cheap feeling, and the pistol flexed a lot.
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Old November 5, 2012, 09:59 AM   #12
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Thanks Dan thats interesting. Can anyone put any further input on the longevity of this gun? Or other polymer based weapons?
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:29 AM   #13
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early models were known for frame bulge. everyone claims this doesn't affect operation. still seems sketchy to me. the thing that bugged me the most was the wedge-shaped way the slide fit to the frame. any other gun has a rectangular shaped trough on the frame that the slide rides in. the p-07 is angular. i could definitely seem frame bulge causing the slide to pop right off. as far as i know, this has never been observed, but i'd hate to be the first.

the only other complaint i have is the overly aggressive texturing and sharp edges that don't make it a comfortable carry gun.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:02 AM   #14
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Have a look at genitron.com -- you can get a lot of data on the vast majority of guns on the market.

I've fired both the regular M&P and the compact version, both in 9mm. The grip works for me, but (a) nearly every ejected casing came straight back and bounced off me, and I didn't find either very accurate. My wife was interested in the pistol, and I found other web posts noting the same eject issue.

I haven't fired the CZ P-07, but if you look at genitron, you'll see that it has much higher recoil (very much because of weight) than most 9mm. If recoil is a major issue for you, then have a look at other CZ models, P-01 for example. Alternately, you can look at the Baby Eagle II (IWI), which has almost the same design (EAA (Tangfolio), Tri-Star (Canik), and a few others also imitate the CZ).

On the CZ P-07's decocker/safety -- the gun is sold with an installed decocker, but you can fairly easily switch to a safety (included in the box). Youtube has a video on it.

All this is so variable based upon preferences, but I have a Stoeger (Beretta) Cougar 9mm that I am very happy with. It has a rotating barrel that is supposed to reduce felt recoil. The newest ones, even in 9mm, have rails, even though the Stoeger website doesn't show that.... I may however, still get myself a CZ one day (probably the SP-01).

Lastly, if you want a gun for personal defense, I understand a preference for a higher caliber, but if you want to do a lot of target shooting, the higher the caliber, the higher the cost of ammo (more or less). You can run through a few hundred rounds easily, and if you shoot a lot, 9mm is a good compromise between cost and stopping power.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Thanks Dan thats interesting. Can anyone put any further input on the longevity of this gun? Or other polymer based weapons?
The current P07s are good to go in terms of the frame.

As to the durability of the guns... There are at least 2 Glock 17s I know of that have over 1 million rounds through them (frame and slide are original); I'd say that's pretty durable. There are a couple polymer framed HKs with pretty extreme round counts still going strong as well.

The polymers used in both the M&P and P07 are extremely durable and you'd have to spend thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of dollars on ammo before you'd see any issues with the polymer losing strength.... I doubt even then it would though.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:47 AM   #16
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Hi Davkul & welcome to TFL. To each their own when it comes to guns but here's my 2 cents.

I like the M&P a lot, I think I like the CZ a bit better. I definitely prefer DA/SA over DAO. I like hammers better than strikers (though both are reliable) and I prefer metal frames over poly ones though i have a couple of poly framed guns and they perform fine.

When it comes to ammo, IMO it is 9mm all the way hands down. The more I shoot other calibers, the more I like the 9mm. It costs close to half the price of the .40, is just as capable for self defense, shoots nicer, and you get higher capacities (though both are high). If you needed to penetrate barriers then the .40 would have a significant edge but for self defense the two rounds would be equals and for target shooting the 9mm is vastly superior.

Again, just my 2 cents.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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I've found concealability in a semi automatic is more about the holster than the weapon itself. I conceal a 5" 1911 fastback fairly well, and would not conceal a shorter barreled one any better until the magazine/grips get shorter. In other words, with a high quality inside the waistband holster, the only thing that gives me away is if I bend/move like I did before I carried, and the corner of the "handle" will print (stretch the fabric of my shirt/jacket/vest (cover garment).

There are three main types of holsters for your concealed carry...


Pancake. It goes on your belt, and over your pants like a cellphone holster. As such, you don't have a lot of room for your cover garment to ride up through bending, stretching or reaching. The Paddle holster to me is a subtype of the Pancake but worse still. The paddle attachement isn't as solid, and pushes the firearm even further away from your body increasing the chances of just printing as you stand there.

Ankle holsters and shoulder rigs. Especially on the ankle holster, you're carrying where people don't spend a lot of time looking. If you're a big guy, using either can be problematic. Shoulder rigs can carry the gun either vertical or horizontal. I've got a horizontal rig from Galco. The Miami Classic II I believe it is. It works for me, but it's not my preferred rig- because of the length I have to reach to get it. And, you sweep the business end over anyone behind you while you walk around. One in a million millions for everything to go just wrong. Not worrisome, but something to keep in mind.

Inside the waistband. This is my preferred holster. Wear an undershirt between your holster and your undershorts. Most of the weapon goes inside your pants, so if your cover garment comes up, it has to rise over your belt to give you away. Again if you're a bigger guy, use can be problematic. I am, and have to reholster by feel, but then, as a bigger guy everything can be problematic in a world designed for the average guy.

If I were going to something like IDPA(International Defensive Pistol Association or something similar- think of it as a bowling league for pistol shooters) and everyone was going to know I was carrying for the event, I'd use a Pancake. For carrying around town where concealed means concealed, I'll use an IWB.


As far as caliber... 9mm isn't bad. I laugh at the jokes like "Why do I carry a .45? Because they don't make a .46!" but I realize they're just that. A joke. Good-natured trashtalking between friends. 9mm isn't my first choice, especially given most LEO's seem to have switched to .40 or even back to .45. Some of the best advice I've seen is find out what your local PD carries and carry the same thing. Weapon and ammunition.

Don't focus on the cheap ammo for practice. Glock and 1911 frames have ample available conversion kits to fire 22LR ammunition for practice. So pick one of those up, do most of your practice with that, and run a box of same grain/weight full size ammo every so often to keep the feel. Beyond that, I can get 100 round value packs at Walmart for my .45 at about $30 per 100. A box of 50 at the LGS/Range combo is ~21-26 depending on brand- but he's got a captive audience if you rent his guns you use his ammo. Cabelas will sell 50 round boxes for 18-19 if you watch for the sales. .40 ammo is about the same as .45 price wise. 9mm is probably half the cost, and almost always in stock. I usually end up doing tours of the half dozen walmarts going either north or south on a Cabelas trip for other stuff, and clean out any of the 100 round packs I find on the way. So like everything else: (relatively) cheap, fast/readily availabe, or good, pick two.

And finally in my long winded response- The questions you haven't asked that may provide a leg up in your process.

I don't know where you live but:

Get your Concealed permit/license/(local-nomenclature here) before you get your pistol. In most places that will remove the waiting period before you can take your new purchase home meaning you pick up your asset the same day you lose your captial. I don't know about you, but even in a place that's been there for years, I hate giving them money and having to go back and pick up my item days later. Even if it doesn't remove the waiting list, it will smooth the process. Usually you go through the process of the background check to get your CPL, and it's like getting an approval, so they only have to check from that CPL issuance on... plus it's yet another id number they can use to differentiate you from every other John Smith out there.

If you can't get a 22 conversion kit for your pistol, get a 22 pistol. Much much easier to learn on a big frame automatic with 22LR ammo. You won't be afraid of the recoil, you can fire 11 times for every one time on your big boy ammo. Learn your sight picture and trigger pull mechanics that way, then get used to the recoil of centerfire pistols. I wish I would have. If I could do it over, I would have bought a 1911-22 and my 1911 at the same time, and left the 1911 in it's box until at least my third or fourth trip to the range.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:56 AM   #18
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Cogito, thats a great site. I compared the M&P and the P-07 and the recoil ratings appeared the same however.

plouffedaddy, that you for reassuring me about the frames, it's good to know that what ever I choose it will be of quality and longevity.


Phil, thanks for the welcome! How would the 9mm perform against say a windshield of a vehicle? I'm not sure if you can answer that as its not a common situation but none the less.
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Old November 5, 2012, 12:40 PM   #19
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9mm will have no problem going through a standard windshield.
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Old November 6, 2012, 12:48 AM   #20
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Big caliber = big gun. If you're a big person, it's not hard to conceal it. If you're not a big person, you'll have a hard time concealing it. You should go to the range and rent some guns. You should consider some of the excellent pocket guns on the market today. Ruger LC9, Keltec PF9, SW MP Shield in 9mm.

The 9mm is plenty fine for personal defense. Lets face it, if you shoot someone in the eye with a 22LR, you'll probably kill them. A gun you can control is the key to self defense, not the caliber.

I have a Keltec PF9. I trust it, it shoots well and I can conceal it easily. No matter which gun you get, you'll want to get another one soon after purchasing it. You will need something bigger/smaller, lighter/heavier for some other purpose.

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Old November 6, 2012, 07:13 AM   #21
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If you get a Glock 23 in .40 you can purchase barrels in both 9mm and .357 Sig which give you three pistols in one. The .40 mags will work with .357 Sig. Apparently the 9mm barrels work best with G19 mags.

Lot of options with a Glock. Lots of aftermarket items.

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Old November 8, 2012, 02:08 PM   #22
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Phil, thanks for the welcome! How would the 9mm perform against say a windshield of a vehicle? I'm not sure if you can answer that as its not a common situation but none the less.
Now that is a very good question and you're correct, I don't have a solid answer.

Here's my best understanding. The 9mm got a reputation of not being able to penetrate auto glass very well. I think tests have shown that is not true, it will penetrate fine but it depends on the angle it hits at. If it hits at an angle it can skip off. I believe there are 2 contributors to this, low mass and bullet shape, both of which the .40sw solve. Both can be reduced for the 9mm as well though. There are rounds available up to 147gr. with different shaped tips. My personal favorite round for 9mm is the 124gr Flat Point plated bullet. Haven't tried it against auto glass but it seems to be an 'all around' solid performer. My best guess (and it's a guess) is that the self defense rounds would also be effective at penetrating the auto glass, they may not be as effective at what's behind it though (depending on how much energy is left over).

With a little luck, there may be someone on here who's actually done some tests.
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Old November 8, 2012, 10:04 PM   #23
Davkul
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Thanks guys you've all been great.

I'm going to the range tomorrow but none of them around me have the P-07. Just doing some general shooting.
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Old November 8, 2012, 10:48 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by dwhite:
If you get a Glock 23 in .40 you can purchase barrels in both 9mm and .357 Sig which give you three pistols in one. The .40 mags will work with .357 Sig. Apparently the 9mm barrels work best with G19 mags.

Lot of options with a Glock. Lots of aftermarket items.
True, I own a Glock 27 and have 9mm & 357 sig barrels for it, but I also own an M&P 40 Pro with 9mm & 357sig barrels as well. Both the Glocks and M&Ps are convertable to those different rounds with only a barrel change (+ mags for 9mm).
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Old November 9, 2012, 03:03 AM   #25
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One thing to keep in mind regarding the Glocks in which you can shoot different calibers is that in my opinion you should practice with the caliber you intend to use in the defense situation. I wouldn't want to practice with 9mm because it's cheaper & then switch to a .40 for my defense caliber. The 1st shot won't matter but since they kick different you probably wouldn't be as accurate with your next few shots if you're firing rapidly if it's a caliber you don't have much practice with.
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