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Old September 14, 2013, 12:57 PM   #1
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First time hand gun owner-need some advice

Hello all, I'm about to be a first time hand gun owner however I'm not new to guns. I'm looking for something that's a great all around gun for concealed carry and something that's fun to shoot and that I can build my skills with. I'm considering a Springfield XD 9 Subcompact, a Beretta PX4 Subcompact and a S&W M&P 9 C. Any thoughts on those choices? Also what are some good resources to look into for self defense handgun training? I live in Georgia, just outside Atlanta. Also just any good advice for a first timer?
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Old September 14, 2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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I'm familiar with both the XD and M&P platforms, but more so with their full-size line, not the compacts. Both are great weapons. Not sure how comfortable you are with firearms but the PX4 is the only one that comes standard with an external safety. I know that the M&P can be had with a safety but it is not standard, no idea about the XD. Not sure if that would make a difference for you but when I first started carrying it was one of those things that made ME feel more secure.

Keep in mind that the smaller the gun, the more perceived recoil. A larger framed gun will be easier to learn to shoot with. Although, all three that you have chosen most likely offer grip extensions (which I would recommend if you do buy a compact firearm). Being able to have your entire hand gripping the firearm will offer you more control and make your learning to shoot more enjoyable.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the M&P line. I own a full size M&P .40 and it has been flawless through 2,000+ rounds!

Just my .02.

Good Luck!
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Old September 14, 2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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I carry the XD 9mm subcompact. It shoots well and is reliable. All XD's and XDm's have a trigger safety and a backstrap safety. I have small hands, so it's easy for me to hold, but I would make sure it fits your hand.
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Old September 14, 2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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For general carry or home defense, Id suggest a DA only pistol in .357sig, .40S&W or .45acp.
.357sig is ideal but it's becoming more & more rare in most parts of the USA.
Good DA only or DAO weapons include; the Walther PPX(9x19mm or .40), the SIG Sauer P229R DAK, P220R DAK, P250 series(a modular DAO format that you can convert), the PX4 C(constant) in .40 or .45acp, the HK P2000 or P30 LEM(the smooth DAO format), the FNS in .40S&W, the S-A XDm in .40 or .45acp, the Glock 22/23 gen04, the Ruger SR45 .45acp.

The Glock 22 .40S&W gen04 series would be a great idea. You can convert it to .357sig, 9x19mm or the cheap to shoot .22LR with simple DIY after-market add-ons.
The 22 can quickly switch from 9mm to .40 to .22LR just by converting the barrels, magazines & slides.
For good training sources see; Larry Vickers, Clint Smith/Thunder Ranch, Massad Ayoob/, Duane Dieter, SIG Sauer Academy, John Shaw/Midsouth, .

Id add that 3 dot night sights are a smart idea for carry guns. Trijicon, Novak & XS sights are popular after market designs. A red or green laser aimer is a good idea too. They are now smaller & the improved green lasers are now cheaper.
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I'll close by advising you learn & understand your area's gun and use of force laws. See; .
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Old September 14, 2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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First time hand gun owner-need some advice

A very common mistake to make when selecting a defensive firearm is to neglect to consider what defensive shoots are likely to look like. Typical ranges are 0-7 yards, adrenaline will be pumping, you may be shooting with one hand, and you may be moving while trying to hit a moving target. You want something that you can use to get multiple, very fast hits. Anybody can 'control' a .45 in slow fire. The picture looks a lot different when you're suddenly dumping a mag with one hand while everyone is moving. 9mm is probably the best choice early on. It's certainly not the be all, end all, but it is a great choice early in the learning process, and is capable enough that you don't have to switch. If you want to switch later, get a second firearm in the other caliber, and don't switch until your ability to manage the weapon in rapid fire is squared away.

As for the original post: the XD 9 SC and M&P 9c are very versatile and strong choices. I prefer the M&P, but that's opinion. The PX4 SC is fat and has a lot of horns. I have handled it a LOT while I managed a shop, and I think it is one of the worst duty --> compact chop jobs I've seen, if not THE worst. Between the safety layout and the DA first pull, it is very likely to be a pistol that fights the user for first shot speed and accuracy.
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Old September 14, 2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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For training, the highly thought of Shoot Rite school isn't too far from you.

There's some others in Atlanta.
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Old September 14, 2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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I like the px4sc of the options you have listed, but that is because I prefer da/sa to striker fired pistols. Once you master the 12lb pull, all of your shooting will improve. Also, the single action pull is typically lighter and more crisp than the average striker fired gun.

What have you shot before? How did you like it? Push come to shove, just rent a few different designs from your local range. I live north of Atlanta and know of a few ranges. Sandy Springs Gun Club being the closest.
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Old September 14, 2013, 09:46 PM   #8
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I can only comment on the M&P Compact. I have one in 40SW & it carries well. It is accurate & lots of fun at the range. I have a Shield in 40SW for carry. Its not so much fun at the range, as it is a small package & hard to get a good grip on, at least for me. I added a Pachmeyer slip on grip but have yet to take it the range to see if it feels any better. It does carry extremely well, but if I had to make a choice, I'd go with the Compact.
Wait a minute...What??
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Old September 14, 2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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GLOCK OR 1911 officer

GLOCK 19 (do your research) my job is in private armed security and i compete in two-gun as well. The Glock 19 and springer XDM are great 9mms.

If you have money to burn and want a classic 1911 go for an officer size COLT or KIMBER ultra in .45.

I carry my Glock 19 as an E.D.C. Replacing my COLT officer due to the 17+1 vs 7rounds of the Colt.

You can go along with the 67% law enforcement that carry Glocks, or people who are hated on "JAMES YEAGER" Tactical response an ex private security contracter and L.E.O. Who says every gun should be a Glock-19..
GLOCK easy to modify from a 5.5lb trigger to 3lb for $20 and you can do it yourself with just a toothpick to take it apart!

Watch the Tactical response YOUTUBE video "GLOCK TORTURE TEST" 1,000 continuous rounds about 63 mags...

i was a 1911 guy for 33years til i borrowed a friends to compete with and now i own a couple Glocks and never had a failure yet after thousands of rounds.
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Old September 15, 2013, 11:13 AM   #10
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Glock 19 +1

The guns you mentioned are good guns. I have to go along with BabyChief about the Glock 19. I am a retired LEO (retired 2010) and started with model 28 SW highway patrolman .357 revolvers. The last ten years of my career I carried a .40 caliber Glock 23, which is the same size as a Glock 19. I fired thousands of rounds without a single malfunction. It was a Gen 3 gun.

About a year ago I bought a Glock 19 Gen 4 9mm. I waited till Glock worked out all the recoil spring and ejector issues on the Gen 4s. It has been flawless and is easier to control than the old m23 I had. It is a little harder to conceal than the subcompacts, but not impossible. When it is really hot weather (over one hundred degrees where I live in central Texas) I pocket carry my Kahr PM 9. Another great choice, in my opinion. Hope this helps you. Good luck.
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Old September 15, 2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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Blue program

If your a first responder,EMT,LEO,military or armed sec officer, you can get a glock on the BLUE PROGRAM new in box w three mags (instead of two) for $398!

The Glock 19 is a no brainer, i cant complain about one thing on it...ok its ugly..its not a sexy 1911 custom nor does it try to be.

Just buy the Glock19 your wife/misses will be able to enjoy it as well. You will never be under gunne with 17+1 capacity and with Hornady or COR-BON perseonal defense rounds it is just as effective as a .40/.45! Yeah i said it..a 9mm with these new P.D. Rounds make having anying else moot.

Less recoil,less muzzle flip for quicker sight aquisition, small compact less printing than an officer 1911 and greater compacity..

So what is the reason why you SHOULDNT own a GLOCK19?
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Old September 16, 2013, 12:27 PM   #12
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Re: First time hand gun owner-need some advice

I know it's not on your list, but I would also give the Ruger SR9c some consideration. It's very similar in size to the Glock 19, with a slightly thinner grip. I can't reach the mag release on Glocks, but the SR9c fits my hands perfectly. They're very nice guns with great triggers right out of the box and can be had for around $400. I have one and every time I shoot it I am more and more happy with it!
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:13 PM   #13
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I'm considering a Springfield XD 9 Subcompact, a Beretta PX4 Subcompact and a S&W M&P

I'm considering a Springfield XD 9 Subcompact, a Beretta PX4 Subcompact and a S&W M&P 9 C. Any thoughts on those choices?
Beretta makes a fine product, but I haven't shot the PX4, so can't comment.

I got a Springfield XDs several months ago, but now it's back at Springfield due to a recall. Can't comment much on that one as I haven't shot it enough to form a strong opinion one way or the other. I like it so far, but right now, I'm real disappointed that this factory-fresh firearm is defective.

I've owned a S&W M&P9c for over five years now. It's seen well over a thousand rounds w/o a hiccup. Very accurate and reliable. It's what I use to range qualify for my CHL. I've been very pleased with this pistol. Bigger than what I'd use for everyday carry, but I have no doubt that it would be a very fine self-defense weapon. Enthusiastically recommended.
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:26 PM   #14
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In an entry level handgun, I like the sR9c over all the options given by the OP.

The sR9c has a better trigger and is considerably cheaper than any of the guns he listed.
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:57 PM   #15
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Old September 17, 2013, 12:40 AM   #16
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Double ditto on the M&P9c. The others are a bit small for a first handgun.
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Old September 17, 2013, 02:07 PM   #17
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thanks for all the input. I spent some time on the range this weekend and shot most of the guns listed above except the Ruger. Ive settled on the Glock 19, now Im just trying to decide between the Gen 3 or Gen 4.
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Old September 17, 2013, 02:59 PM   #18
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You're going to love the Glock 19, make sure you post up some pics of your new arrival!
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Old September 17, 2013, 03:06 PM   #19
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Glock 19

I thought the 19 immediately from the original post. Generation any. I have to say though, I know this is a semi-auto forum but I still think the best first hand gun for everyone is a revolver. Less chance of an AD.

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Old September 17, 2013, 11:24 PM   #20
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I have both the XD and the M&P....both are solid guns, but I prefer the M&P just because of ergonomics
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Old September 18, 2013, 04:24 AM   #21
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I've heard nothing but good from 1st hand users of the Beretta. They would be my choice as they have a better record of quality control. But I haven't shot any of the 3 pistols you are considering.
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Old September 18, 2013, 11:29 AM   #22
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Cancel my original post.....I see you chose a Glock 19. Great choice, my friend.

Last edited by SIMP; September 18, 2013 at 11:46 AM.
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Old October 30, 2013, 07:59 PM   #23
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First time hand gun owner-need some advice

I went with the Glock 19, I've only got a little over 100 rounds through it but I love it so far!

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