View Full Version : Need buy advice for a Wonder Nine

September 7, 2011, 07:33 AM
Greetings everyone,

As topic says I am on the look for a Wonder Nine. My only previous handgun experience was with a Walter GSP .22 I sold years ago so a 9mm is obviously a step up. I haven't browsed gun forums or read any gun magazines before so I am no expert but also not a complete tool.

I actually wanted to buy a 92 F/S since I am familiar with it from movies etc and it looks nice but a friend of mine who was in the service said it is a piece of ****.

Others guns I have on my list:

Glock 17 or 19
Sig Sauer 226
Browing Hi-Power
CZ 75
Walther P99

I didn't put any H&K on the list as I intend to get a H&K .45 at a later stage.

Quality, craftmanship, accuracy and ergonomics are important for me, price is secondary. I would also like to point out I have fairly small hands so my preference is towards something smaller and lighter.

Which one would you recommend me? I will also consider something that is not on the list like a US gun.


September 7, 2011, 07:51 AM
First, welcome to the forum.

To address your buddy's comment, I can assure you his opinion is in the minority.

This forum will yield you many opinions, as a matter of fact, your shopping list is right up the alley of many of our members.

A gun that meets your needs and desires is a personal choice, there are many good ones to choose from. Try out as many as you can and go with what you like, that's all that really matters.

September 7, 2011, 08:05 AM
I think the Glock 19 is pretty legendary, I have medium hands/build and it fits me like a glove and is easy to conceal. Since you said price is secondary if it doesn't fit you there's a bunch of companies that will do grip reductions.

September 7, 2011, 08:07 AM
Sig Sauer 226 or Walther P99 and leaning towards the P99 for small hands. Both pistols are good, just pick the one that fits you best.
In my opinion, DA/SA is nice for range and SD but for a strictly SD pistol, I lean towards DAO (or similar) triggers for its simplicity (no transition to learn).
My primary CC is a Walther P99 DA/SA which replaced a a Sig P6/P225. I am currently considering the P99c QA (DAO) or a Sig P239 DAK as replacement for a simpler and more comfortable CC but in I am in no hurry.
The Sig will have a milder felt recoil than the P99. If P99, i would stick with the 9mm. This is based on my Sig P6 vs Walther P99 experience.
I like the DA/SA on both Sig and Walther. Walther's maybe the best DA/SA on any DA/SA polymer pistol (better than HK USP, FNX, etc). it is better than some metal hammer fired DA/SA.

September 7, 2011, 08:17 AM
All of the handguns you've listed are excellent weapons with good reputations. Based on your criteria of quality, craftmanship, accuracy, ergonomics, and light weight, the most suitable of those listed would be the Walther P99. It is the lightest of those listed (being a polymer frame like the Glocks), and has the best ergonomics by far. It also comes with 3 backstrap sizes (the small size should fit your hands well). In terms of quality and craftsmanship, the reliability of the P99 is well-proven, and the craftsmanship and fit & finish of the P99 are vastly superior to the Glock (which is a great gun, but lets face it - it's downright crude compared to the Walther). The Walther also has a good reputation for accuracy.

Please note that the P99 is sold with two different trigger variants today - the P99AS with a DA/SA trigger (somewhat similar to the SIG 226 and CZ75), and the PPQ, which has a Glock-like trigger (but much smoother and more-refined than the Glock.) The PPQ replaced (and is a significant improvement over) the P99QA, which also had a Glock-like trigger (and which you will still find in stores).

On another note, I'm also going to second Leejack, and step a little futher by saying your buddy is full of hot air. The 92FS is a very fine semi-auto. However, it does not meet the criteria you've outlined (it is a larger and heavier gun than some of the other options).

September 7, 2011, 08:19 AM
The Nine that inspires the most wonder of the Wonder Nines is the H&K P7M8.

But alas, it is no longer in production and the shooting world has snatched them up, few people part with theirs and the prices have sky-rocketed.

The best advice I can give you is first - take a class on basic pistol safety & marksmenship. From that class you should get a basic understanding of the different actions and safety designs - Single Action (SA), Double Action Only (DOA), DA/SA (the first trigger pull is double action and subsequent trigger pulls are single action), Manual Thumb Safety - for SA pistols, decockers - all of that. You'll also learn proper grip. Once you've learned proper grip, I recomend that you go handle and rent some guns and shoot them. You'll find that some don't fit you, some seem to fit naturally in your hand, others don't feel quite right. Some you will shoot better than others.

My opinions on some of the pistols you've listed.

I don't have small hands, but the Glock grip does give me a little bit of a problem - it doesn't fit in the web of my hand, the first joint of the thumb of my shooting hand end up in the line of recoil and that joint can get a little sore after a few hours of shooting.

The Beretta is not a POS. IMO it is a big pistol and IMO it does have fairly big grips, but it is a good quality pistol.

Another thing that you're going to have to figure out is what Manual Of Arms (MOA), you are comfortable with.

Some people find it quite natural to use their thumb to flick a safety down - this is how the BHP works, and 1911 style pistols. You can get a Beretta model that also has a safety that flicks down, but most of the Berettas have a slide mounted safety that flicks UP to take it off safe. Some people have trained with the slide mounted safeties that flick up and they have no problem with it.

You will have to handle them yourself and make your own decision.

I had a BHP and it was a solid high quality pistol that was very accurate and easy to shoot.

An alternative to the BHP is the CZ 75B SA - it's a single-action pistol that from all reports is a very high quality pistol that is comparable to the BHP but cheaper.

I never owned Sigs or Walthers - I'm sure others will chime in with their opinions on them.

September 7, 2011, 08:26 AM
Here is a thread on the CZ75B SA and BHP:


September 7, 2011, 08:43 AM
As Leejack said, welcome and you've come to the right place for opinions. But you know what they say about opinions, everyone has them. I am pretty much in the same spot as you. I have shot rifles and shot guns since I was old enough to hold them with my Dad's assistance and guidance. At 52 I decided I had waited too long so I bought my first handgun. I am stepping up from a .22 and trying to decide on a 9mm or .40. I have been reading and asking a lot of questions, but have now figured out that advice is important but it is going to come down to what I want and what I am comfortable with in my hands.
Find a range where you can shoot the handguns you want before you buy one. Spend a lot of time in the gunshops getting the feel of the gun. It's all up to your level of comfort with the gun now..

Have fun and be safe.

September 7, 2011, 08:50 AM
I disagree with your friend. The Beretta 92FS is a fine handgun. accurate and reliable with factory or MecGar magazines. A little big IMO for a full size 9mm but a great handgun in any case.

I'd also suggest a S&W 915. Well built, accurate and reliable. So underated it can often be found for $200 + change.

If polymer striker fired guns are your thing, try a Walther PPQ 9mm. A tack driver with the best trigger on a tupperware gun I've ever squeezed. Good luck with your search! Regards 18DAI.

September 7, 2011, 08:50 AM
I wouldnt say the 92 fs is a piece of ****.. The ones you will come across in the service were manufactured circa 1985, have 50,000 rds through them, beat to hell, with magazines made by the lowest bidder. I had a M9 for two deployments it had its issues but if I kept it and the mags clean it was alright. As for the a 9mm all those pistols you listed are good. Comes down to what you like, personally I like glocks...

September 7, 2011, 08:56 AM
Like you, I wanted one Wonder-Nine pistol,,,
I fired over 40 pistols on my "try-em-out" list,,,
I found the CZ to be the best pistol for me and my hand size.

All of the guns in your list are fine pistols,,,
The CZ-75B is simply my personal favorite of them,,,
And if you want a rimfire companion they also make the CZ-75B Kadet in .22 LR.


Whichever pistol you choose,,,
Have fun with it.


September 7, 2011, 09:31 AM
I would suggest the Beretta 92: efficient, reliable, accurate, but soffers from being not exactly friendly for people with small hands.

In this event the CZ75 is a wonderful weapon for ergonomics and precision. It's one of the best sellers in dynamic shooting, with reason!


September 7, 2011, 09:49 AM
go for the BHP which is the grandfather of the "wonder nines".

Any of the late 80's S&W 59 series is good.

Locate a range that rents and give what they have a try, it likely the BEST answer.

Single stack, either a Colt Combat Commander or a M39 series.

September 7, 2011, 10:02 AM
I have a Glock 19 and just got an HK P30. I am so impressed with the P 30 that the Glock is now my wife's gun.

There are no better ergos on the market than the P30 it is the most comfortable gun I have ever held

September 7, 2011, 10:29 AM
Were I starting over with 9mm pistol selection, I would beg, borrow or rent a lot more handguns than I did.

In retrospect, the first cut has to be single stack or double stack. If you are fine with getting your hand around a double stack you are in "wondernine" territory.

The second cut is full size against compact. I just don't do compact very well with my hand size, so I don't buy them.

The third cut would be hammer fired versus striker fired. I owned three different striker fired pistols, G20 on loan, a XD9, and an M&P9, before I finally realized I just didn't care for the firing system generally.

The fourth cut is metal framed versus polymer framed. I have both.

So I find myself owning full sized hammer fired double stack 9mms.

My favorites in no particular order are the Beretta 92, Beretta PX4, CZ-75, FNX, SIG P226, and SIG 2022.

If HK would put as much effort into developing their triggers as they do on the rest of the pistol, the P30 would be intriguing.

September 7, 2011, 11:24 AM
The 92FS is no piece of ****. It's a fine, accurate, and reliable weapon. Opinions are subjective, but just to give you a hint, when we got them issued, and during our first trip to the range with them, guys that had never shot them were quite happy at how they felt. Big?, yeah, but it's a service gun. Concealment is not her environment.

To tell you the truth, I own a PX4 and although I like it a lot, I still don't shoot the PX4 as proficiently as I do with my 92FS. Perhaps it's just a matter of practice or the urgent need for a large backstrap that Beretta Spain is taking so long to deliver.

Add the PX4 to your list. It's a high-cap, sweet to shoot wondernine.

September 7, 2011, 11:34 AM
SIG Sauer P239 smaller for ease of CC

SIG Sauer P210 for target bliss

Based on your listed preference, be aware that the P239 and P210 are not lightweight pistols... but, when shooting, weight can be your friend. Do you want to carry it everyday? Do you want to marvel in it's lightness? Or... do you want to shoot?

A good friend of mine thinks that a beer has to be "light"" to be good. I beg to differ.

Coltman 77
September 7, 2011, 11:34 AM
Add the HK P30 and Beretta 92FS to your list. Both are very fine handguns and you should check them out too, IMO.

Good luck Eilig. :)

September 7, 2011, 12:15 PM
What I can be happy with as far as recoil and accuracy differs from pistol to pistol.

If I get a Kahr or a Rohrbaugh - I'll be happy to create 6" shot groups rapid fire at 15 feet - because that's what I'd have those pistols for. And I wouldn't complain about the recoil or not fitting my hand well etc...

On the other hand, i expect to be able to shoot a Glock 17L much much better than that as far as accuracy.

I should have asked OP "what do you want this pistol for - nightstand, CCW, range fun, what?"

September 7, 2011, 12:46 PM
lol, your "friend" is an idiot...

carry on 1 post guy..

September 7, 2011, 02:26 PM
your list is dead on with the exception of the last one.

you really can't go wrong with the rest of them. i own at least one of each :D

September 7, 2011, 03:45 PM
wow, so much feedback in one day. Thank you all.

After reading several of your posts I will take a fresh look on the 92 f/s.

My primary use will be range fun. A CCW permit is really hard to get in the country where I live and at this point I do not have a need for that, but who knows what the future will bring with a sh1tty economy, social unrest and so on.

Also, where I live it is not possible to rent any firearms so I have rely on you guys...

john in jax
September 7, 2011, 03:52 PM
The Glock 19 has a smaller grip that fits the hand-size of more people. I won't claim the Glock 19 is a better weapon than the Beretta 92, but most people will find the 19 more comfortable and ergonomic which usually means they shoot it better.


September 7, 2011, 04:08 PM
They're all respected and reliable but, especially since carrying is not a primary factor, my vote is for the CZ75 or BHP on superior aesthetics.

serf 'rett
September 7, 2011, 04:12 PM
Welcome to the forum.

I'd like to toss another pistol in the mix. I like the Springfield XDm. Mine had a good trigger out of the box. Three interchangable backstraps for different hand sizes. High capacity at 19+1. It just feels right and points well for me. Has shot everything I put in it without a problem. It can be field stripped for cleaning in an unhurried 5 seconds. Worth a look if you are thinking about a poly, striker fired pistol.

September 7, 2011, 06:47 PM
For range fun, other options would be:
1. 1911 in 9mm
2. EAA Witness Match 9mm
3. from the original list: Walther P99 DA/SA or Sig 226 DA/SA

September 8, 2011, 10:04 PM
I am a Hi-Power fan (have a T-model), have a M&P9 pro series, a S&W/Walther 99, Kahr PM9 and yesterday bought a CZ75B i cant wait to try out. I enjoy shooting them all, but I want to throw another one at you if you can find one.

S&W 39-2.

I bought one because it was pretty (nickel version) and was shocked...er...i should say pleasantly surprised to find out how well I shot it the first time i picked it up. The grip seems to be at the perfect angle, and the slight bob-tail just fits my hand like it was made for it. Though the barrel is shorter than my Hi-Power, i found it to be very, very accurate.

Plus, it's a classic LOL. :D

So many choices, but the advice to try as many as you can to find what suits you is good advice indeed.

September 8, 2011, 10:17 PM
I have owned a CZ75B, G17, 92FS. They are all great including the 92FS. I think your friend has the same issue I do. I'am a soldier yet I'am not fond of the M-4 or the ACU pattern in general. If I had to pick one it would be the G17 closely followed by the 92fs.

September 9, 2011, 12:06 AM
I regularly carry a Walther P99 or P99c (depending on how I dress). I have shot several Sigs (220, 226, 230, 229, 239), and also have small hands. Some things to keep in mind about the Sig 226 and Walther P99:

Both pistols have excellent quality and craftsmanship
The Sig will be heavier than the Walther, but will probably have less muzzle flip due to the mass.
The Walther will be more comfortable to carry, but will have a bit more felt recoil and muzzle flip because it's lighter.
They both are accurate; my Walther is a serious tack driver, and I've had good success with every Sig in the above list.
Both are comfortable, but the P99 will have better ergonomics.
Both current P99s - the P99 AS and the PPQ - have excellent triggers. Avoid the P99 QA; if you want a constant trigger pull, the PPQ is better in every respect I can think of.

Since you are also looking at an HK down the road, you are going to have to get used to the under trigger paddle style magazine release that both HK and Walther use. Given that, I'd recommend the Walther to keep the muscle memory as similar as possible to the HK.

Oh, and if you are curious about movies and guns, check out the IMFDB (http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Main_Page); it lists movies and what guns were used in each - searchable by movie or gun.

September 9, 2011, 07:45 AM
After 25 years or so, the Beretta 92FS and CZ75 are far and away my favorites. Just very well engineered, reliable in the extreme and very accurate.

September 9, 2011, 08:30 AM
I actually wanted to buy a 92 F/S since I am familiar with it from movies etc and it looks nice but a friend of mine who was in the service said it is a piece of ****.

Others guns I have on my list:

Glock 17 or 19
Sig Sauer 226
Browing Hi-Power
CZ 75
Walther P99

Which one would you recommend me? I will also consider something that is not on the list like a US gun.

ok first of all, for a desert warzone where it gets filled with sand, yes the M9 is a piece of junk but for just about anywhere in the U.S. you'd have no issues with the 92.

that said I think the CZ75 would be the best out of your list. reliable, accurate, a little front heavy but still quite well balanced.

my personal preference is the SA XDM. it has changeable grip sizes for smaller handed individuals and is also very accurate and reliable. you said american guns and though Springfield armory is an american company, the XDM is manufactured in Croatia. despite that it is still a very well made gun. sorry if that wasn't what you meant.

another very good choice which is 100% american is the Ruger SR9. it's very affordable and usually runs less than $400 and has a very strong fan base among those who own them. a lot of guys wont even give it a chance because there was a trigger recall a few months after it was released but at this point all the bugs have been worked out. it's accurate, light, people with smaller hands generally love them and ruger stands behind their guns 100% so if anything does go wrong they'll fix it up for you no questions asked.
congrats on getting back into the world of handguns by the way

and I didn't read the whole thread so I'm sorry if I posted the same thing twice.

September 9, 2011, 11:34 AM
I'm in the military and some of our 92s are a tad on the crappy side. That said, it is due to extremely high round count (I'm talking 75,000+ rounds) and poor user maintenance. Bought new and cared for, it is an excellent firearm. I don't particularly like the safety or sights but thats just user preference.

My reccomendations are:

G17, 19, or 26
M&P9 or 9c
CZ75 or EAA Witness 9
92 or the ninety two

You can't go wrong with any of the above mentioned guns.

September 9, 2011, 12:19 PM
I'll be the third one to mention an FNH pistol. I have an older FNP-9, and it's an awesome piece. Light weight, good capacity, 16+1, interchangable backstraps, and extremely reliable. It's also pretty damn accurate.

The CZ and clones, ala EAA Witness, would be a great choice too. I have too CZ style pistols, and one is my duty gun.

The Glock 17/19. Although it didn't start the wondernine era, I think it highlighted it. Heavy aftermarket support, dead nuts reliable, and more then accurate enough. Biggest downside, IMHO, is trigger, and it can be fixed quickly and cheaply. One can also get it in 17L and other formats.

September 9, 2011, 04:52 PM
First things first. You're going to have to decide on whether or not you want plastic and whether or not you can tolerate a striker fired mechanism. I say "tolerate" because, try as I have...I cant get used to the gritty/heavy pull and NOT having the option a hammer affords. Yes, they're cheaper to mass produce but not better by any stretch, IMO.

September 9, 2011, 05:24 PM
Have you considered the Beretta PX4 Storm? I have one in .45 and I really like the way it shoots. Everyone who has picked it up has liked the way it feels and points. It's quite slim for a high capacity gun (mine has 10 & 11 rnd mags, the 9mm have 17) My buddy is now selling his S&W to get a PX4. It is very accurate for the short barrel, probably because the sight radius is pretty long for the pistol size. I like the reduced recoil of the polymer frame and the rotating barrel mechanism. I can strip it down it about 3-5 seconds. I think the rotating barrel will maintain the accuracy over the years as there is no barrel tilt in the slide, it just rotates. The compact versions have the Browning type tilt barrel mechanisms. This is a tight gun, I feel no slide slap after 1000 rounds.

I also own a Ruger P95 with about 2500 rounds through it. It has been perfectly reliable. If I was looking for a conceal carry weapon in 9mm I'd look at the Stoeger Cougar 8000. That was the Beretta Cougar 8000, now made under license by Stoeger. I understand from other forums that the quality has not suffered. Just slightly smaller than the PX4, I think it would make a better conceal carry than the PX4 for a smaller person (like me).

You won't be disappointed with any of the guns you list. I did like shooting the CZ75B in 9mm in particular.