The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 12, 2013, 03:37 PM   #1
Join Date: July 7, 2012
Posts: 19
Best way to test firearms?

I'm eager to purchase a new firearm (more specifically a 9mm) and have held a few, but I don't have any friends or acquaintances who live near me whose firearms I can try. The local gun stores won't me test new guns (for obvious reasons) and their selection of used ones isn't too big. I really like the Sig P226 or maybe P229. I've also heard good things about the Springfield XDs and the Glock 19.

I'd hate to just wing it and end up buying something that I might not enjoy shooting. Everyone on this site, and other forums, has different opinions of which guns they love. Should I just wait until the market is better and then hope there are more used ones for sale that I can try?
OakleyAnna is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 03:43 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 4,811
Some ranges rent guns, is there one near you that offers such an option, perhaps?
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”
wogpotter is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 05:14 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,925
Yes, I would wait until you can fire each of those 4 choices.....they're all radically different in terms of trigger styles ( how they break, how they reset, how much slack they have) .....grip angles are all different....controls are all different....and even within each model ( like the 226 ) ...there are so many different options - slim grips, short reset triggers, DAK trigger, DA-SA trigger...

A gun you might like firing ( for bulls eye accuracy ) might be one thing.....and then you run some tactical drills with it ...some double taps, some mag reloads...and it might feel very different...( you might not like the grip angle, the way it comes up and out of a holster...) all kinds of things.....

But they're also - all very popular models..../ hanging around your local range for a few hours, I'd be shocked if you don't see all of those models represented there. At least talk to folks shooting them / they might let you put a mag thru each of them...

but I wouldn't recommend you buy until you can hold and fire each basic model.

A note....just in the 226 / I have a pair that are all stainless one in 9mm and one in .40S&W...and a buddy was in love with that model and really wanted one / but after he fired mine - he didn't like them at all. They were too heavy to suit him, he thought the grip was too big, had trouble reaching the mag release without moving his grip, didn't really like the decocker, didn't like the 10lb trigger in DA..../ so he ended up buying a XDM instead...
BigJimP is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 05:30 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: January 14, 2013
Posts: 352
Some ranges rent guns, is there one near you that offers such an option, perhaps?
This would be where I would be checking as well. What have you been shooting so far?
redhologram is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 07:31 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: March 22, 2009
Location: S.E.PA.
Posts: 882
Buying a handgun cold, can be a crap shoot. I'm pretty fortunate to belong to a large club with a lot of different guns coming and going. Most guys are more than happy to let you put a few rounds down range.

Prices probably aren't very good right now, so unless your really pressed to buy something, I would let the dust settle.
NRA member, DCF&S member, PAFOA member, USPSA member, NSCA member

SauerGrapes is offline  
Old April 12, 2013, 08:11 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: November 30, 2010
Posts: 3,464
I really like the Sig P226 or maybe P229. I've also heard good things about the Springfield XDs and the Glock 19.
Realize that the Sig 226 and 229 trigger types differ significantly from the Glock or XDS. The Sig's traditionally have a DA/SA trigger, meaning the first trigger pull will be a long double action pull like a revolver. Essentially what you are doing with that first trigger pull is cocking the hammer and dropping the hammer all in one pull, hence the name double action. After the first shot, when the slide retracts to the rear it automatically cocks the hammer for the next shot. So each subsequent shot will be a light crisp single action trigger pull. The Glock and the XD are striker fired, there is no hammer and every shot will have the same trigger pull from the first to the last. Read up on DA/SA triggers and striker fired triggers to get a real good understanding of each before you make a decision. And of course dry fire them in the shop to get a feel for the trigger before buying.

If you really like the Sig 226 or 229 but find the grip is too large for your hands, take a good look at the Sig 239. Plan to pick one up for myself sometime down the road.

Last edited by Dragline45; April 12, 2013 at 08:18 PM.
Dragline45 is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 04:39 AM   #7
Junior member
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,797
Guns, ranges...

Are you fully new to weapons & the shooting sports?
You never shot any firearm? Rifle? Shotgun? Handgun?
First, I'd check around & see if there are any NRA, training programs or respected(stable, well run) courses near you.
Take a 4hr seminar or a 1 day class then gauge the skills/teaching methods of the firearms or tactics instructors.
Professional instructors & cadre rarely bad-mouth or put down any other program no matter how poorly run it is out of courtesy but you can tell rather quickly if a course or school is up to your desired standards.
Shoot a few rental guns or see what you'd like to buy. If it's your first firearm, get a .22LR to start or if it's for security/protection, a simple stainless steel 5 or 6 shot .38spl(or the larger .357magnum) in a K or medium frame.
You do not need a $1200.00 "race gun" or SWAT type sidearm to protect yourself. Avoid the gun shop rangers & "mall ninjas". There are many top instructors, DVDs, books & media for new firearm owner(s).
Learn to keep your new weapon(s) and gear clean and check them often.
Learn & understand your area's gun & use of force laws too. A critical incident or a gun fight isn't the time to hire a law firm or plan for a emergency. Here are a few good websites to review.

ClydeFrog is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 09:28 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2009
Location: Minnesota CZ fan
Posts: 902
Since your listed choices are so apples vs oranges I would also suggest you hold off until you can shoot one. If they where closer to being the same style of gun just holding one might suffice if you know how one close to it feels when fired. IE the 2 SIGs would be close to the same but the XDS would be different and the Glock even more different.

You could start by the feel of the 4. Likely if the SIGs feel right for you the Glock will not and visa versa with the XDS being closer to the SIG but not exactly the same feel. That way you could eliminate at least one before having to find one to shoot.
LarryFlew is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 11:20 AM   #9
Bob Wright
Senior Member
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 2,614
I've never seen a revolver I didn't like to shoot, at least not a modern revolver.

I'm not really fond of shooting autoloaders, the recoil characteristics sort of distract me, plus the fact that my valuable brass case goes flying into the wild blue yonder. Add to this the relatively short range of most auto pistol cartridges and I find the revolver much more satisfying to shoot.

I do like to shoot some else's .45 ACP like a Colt Government Model, using their ammunition. And the little .30 Carbine autos are great sport.

Point is, I don't "try out" guns prior to purchasing. I've already got a pretty good idea how each gun performs.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 07:12 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Posts: 9,604
One thing I really miss about not belonging to my local club is going to the range and having people willing to let me put a mag through their gun.
Of course, I had a Kahr T9 almost no one had shot before in exchange.

I carry a Glock subcompact, but it doesn't fit my hand well. Many people, like me, don't have big enough hands to perfectly grip a double stack. The Kahr pistols are so much more natural for me.
$0 of an NRA membership goes to legislative action or court battles. Not a dime. Only money contributed to the NRA-ILA or NRA-PVF. Second Amendment Foundation is a solid alternative.
First Shotgun Thread First Rifle Thread First Pistol Thread
johnwilliamson062 is offline  

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 02:54 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 0.08126 seconds with 7 queries