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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to buy my first handgun after the first of the year. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I should get. I was thinking about either a 9mm or a .45 but I could really use some advice from people who are more experienced in this area.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Sweat more, bleed less!
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I'm going with .40 S&W. what ever i can find under $500 at this point. Most liky will be a XD or Glock. both good.
 

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Asking for advice on such a vague topic on an internet forum won't get you anywhere except confused..

Are you asking what STYLE of gun? What brand? What Caliber?

Specify what exactly your plan for the gun will be.. Target shooting only, home defense, personal carry weapon, or all of the above?

Go to the gun store and look at all the guns in your price range and figure out how each works.. THEN, rent a few that you like at your local range to try out..

If caliber is a main deciding point for you, if you are looking for a gun to be used for self defense, the fact that you mention either 9mm or 45 cal shows that you need to look a little more into what each offers, as they both have positive and negative aspects.. The .45 caliber is a GREAT round and what I personally carry in my every day carry gun (1911) and has ample stopping power, but is a LOT larger than a 9 mm and since most .45 caliber guns have a single stacked magazine, you will most likely end up with a capacity of 8 rounds per mag, unless you go with a .45 that offers a double stacked magazine, which also means you will end up with a grip that is fairly large and not easily concealable.

9mms are much smaller and allow you to carry a LOT more rounds per mag, but are on the lower scale as far as "stopping power" of size that I would recommend strictly for self defense (of course this is all relative and realistically, any sized handgun will scare away a perp in MOST situations).

.40 caliber is a great all around round with stopping power similar to a .45 cal, yet sized just right to allow higher capacities without as much bulk.

Here's a good comparison picture of each.



You have a few choices of gun types.. Below is some info on trigger pull.. I'd start there and figure out which style you are most comfortable with.

Some popular trigger types taken from the Wiki page on triggers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_(firearms)

Single action (SA)
A single-action trigger, sometimes single-action only, performs the single action of releasing the hammer or striker to discharge the firearm each time the trigger is pulled.[1] Almost all rifles and shotguns use this type of trigger.[1] Single-action semi-automatic pistols require that the hammer be cocked before the first round is fired.[2] Once the first round is fired the automatic movement of the slide cocks the hammer for each subsequent shot. The pistol, once cocked, can be fired by pulling the trigger once for each shot until the magazine is empty. The M1911 is a single-action pistol that functions in this manner.[2]

Double action only (DAO)
A double action only is similar to a DA revolver trigger mechanism however there is no single action function.[3] For semi-automatic pistols with a traditional hammer, the hammer will return to its decocked position after each shot.[3] For striker-fired pistols such as the Taurus 24/7, the striker will remain in the rest position through the entire reloading cycle. This term applies mostly to semi-automatic handguns; however, the term can also apply to some revolvers such as the Smith & Wesson Centennial and the Enfield No. 2 Mk I revolvers.

Double action/Single action (DA/SA)
A double action/single action firearm combines the features of both mechanisms. Often called traditional double action, these terms apply almost exclusively to semi-automatic handguns.[3] The function of this trigger mechanism is identical to a DA revolver. However, the firing mechanism automatically cocks the hammer or striker after the gun is fired. This mechanism will cock and release the hammer when the hammer is in the down position but on each subsequent shot, the trigger will function as a single action.[3] The Mateba Autorevolver is a hybrid revolver that functions on a DA/SA system. However, it is different in function than either a conventional revolver or semi-automatic pistol. The H&K USP is a good example of a DA/SA semi-automatic pistol. On many DA/SA pistols (including the USP) there is the option to cock the hammer before the first shot is fired. This removes the heavy pull of the double-action. Also, there is often a de-cocker to return the pistol to double-action.
 

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*** Forgives, I don't
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I don't know your age but my first response is: If you don't know what type/calibre firearm you are familar with, you don't need to buy one. Get familar with various firearms then go looking for one.
 

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eibweN
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if you want to learn how to shoot, go with a 22, ruger mark 3 is a good one, if you want for self defense, go with an XD9 or XD40, both great guns, and not too terribly expensive.
 

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My first pistol was the SW M&P 45, but I was really torn about getting that over the 40.

Depending on the hour of the day, I probably would have gone with a 40 and purchased another barrel so you could shoot 357 (If I'm not incorrect in this). I kind of like that idea, to be a bit more versatile with ammo. An extra barrel packs easier than an extra gun.

As you can see, I'm convincing myself I need two pistols. :confused:

Or, if you don't need it for self defense and want it purely to hone ones skill, a 22 (as others have mentioned) may not be a bad idea. Thought about it myself, but decided to invest in a reloading setup versus another pistol.

So, guess I'm still convinced I need two pistols. :thumb:
 

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Sweat more, bleed less!
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^ your correct, the .357 sig is a necked down .40 S&W casing. Both are great rounds and gives you great versatility.
 

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I think you should go to the local gun range and rent a few guns starting with a small caliber and moving up. Take a course that instructs you on how to properly use a handgun then make a decision based on my recommendation:rofl::rofl: JK. No really I do recommend the HK series of handguns in the .40cal variety.
 

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Go to guy
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What is the exact use going to be for this firearm? Is it going to be your carry sidearm (concealed), is it going to be a SHTF firearm, do you have any experience with handguns at all?, did you use the mil issue 9mm?. Also think about how often you are going to carry your handgun....on a daily basis, just going out,etc?
 

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Sweat more, bleed less!
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.45
And learn how to use it.
no, there is no difinitive pistol round. all pistols are underpowered so dont even start that argument. A 9mm in most instances at close ranges with good hollow points is very effective. the biggest problem with pistols is that people have too high expectations. A pistol is not ment to be a main gun, its to fight your way to your rifle or a reload. it excells for fast action tasks in confined areas. 50 yards MAX. people also go by crap wally world roundnose bullets and are upset when it gives them crappy results. its NOT the guns fault and not because its a 9mm.

again i know all the balistics stuff but for %90 of people and %90 of the time a 9mm will do.
 

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Strive to Survive
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I suggest a full size 9mm for a starter pistol. 9mm is cheaper for practice and a full size handgun will give you less felt recoil. I definately would not get a .40 cal due to the high pressure loads cause a very snappy recoil. As for the .45.....if you want expensive practice sessions and it will take many to be a good .45 shooter, go for it.
 

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I have a Springfield XD 9 Tactical.

I love this gun!!!

The 9mm ammo is cheap, the gun is very accurate, I have fired about 800 rounds through it, with all kinds of ammo (blazer, wolf, monarch, winchester, speer gold dot) and have not had one misfire or jam. The magazine holds 16 + 1 rounds.

Over all I would give it a 10 out of 10.
 
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