The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 7, 2012, 11:34 AM   #26
Senior Member
Join Date: November 19, 2005
Location: southwestern va
Posts: 766
out of your list i think id lean towards the 1911 in 45. I have a rock island and its a great gun, probably my most accurate large caliber pistol and a lot of fun to shoot on the range while also being a good home defense gun (too heavy for me for carry).

im just not a revolver guy (other than maybe a snub for carry).

I would shoot a 40 first and then make your call on the recoil. I picked up a g27 in 40 and was worried about the snappiness of the round, and i cant tell the difference between it and a g26 in 9mm.
"i got the most powerful gun in the .88 magnum. It shoots thru schools......"
scottycoyote is offline  
Old October 7, 2012, 05:39 PM   #27
Senior Member
Join Date: November 29, 2011
Posts: 689
I like revolvers, especially some of the S&W designs from the 30's and 40's.

However, semi-automatic pistols have eclipsed revolvers because they are much easier to shoot. Never mind capacity; that's just a bonus. The learning curve is much lower with semi-autos and people like to see results quickly.

If you have no idea what to buy, get a handgun chambered in 9x19mm. Get a service grade gun from Glock, S&W, HK, Ruger, and so forth. Avoid small guns; the gun should fill your hand and have at least a 4" barrel. This is necessary for learning. Good gun combinations include the Glock 17 or 19 and Glock 26 and S&W M&P 9 and M&P 9C. HK and Ruger have similar offerings.
tomrkba is offline  
Old October 7, 2012, 11:19 PM   #28
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,340
My recommendation is for a 22 rimfire. Something with decent accuracy and good sights.

Here's my reasoning:

1 Practice is important for becoming a good shot. Practice (beyond dry firing) takes ammo. Ammo is cheaper for a 22 than for any other caliber. Example: 22 rimfire costs (around here) $20 - $30 per 500. 500 rounds of 9mm (a very inexpensive round) is at least $100 to $150 per 500.

2 Practicing with a round that has almost no recoil makes concentration on sight picture, breathing and trigger control much easier without the distraction of recoil and muzzle blast. You can add those elements later after you have gotten the basics ingrained in your subconscious. If you start out with a hard-recoiling round you are almost certain to develop anticipation (usually characterized by a flinch) which is devilishly hard to cure. Prevention is much easier to, especially while you are learning.

3 Having a good, accurate 22 will put you on the range (if you go to a formal or informal shooting range) where you will get acquainted with other shooters, see their gun handling practices and see their guns. Most gun owners are proud of their hardware and if you exhibit good safety practices, a modicum of shooting skill and a little bit of polite interest, they will very probably let you handle their guns and even send a few rounds downrange. You can get to try out a wide variety of guns that way and collect testimonials from people other than salesmen when you go to a store.

4 Most (accurate) 22 rimfire guns are cheaper to buy than similarly accurate centerfire guns and hold their resale value well.

I also recommend you visit a web site owned by one of the administrators on The Firing Line, "Pax". It is principally written for women new to guns, but most of the information there is EQUALLY applicable to either gender. "New to guns" is "new to guns" whether male or female.

Good luck. Thanks for reading.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old October 7, 2012, 11:48 PM   #29
Senior Member
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 8,118
My recommendation is for a 22 rimfire.
If you can only have one, my advice is to get a 9mm, and learn to handload.

You will learn quite a lot......
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."
jimbob86 is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 01:38 AM   #30
Join Date: September 4, 2012
Posts: 29
Buy a cz75 to shoot fmj on the range and jhp for self defense.
fun2shoot is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 04:19 AM   #31
Senior Member
Join Date: September 19, 2012
Location: Somewhere out there
Posts: 184
Semi-auto for a first and please not a .22lr. A .22lr is not recommended for self-defense in my opinion. With a .22lr you decrease your chance of survival against a attacker. A couple of people break into you home with two .40 cals and all you have is a you're better off haulin a** to the nearest door and running away!
12 Gauge Fury!

Last edited by Pistolgripshotty; October 8, 2012 at 04:24 AM.
Pistolgripshotty is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 05:55 AM   #32
Senior Member
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
If you aren't planning on carrying concealed, and if you want a .357 revolver, I am a bit puzzled as to why you would opt for the SP101, especially in 4.2" configuration.

Five shots vs six or seven in K or L frame sizes, or eight shots in N frame; lighter weight is great for carry, but at the range or used in home defense only equals greater recoil.

So, if I were looking at a range/HD .357 revolver, and I had medium hands as the OP claims to have, I wouldn't look at an SP101, or a J-frame, or an LCR. I also wouldn't look at an N-frame.

I would look very hard at a Ruger GP100, or used Security Six, Service Six, or Speed Six. I would look very hard at a S&W 686, or a used model 13, 65, 19, 66, or 586.

I would also look at a 3" or 4" barrel. For the range, a 6" might be nice. For HD, the longer barrel provides a bad guy with more leverage for a takeaway.

My own .357 revolvers are a Model 13 and a Model 65, both in 3" configuration. Well, technically, the 65 is my wife's.
MLeake is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 06:47 AM   #33
Senior Member
Join Date: September 12, 2012
Location: Richmond, Va.
Posts: 352
I think you need to test with a few different ones before buying. I'm not sure, but I believe the CZ 75DB goes from double action to single like most others with a decocker. Learning to get a fast second shot can be difficult for some people. ( I blew the second shot in a panic situation.) BTW, decocking, but not also using the safety is the same as using a DA revolver or using a Glock. And the trigger pulls for the Glock and the revolver are identical pull after pull.

Like one other here, I think you ought to get a 22LR. Use it for practice and getting used to a DA pull and the sight picture, not to mention just getting used to shooting and hearing the shots. THEN, look for a proper SD handgun. The 22 will be easier on your wallet and just maybe, while at a range, you can get to fire somebody else's firearm in a defferent calibur/configuration.
Member, GoA, NRA-ILA, SAF, NRA Life Member
Tinner666 is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 09:30 AM   #34
Junior Member
Join Date: October 7, 2012
Posts: 7
The first thing I would do is think about what you are going to use it for. I see so many people buy full size .45's and then they cant use it because they cant conceal it easy or they find it's too heavy to carry all day. It might start of as a home defense firearm, but later down the road you might want to carry it so I always suggest a compact revolver for first timers. Revolvers are versatile, easy to use, and are produced in many compact platforms that can pack a punch. For example I use a Taurus model 941 with a 3" barrel in 22 mag. It has 8 shots of mean little rounds that will ruin a bad guys day. I would go with a S&w pd If you had the money though. Just my 2 cents, I hope it helped.
Chasesf1 is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 12:05 PM   #35
Senior Member
Join Date: April 22, 2010
Location: MPLS, MN
Posts: 1,186
Of that list, the CZ75B stands way out in front for me. It's not quite my favorite gun, but it's really close to the top of the list.
597 VTR, because there's so many cans and so little time!
pgdion is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 01:32 PM   #36
Junior Member
Join Date: August 15, 2007
Posts: 8
I have been reading reviews and watching videos and I think I've narrowed down my list to what I'd purchase (not in order of preference):

1. Ruger sp101 4.2" .357 magnum revolver

2. CZ 75B (either 9mm, .40 or 45acp) - Would I be better off getting the sp-01?

3. Entry-level 1911 45acp (maybe Rock Island Armory)?

.357 is obviously great for range and defense and a revolver would be great for me. I'm just not sure if I should get a semi-auto or a revolver.

"I learned .40 is not good for beginners because it's too snappy. I know 9mm is not the best for defense since it goes through walls, and has less stopping power than a .45. I read that .45acp is actually more of a push back than a vertical recoil, and I'm wondering if I could get used to it even though it would be my first pistol.

Ideally, I'd like a home defense gun that is fun at the range.

If I got a semi-auto, would it be better to go with a 9mm or just go ahead and get a .45 and just gradually get used to it?

BTW I don't have tiny hands, but my hands aren't large either. I guess medium.

I appreciate your feedback!!!"


You certainly have some oddball choices, for home defense and fun shooting, I would scratch the Ruger. short barreled .357 magnums are not optimum for self defense and certainly not a gun for newbies to have fun with at the range. Forget about shooting.357 out of a snub at home., the decibel level will deafen you and its not much fun to shoot.

If you like revolvers you would be better served with a 4 inch Smith K-frame better trigger easier to shoot.

As far as the 9mm being more penetrative, its all about bullet design a FMJ .45 acp will penetrate substantially more than a 9mm lightweight hollowpoint.

I would certainly shoot a few weapons before making your choice!!, the 1911 is a fine firearm, but it will take some consistent training to handle the cocked and locked scenario safely.

The CZ is actually a good choice, its heavy accurate fun to shoot, with the right 9mm hollowpoint iits an excellent home defense weapon. Although I personally don't like SA\DA triggers, even with training the transition can cause an accidental discharge in a self defense situation. Also with the CZ you have to manually lower the hammer, maybe a CZ with a decocker if you go that route.

I like DA only for home defense, some of the autos out there have an excellent consistent light DA trigger pull. I like the Smith autos in short DA only, used guns frequently go for under $400.

Best advice shoot a few different models, the question you also have to ask your self do you have time for training and shooting? If not keep it simple, a good DA only auto, or a smith revolver.

Good luck and be safe!

psantos is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 10:54 PM   #37
Senior Member
Join Date: June 4, 2012
Location: NV
Posts: 743
I have all three of those gun, my SP101 is a 3". I keep my CZ75B with me at night along with my SP101, my RIA is going on sale. 1911s just don't do it for me, I guess i'm weird.
Redhawk5.5+P+ is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 12:10 PM   #38
Senior Member
Join Date: January 3, 2011
Location: Small town in eastern KY
Posts: 155
RIA 1911 all the way. I love mine
ChrisJ715 is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 05:27 PM   #39
Senior Member
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: The shores of Lake Huron
Posts: 4,783
1911s just don't do it for me, I guess i'm weird.
You are not weird. A 1911 fits me like no other and I find it the finest design ever gracing a hand tool. But, like Glocks, they are certainly not for everybody, and I don't begrudge anybody finding their "perfect" gun.

The SIG P226 doesn't do it for me. No question that it's one of the finest handguns ever produced, but it just doesn't feel well in my hand, though I very much wanted it to.
Join the NRA/ILA
I am the weapon; my gun is a tool. It's regrettable that with some people those descriptors are reversed.
Stevie-Ray is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 07:56 PM   #40
Senior Member
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Posts: 5,159
Depends on what your prior experiences have been...what do you like?

If you live close enough to PA, maybe one or more of those ranges have rental guns. If that affords you the opportunity to try a number of different designs, calibers, etc, for a reasonable price, it is money well spent.

Spending a few bucks on handgun rental and ammo beats spending a lot more money on something you thought you might like...and finding out otherwise....repeatedly.

I'm not sure if anyone has ever started a thread on the subject of "how many handguns did you go through before you found 'the one'?"

That would be an interesting thread...

Enjoy your search...
orionengnr is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 11:06 PM   #41
rodeo roy
Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 48
If you are going to be carrying everyday get one of each, wheel and semi. Dont let the capacity of a revolver deter you. If it came to it getting a snub on target and a quick group of shots off it would be easier for me. With a semi that has a safety if it's on when go to draw and shoot it is something you have train for. Overall whatever you get train train train.
rodeo roy is offline  
Old October 10, 2012, 11:07 AM   #42
Rick F
Join Date: October 2, 2012
Posts: 71
Coming from a fellow beginner, I would tell you the DA trigger pull on a S&W is far superior to a Ruger. i would advise a 686 or the like instead.
Rick F is offline  
Old October 10, 2012, 03:18 PM   #43
Join Date: October 4, 2012
Posts: 34
I personally would go with a CZ 75. I have the CZ 75BD and love it. I picked it up and knew I had to have it. It just feels great in my hands, is reliable, fun to shoot, BD version has no safety (I prefer no safety on all my pistols) and it has some weight to it, something that will be beneficial if you load it with +P or +P+.

I also like to stick with a 9mm. It's cheaper to shoot and you'll generally have a higher round capacity than a .40 or .45.
RadioFlyer8 is offline  
Old October 10, 2012, 09:40 PM   #44
Senior Member
Join Date: July 7, 2012
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 212
My buddy just bought a CZ SP01. He finally got to shoot it today after having it for almost a week. I brought along my SIG P226 Tacops. He traded in a compact CZ75 for it...and that gun was just OK for me when I shot it. I have to say, that SP is a FINE handgun. You would do very well with it. The fit, finish, feel, accuracy, everything was very good. They can be hard to find, but if you find it, it is usually in the $600 range. My buddy said, "Well , it ain't quite the Tacops, but I REALLY like it". Ditto. Very fine choice that I think he will be happy with for a long time.
smokehouse4444 is offline  
Old October 11, 2012, 12:02 PM   #45
Sheriff Gotcha
Senior Member
Join Date: March 19, 2012
Location: The Keystone State
Posts: 236
Of the 3 you mentioned I'd go with the CZ. I am personally biased in my opinion however as my first and only handgun was/is a CZ-85B. (It's the ambidextrous version of the 75B)

However, I do believe there is something to be said about a quality 1911. I know for certain I am definitely going to add one to my collection in the future. As well the identical statement I can make about a .357 revolver. (My personal choice will be a Smith 686p)

All in all I'd come over here to PA with a friend and try out some guns. M&P and XD's are also good choices for starter pistols. There are so many viable options out there that it is almost impossible for you to not get a quality firearm.

Btw if you are close to the Burligton Bristol bridge you can come right over the bridge and about 10 minutes down Rt 13 there is a range called 'Ready Aim Fire' that has a pretty decent selection of guns to try out. Most ranges require there be 2 people to rent a gun they don't allow solo renters. (RAF might allow single renters though. I'm not sure however because I've only rented with my buddy)
Sheriff Gotcha is offline  
Old October 12, 2012, 07:29 AM   #46
Join Date: July 5, 2008
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 75
Given the 3 choices you stated...the CZ 75B would be my choice.
Reliable and reasonably accurate right out of the box and it can last you a lifetime.

gunsrtools is offline  

1911 , cz 75 , ruger sp101

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10887 seconds with 7 queries