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Old December 25, 2012, 07:31 PM   #1
Twmaster
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Suggestions for a range/training loaner gun

Hi folks,

I'm working on getting my NRA certified instructor courses done. I'd eventually like to teach CHL courses here in Texas.

One quirk about Texas CHL law is type of gun. If you bring a revolver to the shooting qualifications you can only carry a revolver once you get your permit. If you bring a semi-auto you can carry any kind of handgun.

Often times instructors will have a spare semi pistol to 'loan' pupils to take their shooting quals with.

I'm looking for suggestions for a relatively inexpensive gun, preferably polymer, 32 cal or larger that is either full size or just a bit smaller. Also something that is reasonably accurate. I'm also thinking something in 380 ACP so the recoil is not miserable. Otherwise something 9MM for ammo cost reasons.

The reason I say inexpensive is I don't want to cry when a student drops a $500+ gun and wrecks the finish (or worse).

I don't mind oddball guns so long as they fit the use.

So, I'm open to suggestions. Also, if you are a current CHL instructor, what are your suggestions? What do you bring as that 'loaner' gun?

Thanks.

--
TW
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Old December 25, 2012, 08:15 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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I have a Rock Island 1911 that I converted to 9mm. I don't have a lot invested in the pistol and, more importantly, I don't have an emotional investment. My state doesn't have that quirky Texas requirement, so anyone passing the course can carry anything.

That said, I don't particularly want students bringing their own guns to a class setting. My rule is, if they already have one ... leave it at home, or locked in the car. They shoot mine. In the past, when the NRA Basic Pistol class was only about safety and all that was required was to demonstrate the ability to load and fire one magazine of cylinder without endangering anybody, I would let my students try both the semi-auto and a revolver (either .22LR or .38 Special). Now that the minimum course of fire has been increased to a minimum of 50 rounds, I don't double up any more.

Go 9mm. That gives you the widest assortment of guns across the full price spectrum, and 9mm ammo is less than half the price of .380.
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Old December 25, 2012, 08:23 PM   #3
Twmaster
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And to further muck it up Texas requires you qualify with 32 cal or larger.

I'm thinking a polymer gun to make it a bit easier for the ladies. (weight of the gun)

Thanks for the input.
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Old December 25, 2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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I realize money is tight. But don't give a newbie a POS to learn on. Sujecting them to malfunctions and non standard sights & magazines release & grip safeties, et al...is asking for trouble.

As for caliber, .22LR or 9mm.

During the War, everyone just assumed Pappy Boyington flew the best F4U in the squadron. In his book he said different. He said he flew the worst of the bunch so as to give the less experienced pilots a equipment edge in the sky. NRA pistol training in Texas isn't the same has fighting aircraft pilots of Japan's Imperial Navy over the Pacific. But I hope you under the meaning. Good Luck.
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:02 PM   #5
lee n. field
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Quote:
I'm looking for suggestions for a relatively inexpensive gun, preferably polymer, 32 cal or larger that is either full size or just a bit smaller. Also something that is reasonably accurate. I'm also thinking something in 380 ACP so the recoil is not miserable. Otherwise something 9MM for ammo cost reasons.
Recoil in a "full size or a bit smaller" 9mm is not going to be an issue. Price on .380 is going to be an issue.

Basic inexpensive auto, I'd say, Ruger P89 or P95, S&W Sigma. I can't imagine anyone minding if someone dropped one of them.
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Old December 26, 2012, 02:46 AM   #6
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A used Glock 19 or 17 would fit the bill. Even if they dropped it and marred the finish, it's not likely to get any uglier. This coming from a Glock fan.
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Old December 26, 2012, 03:25 AM   #7
JimmyR
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I'll second the Ruger p95. Had one myself, and they were good little shooters. They can easily be had for $300-$400. I also second the idea of going 9mm rather than .380, just because of the cost.
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Old December 26, 2012, 03:41 AM   #8
Nathan
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Yea, Glock 19 gets my vote. They look better after being dropped. You might even start with a pre-dropped LEO trade in.
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Old December 26, 2012, 07:15 AM   #9
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I'd look at something from the Ruger line or a Glock 19.
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Old December 26, 2012, 08:22 AM   #10
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I agree with a Ruger in 9mm. If you are planning on loaning to noobs you should introduce them to one of the more popular calibers that most would consider a "minimum" self protection round. To me the .32 is kinda an oddball caliber and the .380 is more expensive.

If you introduce them to the 9 and are able to teach them to shoot it proficiently then they will likely feel comfortable with it. That way when they go to buy their own they will be familiar and not intimidated by it.
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Old December 26, 2012, 08:49 AM   #11
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One of the more durable milspec handguns might be a good choice, a Makarov or somrthing along those lines. Replacement parts appear to be available.

Some of the 9mm Mak chambered pistols have been converted to the very similar .380.

I do agree that the 9X19 would be a better choice than the .380 so far as ammo prices and availability goes. WallyWorld 9mm usually runs less than half the cost of their .380 ammo.

PS
Steel cased Tula manufactured 9mm Makarov and .380 ACP is about the same price as Winchester value pack 9X19 ammo.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; December 26, 2012 at 08:56 AM.
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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Beretta PX4 C 9x19mm, Walther PPX, SIG Sauer P229R(CPO)...

For general range use or as a loaner, I'd highly suggest a 9x19mm mid size pistol like these brands; Beretta PX4 C(constant action), a Ruger P94 or P95 DA only, a SIG Sauer P229R DAK(CPO or pre-owned), S&W SD9, Walther PPX.
A simple, well engineered hammer fired DA only pistol will have few parts to break, be safe with new range students and last a long time.
The SD9 is a low cost option & is striker fired but each trigger pull is the same. The PX4 C & the new PPX have DA only systems but reduced/smooth pulls.
I owned a NIB PX4 C 9mm in 2009 with 0 problems. Used or LE trade in model SIG Sauers; P229/P226 may be found too. The stainless steel Ruger P series 9x19mm can hold up to wear from range shooting. My friend owns a P89 model that is still very accurate.
Whatever 9mm DA only pistol you select, use the KISS method with new students & teach them to be safe with firearms.

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Old December 27, 2012, 08:33 AM   #13
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+1 for the Ruger suggestions. There isn't anything pretty about them but they are durable, reliable, accurate and inexpensive. I can buy a new one at my local GS for $349. Used ones in the same shop are priced at $299.

I'd also look for an older Taurus, Ruger or S&W DA revolver just to show the differences and teach some revolver handling basics.
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:04 AM   #14
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I really like Rugers so if you're going to be dropping them a lot I'd suggest you get Glocks.

I actually buy into the Glock kool-aid that without a separate safety lever to deal with it instructions easier and gives the new shooter one less thing to worry about when they're learning the basics.

And like Nathan said, they might look better after being dropped.
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Old December 30, 2012, 03:17 AM   #15
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two

For a loaner revolver, I'd look for a used S&W M10. -4" Some police trade ins im my area have been priced right.

For a loaner semi, after much thought, I have concluded that a Glock 17/19 is the easiest system to teach. No decocker, hammer or external safety. But I do not force autos on newbies. HOwever, the above described, striker fired, poly pistols can be safely taught with apt students and a capable instructer.

I like the Glocks cause their simple and tough, but I suppose the MP and XD family would qualify as well.
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Old December 30, 2012, 07:31 AM   #16
thedudeabides
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Glock.

Won't break when you drop it. Won't malfunction except when limp wristed. Won't fire when you drop it. Long barrel models are very accurate. Gen 4's have different grips for different hands. Magazines are coated in plastic to cut down on dings and dents when dropped. They don't need to be cleaned often or at all and will keep working. Won't explode when an idiot cleares a squib round with another bullet.

My local gun range uses some seriously banged up 17s and 19s.
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Won't explode when an idiot cleares a squib round with another bullet.
Better re-think that one.
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Old December 30, 2012, 09:27 AM   #18
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HK and to a lesser extent Glock both were proud of that their barrels won't explode if the user doesn't realize he has fired a squib round. HK went as far with their USP to say that the gun will still be combat accurate despite any bulges that may occur as a result (not sure if that goes across all calibers or primarily the 9mm USP that underwent all their stress testing).

This doesn't apply to kaboom incidents where the unsupported part of the cartridge detonates the gun into plastic confetti because some interwebs commando reloads a 10mm round to 100k psi.
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Old December 30, 2012, 04:15 PM   #19
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Striker vs hammer fired models....

I disagree with using a striker model like a M&P, XD or Glock.
With a hammer fired pistol, new(untrained) students can see where the hammer is & learn that the hammer must strike the firing pin to discharge the weapon. As some LE trainers teach with DA revolvers, they can train to feel the firing hand thumb on the pistol's hammer to make sure it's down.
For a range pistol, I'd use; KISS; Keep It Simple Stupid, .
A used stainless P94DAO or a CPO format SIG-Sauer in DAK(Double Action Kellerman) would work fine. HK/LEM models could work too, but even used pistols(cost) are up there.

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Old December 30, 2012, 04:48 PM   #20
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Ruger P95.

Recoil is low--about as low as you can get with a polymer 9mm.

Slide is easy to pull back--about 10.5lbs of force required to get it fully rearward (compared to about 16lbs for a Glock 17).

Trigger reach in double action isn't great, but in single action, it's about as short as you'll find in a double-column mag pistol.

Grip size is about as small as possible for a double-column mag pistol.

It's inexpensive, even if purchased new, very durable and easy to maintain.

Reliability has been excellent with the ones I've shot--as long as it's kept lubed.

The main negatives are a poor DA trigger (decent in SA) and accuracy that is acceptable but not impressive.

I would avoid .380 pistols because they are typically either small and hard to shoot well, and/or direct blowback which seems to amplify recoil and makes the slide hard to retract. I would avoid any direct blowback pistols such as the Makarovs for the same reasons.
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Old December 30, 2012, 07:49 PM   #21
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Glock 19 would be an excellent choice. Just make sure they get training with a firearm with a manual safety too though.
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:17 PM   #22
Twmaster
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Mods, please close this thread. Seems some people cannot read the original message and it's intent.

I'm done on the subject. I appreciate the on topic suggestions.
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Old December 31, 2012, 11:42 PM   #23
MarkDozier
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since the thread is still open. Glock 19 is a good choice. CZ is another good choice.
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Old January 1, 2013, 03:53 PM   #24
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Glock 17 would be the only thing I would look at for that application. And I am most DEFIANTLY not a glock fan. But for complete simplicity for training, a full size 9mm glock would be a 8-9 out of ten on every mark. 2" ragged hole all day magazine after magazine without cleaning. If someone drops or bangs it around who cares? The slide finish is practically indestructible.

A good condition used one can be picked up for $400...Heck our local gun shop on average has 7-12 police trade-ins that consist of a mix including 17s, 21s, 22s and 19s for $325 and up pretty much any day of the week. Look into that in your area, more gun shops than you think do exchange programs with smaller departments. Typically the dark black finish on the slides have turned "graphite" colored from holster wear, and they have some nicks and dings in the plastic on the frame, but most of them still shoot like new.

Now if you were going to pull out all the stops and get something nicer without completely braking the bank, a Kimber Custom II, Springfield loaded or Beretta 92 is what I would get.

Our local NRA guy loaned me a 8" 686 one time (Indiana doesn't have any CC quirks (yet) But the rest of his loaners with the exception of a stainless Springfield 1911 are glock 17s.

Last edited by BerdanSS; January 1, 2013 at 03:59 PM.
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Old January 4, 2013, 03:05 AM   #25
bamaranger
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hammers

My issue w/ a hammer fired pistol is the matter of decocking. I have seen more than one trained person, who darn well knew better, do some stupid/dangerous things with a cocked DA/SA pistol under stress.

So....a DAO pistol would solve that. But I have not handled any DAO pistols with triggers that compare to a stock standard striiker fired Glock.

Any big PD using Glocks, is training rookies with the striker system, and many officers are not gun fans in the big metro PD's.
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