The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 13, 2013, 09:19 PM   #26
Join Date: July 31, 2013
Location: Buffalo, WY
Posts: 94
My first real handgun (22s excluded) was a S&W 4 inch 357 mag. It does everything you need a handgun to do. I've never really needed another. Not to say I haven't wanted, and owned, many others. But if all I'd ever had was that old K frame I'd have been just fine.

It's an ideal first handgun. That's my recommendation.
Bullcamp82834 is offline  
Old August 13, 2013, 09:40 PM   #27
Senior Member
Join Date: November 29, 2011
Posts: 689
I had awful luck with the CZ74B and the Kadet kit.

The purpose of the 22 Long Rifle hand gun is to provide a low recoil learning gun. The Ruger 22/45 is a very reliable gun. I have one with a 4" barrel and it's a very good shooter. This gun, or one like it, will help you learn to shoot.

I recommend the SIG P220 or P227, which is SIG's new handgun in 45 ACP with 10 round capacity. 45 ACP is a very accurate round and is easy to reload. It meets the minimum barrel length restriction and is an accurate gun. You can get this gun in a single-action only version if you do not want to learn the double action trigger. If you're limited to 10 rounds, you may as well go with a gun that shoots large, heavy bullets.

There are many very good guns available. You could try a double action revolver, but they require quite a bit of dedication and discipline to master. I recommend you try a gun built around a ten round magazine. Quite a few guns in 40 S&W and 357 SIG are built around such magazines.
tomrkba is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 06:23 AM   #28
Senior Member
Join Date: May 31, 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 2,453
Originally Posted by Quik
if the 686 fits well in hand, should it equate to a good fitting with the 617?
The k- and L-frame share the same grip frame & grips, so they'll fit your hand the same way. The L-frame is a bit bigger gun overall, though, so the balance will feel slightly different. They're pretty dang close, though.
MrBorland is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 07:13 AM   #29
Senior Member
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 5,028
First, I'll have to be Honest;I didn't read completely through all the posts here.
Well Frank Blunt, if you do not read the other posts, why should anyone read yours?
You probably just repeated something that was already said.

Last edited by dahermit; August 14, 2013 at 07:18 AM.
dahermit is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 07:27 AM   #30
Senior Member
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 5,028
Also, I've realized that I prefer DA/SA handguns, both for the .22LR and the 9mm pistols.
Did you come to that realization by actually shooting a DA/SA gun, or just thinking about how they work? I question that because they can be a little tricky getting used to with the first shot heavy trigger, then instantly a light trigger and a round going through the ceiling. It is best to try one first to see how well you adjust to the change when actually firing. A DA/SA is not very well suited for formal (off-hand, small of a group as possible, or competitive paper-punching), target practice. It depends on what you consider "target practice".
dahermit is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 11:43 AM   #31
Junior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2013
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 12
Nullcone, thanks for your opinion.

Since the helpful people around here have suggested the Browning Buckmark or Ruger SP101/MkIII multiple times, I might consider buying both a .22LR and a larger caliber pistol, in order to avoid getting bored. It depends on the fitting and on the urges I get at the gun shop .

Bullcamp82834 also suggested .357 magnum. The .357 or .38 rounds here are relatively harder to find than any .22LR or 9mm, and considering the 9mm are also less expensive, I prefer to stay with the 9mm for the larger caliber, and maybe move on from there.

As for the .45 ACP, suggested by tomrkba, those are more expensive than 9mm as well, not to mention quite a larger caliber, and I think I'll leave that to later, once I've fully grasped shooting .22LR and gotten some experience with the 9mm.

It's good to hear that the K-frame and the L-frame share a lot with respect to feel. Thanks for the info, MrBorland.

dahermit, while I've never shot any double action/single action pistols, I'm under the impression that a lighter trigger pull once in S/A leads to higher accuracy with enough practice, of course. What I like about DA/SA is that if I can't get used to the initial DA, I could pull the hammer down before firing, and put it into SA. Either way, the Rugers/Brownings at .22LR aren't DA/SA, so I'll have to make do with that I think. I'm pretty much sold on one of these, I just need to put them in my hand at the store before I make a decision.

Like I previously mentioned (this thread is getting pretty long! thanks for all the help!), the only firearm I've ever shot was my cousin's M&P9 PRO, for approximately 1 hour alternating with 2 other people, and at 25 yards the best accuracy I could get to was unimpressive (8.5" x 11" paper riddled with 10 rounds, so maybe 10.5" group hah).
Quik is offline  
Old August 15, 2013, 11:16 PM   #32
Junior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2013
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 12
Hi again everyone,

Let me apologize again for another lengthy post, but I went to the gun shop today, and after putting several handguns in my hand, I made my decision.

I went in and asked to see a Browning Buckmark. The knowledgeable salesman gave me a Buckmark Camper UFX Stainless. When I put it in my hand, the grip felt too big for my medium sized hands. I couldn't engage the magazine release with my thumb. As they didn't have a .22LR snap-cap available, I couldn't try the trigger. I have to say it felt like a quality sidearm, though. They didn't have the all black Buckmark, which would have been my choice.

Next, he pulled out the Ruger 22/45, and I decided I rather the Buckmark almost immediately. I didn't spend much time with the Ruger, as I preferred the cheaper Buckmark.

He then pulled out the Smith & Wesson 686, with the 4" barrel, and I have to say it felt great in hand. It felt like a premium revolver, and I could easily reach the cylinder release latch using my thumb, which is a nice plus.

At this point, the salesman was pressuring me to put aside the 617 .22LR revolver and instead opt for this .357 magnum. Without making this thread longer than it already is, in a nutshell, his opinion was that I would get tired of the .22LR quickly. I nodded my head. It wasn't worth the argument, especially since the Buckmark I really wanted was unfortunately out of stock.

I asked to see the CZ-75 SP-01 SHADOW they had in stock, he said "yes, good choice".

Wow. Perfect fit, what more can I say. The CZ-75 had a nice weight to it. The single action trigger was nice and light, and the double action was heavy but smooth and manageable, it will take a bit of practice. My hand fit around the grip wonderfully, and my thumb could action the slide lock and the safety with ease. The red fiber optic front sight really did it for me, too. I was pleasantly surprised: I had done my homework, and read a lot and watched a lot of videos on many handguns, including the CZ-75s (originally, I had wanted a Magnum Research Baby Desert Eagle 9mm, which is based on the CZ-75) and I grew to appreciate them. I was happy it fit so well, and I know the SHADOW line is relatively rare, but before pulling my wallet out, I absolutely wanted to try the Sig Sauer P226.

The salesman took it out for me, saying "I can't blame you for wanting to try it, it's a great handgun, but we have similar hands, you and I, and the Sig P226 will be too big". Annoyingly, he was right, as I couldn't even action the decocker, let alone the magazine release or the slide lock. However, I understood why everyone was in love with this pistol. Man, is it nice, though.

He insisted I try a 1911 before making my choice, though. He brought out a PARA Ordnance 1911 Expert Stainless. When I tried it, it was only slightly too big for my (seemingly smaller and smaller) hands. Nevertheless, I liked it. The SA trigger (this firearm was SA only) was extremely light, and the pistol was pretty heavy, too. Had I not tried the CZ-75, I think I would have appreciated this one a bit more, but not enough to go ahead and buy it.

So, my choice was made. Today, I treated myself to a CZ-75 SP-01 SHADOW, and with a couple of months before I could even take it out of the store, I'll have to keep looking for a full black Buckmark, such as a Browning Buckmark Contour 5.5 URX.

You guys have been an awesome help. I hope to get myself some experience and one day be an active member in these forums. Also, honorable mention to JimmyR for suggesting a CZ-75
Quik is offline  
Old August 15, 2013, 11:25 PM   #33
Senior Member
Join Date: February 4, 2012
Posts: 1,273
Originally Posted by Quik
Also, honorable mention to JimmyR for suggesting a CZ-75
Thanks for the props. I think you will enjoy your new gun. CZ's have something of a cult following, but they really are some excellent guns.

Now, I'm not sure about the SP-01, and it may take some digging around to find it, but I have found that VZ grips make a CZ-75 even better. The grips are slightly thinner than the stock grips, and give a lot more texture while shooting. The CZ rubber grips are also great for range shooting, and a good deal cheaper than the VZs. Just a tidbit from one CZ owner to another...
JimmyR is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 11:11 AM   #34
Spats McGee
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 6,868
Originally Posted by Quik
. . . .So, my choice was made. Today, I treated myself to a CZ-75 SP-01 SHADOW, . . . .

We look forward to a range report when you've had a chance to go put it through its paces.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
Spats McGee is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 01:51 PM   #35
Junior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2013
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 12
Hey JimmyR, thanks for the heads up on the grips. I'll keep it in mind once I have the pistol in hand again. I can't remember my opinion on the comfort of the grips, I was really only focused on the fitting, which was perfect.

Spats McGee, you better believe I also look forward to the range report!!

Thanks again for your help everyone!
Quik is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 02:45 PM   #36
Senior Member
Join Date: January 27, 2008
Posts: 1,721
CZ-75s are nice pistols. I hope you have many enjoyable range sessions with it!
raimius is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 02:51 PM   #37
Join Date: October 15, 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 67
This seems to be a very easy question that is being made complicated.
22's are a great place to start but you want to move to something bigger later in case you get bored.

CZ75 in 9mm with the kadet 22 conversion.
aarmel732 is offline  
Old August 18, 2013, 08:02 PM   #38
Senior Member
Join Date: February 7, 2012
Posts: 514
If you have not decided, a Sig will endure. It holds market value and is a superior brand. It is also just plain durn fun to shoot!
SpareMag is offline  
Old August 30, 2013, 06:23 PM   #39
Junior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2013
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 12
Hey everyone,

You've all been super helpful while deciding on which first pistol I should get. The next course I need to take will be completed next Saturday, after which I can apply for my firearms permit. I can't wait to try out the CZ-75 SP-01 SHADOW I had put aside!

Until then, I'm doing some homework, mainly on cleaning and maintenance. However, just this morning I was browsing and I realized that my local range had just received 3 CZ Kadet .22LR kits, and I was very excited until I saw the price. These kits are going for ~$700 CAD each with 2 .22LR magazines. Now, I was expecting the conversion kit to go for maybe 400$, 500$ would be pushing it.

But for ~$700 CAD, I think it would be better to get a Browning Buck Mark and save some money. However, since I know next to nothing about firearms, and these kits seem to be VERY hard to find, I'm turning to you guys for your collective wisdom.


Thanks a bunch!
Quik is offline  
Old September 3, 2013, 10:00 AM   #40
Junior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2013
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 12
Bump, a penny for your collective thoughts?

What would you choose, a Browning Buckmark for ~$350 CAD or a CZ Kadet kit for ~$700 CAD? Why?
Quik is offline  
Old September 3, 2013, 10:36 AM   #41
Senior Member
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 3,748
Quick life lesson I learned....popular guns are popular because they are good guns for most people. So, a gun like the Sig, S&W 22 revolver, a Glock 19.....should all be considered for that reason alone.

Calibers: Well, for a first gun, self defense shouldn't be a primary driver. Cost of ammo is always important as is general power level. For these reasons, I like 22lr and 9mm. Both are comparatively cheap. 22 has the added advantage of being able to shoot a lot before becoming recoil forever. 9mm is moving up to working cartridge power level. It will give you enough recoil that you will have to train to handle it where 22 LR does not.

Barrel length: Generally barrel length relates to sight radius. Sight radius is critically related to how far you can hit things. I can hit the target with a 10.5" barreled revolver with relative ease. With the same gun in 5.5", it is a challenge to make hits at all at 75 yards. 4" revolvers and 5" autos are great to 25 yards.

Semi vs revolver: This is a challenge. I belive revolvers are simpler to use, but many would argue with that. I can say I have owned many handguns; ~50% of the semi's had a feed issues, none of the revolvers did. Also, S&W's have easy triggers to shoot DA or SA. That cannot be said about many semi's, especially the DA/SA type.

Last, something to remember about a first gun is it is not a do-it-all, one-n-only gun. It is a learning step to get you from newb to experienced with one gun. Most guns can do this well and the only possible real negative is getting a gun which goes in for warranty work several times or has a fundamental flaw like a grip too big for you to hold and pull the trigger efficiently.
Nathan is offline  
Old September 3, 2013, 11:21 PM   #42
Senior Member
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 3,639
The Browning Buckmark is an excellent .22 and there should be no disagreement about that.

To pay 700 CAD for a CZ when you could get a Buckmark for 300 CAD wouldn't (IMhO) be very smart.

A Ruger Mark III might even be cheaper and that too is an excellent .22. If you could save even more money getting the Ruger I'd do that.
DaleA is offline  
Old September 5, 2013, 04:07 PM   #43
Join Date: April 4, 2013
Posts: 26
My 2 cents

A lot of people recommend a .22 as a first handgun, even more say to try them out first, either by renting or using a friend's....

Let me play the devil's advocate.

I purchased my first handgun earlier this year- a Sig Sauer STX 1911 in .45 acp. I bought it NIB (new in box), without ever shooting a .45 before and I have ZERO regrets. However, I was intending home defense as a main use for the weapon as well as target practice so I wanted something that could punch a nice big hole. I had also fallen in love with the 1911 years before- you simply can't argue with a gun that has served in both LEO and Military applications for over a hundred years and can put out a 2 inch group at 50 yards... that, and having shot a .380 revolver and a .40 polymer frame pistol I wasn't too worried about the larger caliber.

All that just to say this- find something you like (you'll know) and run with it.

Last edited by meadams314; September 5, 2013 at 05:22 PM.
meadams314 is offline  
Old September 5, 2013, 08:00 PM   #44
Senior Member
Join Date: January 30, 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,307
A .22 semi-automatic may be the best first handgun for anyone with little or no prior experience with handguns. In my opinion Ruger offers the best values in such pistols. A Ruger 22/45 offers the grip angle of the Colt 1911, one of the greatest firearm designs of all time, the magazine capacity is 10 rounds, and the retail price should be under $400. The Ruger Mk III is another option. It has a more sharply angled grip and is available in models ranging from less than $400 to about $730. I have a Mk II Stainless Bull Barrel .22 and it is about the only firearm that my wife and two adult daughters like to shoot. It is accurate enough to hunt squirrels and rabbits, and is very nice to shoot. I have about 40 firearms, and I have probably shot more rounds with my Ruger Mk II than all of my other firearms combined. My experience with the Mk II is the foundation of my bias, but I sincerely believe you should at least consider the Ruger .22.
Vietnam Veteran ('69-'70)
NRA Life Member
RMEF Life Member
lefteye is offline  
Old September 5, 2013, 10:19 PM   #45
Junior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2013
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 12
Thanks for the advice guys.

What I retain is that the CZ Kadet conversion kit is not worth ~$700 CAD, nor is it worth a couple hundred more than a decent .22LR semi-auto. That seems like sound advice. Since the Kadet kits seemed so rare in my area, I thought I should double check with some people more wise than I.

Browning Buckmark, Ruger MK(x) or 22/45. I'll give the Ruger 22/45 another try in-hand, but my first impression was that it was inferior, ergonomics-wise (for my hands), to the Browning Buckmark I had tried. Unfortunately, they didn't have the Ruger MK(x), nor did they have the Buckmark in the color I wanted. My next visit to a gun shop will be the range's gun shop, hopefully they have more .22s to choose from.

As this thread is getting long and some busier members don't appreciate reading through a longer thread, I think I'll refrain from posting additional questions here and I'll start a new thread in the future.

Very valuable information, much appreciated!!!
Quik is offline  
Old September 6, 2013, 09:14 AM   #46
Senior Member
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Rittman, Ohio
Posts: 2,074
Lots of valid points in this thread. Ammo is also a huge consideration, as well as how soon you will "outgrow" it when making a purchase.

When I start somebody out in shooting, with MY guns, they either start with a 6" revolver which is the easiest thing to hit the paper with and build confidence, and very simple to understand how it works, how to use it, and where the rounds are located at a given time. I start with either the .22 or the GP100 with light loaded .38s, depending on how timid they are. Its much easier to work on sighting and trigger pull BEFORE introducing the flinch factor. Its a great confidence builder. Yes, eventually we on to the 39 S&W in 9mm, but I have yet to see a beginner who does not prefer the 6" revolver.

If its not a carry gun, and is for target shooting, and possibly later hunting I usally recommend a 6" DA .357 revolver as first gun if they are comfortable with it. Easy to understand, easy to sight, and very mild to and inexpensive to shoot with .38s, and the potential for future growth to full power .357 Mag rounds as a short range deer slayer. I do know you don't have the options in Canda that we have here, but if there is any way to actually fire some of your interests before purchasing, that is always a recommendation.
TimSr is offline  
Old September 18, 2013, 02:24 PM   #47
Junior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2013
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 12

Instead of the 617, I might think of getting the .357 MAG S&W 686(P) once I have a bit of shooting experience. Seemed extra sexy when I put it in the hand.

I sent out the application for my firearms possession and acquisition license (PAL) today, it'll be at least a month before I hear from them.

Which reminds me, I went to another, more distant firearms dealer with a colleague (who was also going through the process for the PAL) and we fell upon a lightly used IWI Jericho 941, all steel, full sized (with 50 bullets shot). After trying many other firearms (they didn't have the CZ-75 SP-01 SHADOW I had picked out, but they had the CZ-75B), he put the Jericho 941 in his hand, loved it, paid it in full and that was that!

However, when I tried it in my hand, the IWI Jericho 941 was very slightly too big for my hand, just like the CZ-75B felt very slightly too big. It seems like the CZ-75 SP-01 SHADOW has a different, smaller grip, or the button/control placements are different; with the SHADOW, I don't have to shift my grip at all in order to reach the mag release, the slide release or the ambi-safety.

All in all, I'm extremely happy with my decision, and I'm extra eager to get the paperwork over with. I'll definitely make sure to make a (imaged text and/or video) review of the CZ-75 SP-01 SHADOW as soon as I get enough one-on-one time with it
Quik is offline  

.22lr , 9mm , baby eagle ii , first handgun , s&w 617

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 03:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10268 seconds with 7 queries