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Old September 13, 2012, 10:43 PM   #1
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my first handgun

hey all im looking to buy my first handgun here in april i have shot guns all my life and have shot all sorts of handguns im looking for a conceal and carry gun revolver or glock.

small enough to conceal and carry
however i have a large hand
something cheap to shoot and practice
but enough stopping power to kill no problem

---NO 22.--

thank for your time all and thank you for the help
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:52 PM   #2
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Ruger's sR9c fits your requirements.

I liked my brother's. Nicest trigger on any striker fired gun I have fired.
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."
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Old September 14, 2012, 01:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for asking out advice. Welcome to the forum.

Asking someone to pick a gun for you is like asking someone to pick a spouse for you. We can do better if we know more about you and your needs.

You are an experienced shooter of long guns? What kind and what kind of shooting? Shotgun? Hunting or clay birds? Long range (1,000 yard matches perhaps) or combat battle rifle? Casual target shooting of high-end target shooting? You get the idea.

I know you said "no 22" but I urge you to reconsider. Handguns are difficult to master and a 22 affords a LOT of practice for a fraction of the ammunition cost. A 22 on the same basic frame as your chosen centerfire is a handy thing to practice with and the transfer of skills is easy that way.

Besides, an accurate target-grade 22 can put you on the range where you will meet a lot of other pistol shooters who will give you good advice and even let you look at and perhaps shoot their guns a few rounds. No better way to get advice than by rubbing elbows. A decent 22, attentive attitude and demonstrated safety skills can be your ticket.

That is, if your stable of rifles have not put you out there already, in which case, I'll wager you already have some ideas.

If you are considering carry for personal protection (as opposed to off-duty security or police) may make a big difference in your choice of action type. A 5 or 6 shot revolver counters a different threat than a 10 or 12 shot semi-auto. What are your needs?

.357 can penetrate automobile bodies, reach out to farther distances and (there is some argument here) take down tougher adversaries than 9mm, but inevitably hold fewer rounds, thus are not as good in an inner city environment than the 9mm. A 45 ACP is a proven man-stopper, but the 40 S&W is gaining a reputation worthy of consideration. But the .380 can be much more easily concealed and if you are not in a high-risk environment and concealability is a critical concern, may be your choice.

We have no way to know unless we know your situation.

Most professionals I know of have a selection of tools from which they choose, as the circumstances direct. You will likely expand your selection to meet your varying needs (but not so much as to make your muscle memory more problematic than useful).

Help us help you.

Lost Sheep
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Old September 14, 2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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something cheap to shoot and practice
but enough stopping power to kill no problem
First, your goal in a defensive shooting is to stop the threat, not to kill. Your effort to stop the threat to you, your loved ones, or other innocents may or may not prove fatal to an assailant, but your goal is not to kill or to punish, but to escape the threat with as little harm to innocents as possible.

With that out of the way, 9 mm is a good choice for most people in being inexpensive and widely available, yet still a serious self defense round. Recoil is not at all bad, making followup shots easier (faster and more accurate) for many people, and the difference between 9 mm, .40, and .45 in ballistic gel (the only standardized media that we have) is not spectacular. For most people, a first handgun is at least for a while an only handgun, so I like to see them get a 9 mm first for defensive purposes, then get a .22LR for a second pistol for practice that is fun, cheap, and still productive.

Your choice of individual firearm depends very much on your preferences in grip size and shape, presence or absence of a thumb safety, singe- or double-action, and capacity, along with how you dress relative to concealing a firearm. You can only make these choices by handling a lot of handguns, preferably firing rental or borrowed handguns, and thinking about what you learn before you plunk down your money.

ETA: It is a lot more important for you to understand why people made their choices than to know what they chose.
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Old September 14, 2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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If you want you can break it down this way: what modes of carry am I comfortable with? Certain guns lend themselves to that.

The most convenient mode for me is pocket carry. Whether it's dress pants, jeans, shorts, I can always find a suitable garment to pocket carry year round.
What kinds of guns are easier to pocket carry? - light sub-compact guns like a snub nose J-frame or Ruger LCR, Ruger LCP, a Keltec PF9 and P3AT ("three eighty") or Kahr PM9, If you wear cargo pants a lot you could potentially "pocket carry" the next size gun:

The compact size category: S&W M&P9c, M&P40c, M&P Shield (newer than M&P9c), Ruger SR9c, Glock 26 + 27, Sig 290, Beretta Nano (new so I haven't shot it before). In my mind these are suitable for comfortable Inside The Waistband carry. They're a little large for normal pocket carry to me but their advantage is a grip that's closer to full size for better control.

Smaller guns will be harder to shoot well at the range (short sight radius) and therefore less "fun" if you're looking for pretty groups, and some designs are hard to shoot well because a long or hard trigger pull. Knowing that I still chose to carry a j-frame like the S&W 642 or 442 for my pocket carry because the simple reliability. And the j-frames still have a lot of potential to be shot accurately (search youtube for Hickock45's video on snub nose shooting to 80 yards).

What i did was start with the smaller gun I could have on me in most circumstances (where legal). Then I looked into a slightly larger gun that I could carry IWB (inside waist band) when conditions like weather/clothing allowed. There are some times that even when heavier clothing allows I don't feel like having to concern myself about my shirt / sweater riding up and exposing my firearm. Don't underestimate convenience.

Some people draw the line at .380 as minimal caliber, some at 9mm. No one can tell you what you should trust your life to. I do have a friend that was comfortable carrying a .22 as well as a 9mm.

I have tried 40 caliber and that is currently one of my carry guns. Retrospectively I can say that it is more difficult to control a 40 cal in a small gun than shooting 9mm out of it would be. Will it make a difference on a day that I am put to the test? Only God knows. Maybe I'll be happy I chose 40 cal.

Final things to consider: manual safeties, a given company's customer service department, and consider just going to store / gun show and handling as many as you can.
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Old September 14, 2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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I initially bought a 9mm because I thought it was powerful enough while having cheap and widely available ammunition. I later followed it with a 22lr for practice. I can shoot the 22 5 times for the cost of 1 9mm.
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Old September 14, 2012, 06:42 PM   #7
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Sig 2022, Ruger LC9, Taurus PT709. If you spent more, I'd add the M&P 9 pro series. The duty M&P will be real close to your threshold for budget.

You need to decide how small and mode of carry.
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Old September 17, 2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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If you can get your hands on a SR9c and try it out you may be pleasantly surprised. It's large enough to be substantial in your hands yet small enough to conceal easily. It's fairly accurate with minimal recoil. My hands are normal size, not large but not small. The 10 round magazine with pinky extension gives me just enough grip to hold the gin comfortably. You can get it from Bud's for $407.
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Old September 20, 2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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sr9c and sp2022 fit your bill. or go slightly used and pick up a cz pcr or walther pps.
Favorite range gun for the money - CZ 75B or STI Spartan V 9mm
Go-to carry setup - Walther PPS or PPQ in FIST kydex holster 1AK
Favorite semi-auto design - HK P7
"A Sig is like a lightsaber - not as clumsy or random as a Glock."
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Old September 22, 2012, 08:25 PM   #10
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Sig Sauer SP2022 or P250 in 9mm. Both can be had new just under $400. Relatively inexpensive ammunition, and more than capable as a defensive cartridge with good HP ammunition. Don't get caught up over caliber; all common handgun calibers are poor one shot man stoppers. If you want to put a man down with 1 shot, use a rifle. With pistols, remember that it's shot placement over anything else.
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Old September 22, 2012, 11:42 PM   #11
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hey all im looking to buy my first handgun here in april i have shot guns all my life and have shot all sorts of handguns im looking for a conceal and carry gun revolver or glock.
If your choice is between a revolver or Glock, I'd go with the Glock 19. 9mm is probably the cheapest service caliber to shoot, and the 19 is a good all around size for IWB or hip carry.

A glock 26 or a S&W J frame would be good for pocket carry, but if you have large hands, it might not work out so well.
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Old September 23, 2012, 10:51 PM   #12
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Nice little 38 Special revolver
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Old September 26, 2012, 08:01 PM   #13
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I'm a big guy (6'7" 250 pounds with giant claws) and I love my SR40C. I carry and train exclusively with the smaller mag (9 rounds of 40 S&W) and have no problems holding on to it. :-)
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:53 PM   #14
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What have you shot before?
What did you like/dislike?
How much do you plan on spending on your first?
Do you have a budget to pay for enough ammo to attain/maintain proficiency with your chosen handgun?

Honestly, unless self/home defense is an immediate priority, I would recommend you buy a Ruger MKII/II and a whole bunch of .22LR ammo, and practice weekly until you are proficient in breathing, sight picture, trigger press, etc.

Most people have no idea how difficult it can be to shoot a pistol well, even at 7-10 yards.

The good news is that it is a skill that is fairly easily acquired, and fairly easily maintained.

But it is also an extremely perishable skill. Do not deceive yourself into believing that because you shot one good round six months ago, that you can do it again tomorrow.

FWIW, I take a .22 with me every session, and generally start out with 50-100 rounds of .22 LR as a warm-up. If I am not shooting a .22 well, I shoot some more, until I am. Then I shoot some (50-100 rounds) centerfire.

I will not try to tell you how much my shooting has improved in the last couple years since I started doing this...but I will tell you that my .22s have paid for themselves a long time ago.
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