Forums / Gun Discussion / First handgun.

5 years 44 weeks ago, 8:20 PM

Jane

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First handgun.

In recent months, I've started to feel the pull of the all mighty American icon, the handgun. I've debated myself to an impasse, so here are the options I'm considering.

1. A small frame .357 wheelgun. I'm probably going to buy a Taurus due to their low cost and having a dealership within convenient distance of me. If I do go revolver, I'm planning on buying a .357 and getting a feel for it using .38 SP and transitioning to the .357 after I get used to working the gun. For the weight, size, and simplicity of use that a small frame revolver would offer, especially combined with the stopping power of a .357 round, makes this a tempting choice.

2. A 9mm automatic. Again, no particular brand in mind, but I'm probably going Glock just for convenience. While a 9mm isn't a "one shot drop" if non-lethal results occur, the increased magazine capacity and managable recoil have kept this one on my mind.

3. A high caliber automatic. .45 ACP or .40 S&W are the two most likely candidates, with .45 ACP being the lead choice because its a firmly established round. I'm not sure how hard a high caliber automatic actually kicks, but I may not wish to have one simply due to the difficulty of controlling the recoil. After all, I can drill a hostile with a .45 and knock him on his ass, but if I can't re-acquire a sight in time to stop his buddy, its a moot.

5 years 44 weeks ago, 10:27 PM

runawaygun762

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Jane

Your choices are all very sound, although debating yourself to an impasse is probably not. I had a Taurus model 606 2 1/8" factory proted .357 DAO revolver and loved it. The damned thing blew out windows in a three-block radius every time I fired it (Okay, not quite. Don't start, LLE), but it was nice to have six shots of .357 in such a small package. Problem is, I think it was discontinued, as I can still find the 605 and 607, but not the 606. As for 9mm, the Glock 19 is the best all around handgun in the world. If you go with Glock, get rid of the garbage factory sights and get a set of Trijicon three-dot night sights. I have the XS Big Dot sight on my G19 right now, but I'm waiting on my Heinie Slant Pro straight eight sights with the race cut rear sight from Custom Race Glocks here in Arizona. Two decades of notch-and-post pistol sights are to much to be overcome by the express-style. They gotta go. Anyway, If you decide on a compact or subcompact Glock, your spare magazine(s) should be the full capacity mags because once you have to reload, everyone knows you have a gun, so having multiple flush-fit mags makes no sense. As for the question of .45 or .40, I've had two 1911 .45s and two .40 Glocks. I have fired a ridiculous number of guns in a wide variety of calibers, and I can tell you the .40 kicks more than the .45. The recoil on a .40 is, well, snappy. I think it's called slide velocity or some damned thing. Anyway, a .45 is a much softer-shooting gun than the .40 in a given gun frame, so the .45 is a better choice. Overall, the 9mm is the way to go, because of course any gun you may use for defense is also a gun you should practice with constantly, and practice ammo for the 9mm is much less expensive than the other choices. As far as defense loads, figure out which load is the most accurate in your gun, go through a couple boxes of it every few months to get the feel, and use FMJ practice ammo the rest of the time. Hope this mini-novel (novella?) helped.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 44 weeks ago, 10:34 PM

Reaper308

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jane

it sounds like you know what you are looking for in each one, you just need to decide on what caliber you will want. recoil on a .40 or .45 isn't too bad if you have a longer barrel and heavier frame, but if you get a smaller gun, it will have some good kick. same with the .357 mag.

I would probably suggest the 9mm (especially or a first handgun) because practice ammo is still fairly inexpensive compared to larger calibers, and you can get some good defense ammo, that WILL drop someone with good shot placement. just my advice, take it or leave it.

Are you planning on carring this handgun, or leaving it at home?

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 44 weeks ago, 10:38 PM

fordvg

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Jane

As someone new to handguns, I would start out with the revolve in 357 like you said. It is easy to shoot and KISS simple (keep it simple stupid). After you have shoot awhile, then I would go to an auto pistol.

"WAR IS A RACKET, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler USMC Ret. 2 time Medal of Honor winner.
5 years 44 weeks ago, 10:50 PM

runawaygun762

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fordvg

I have to disagree (Well shit, it's me. Don't I always?). I know the theory behind having a revolver as a first gun, but autos are not much more complex and are just as reliable. Sure, new people may limp-wrist a gun which can cause a stoppage in an auto, but I think the biggest reason for that recommendation is so people will learn marksmanship easier. With six rounds and slower reload, hitting the target becomes more important. It's the same concept as giving a kid a single-shot .22 for his first gun as opposed to a repeater. That concept makes sense too, but isn't necessarily any better if the new shooter practices the fundamentals and takes her training seriously. I think more important than which action type jane starts with is the concept that she practices with the chosen gun until it becomes an extension of her. A Glock, for instance, has fewer steps to reload than a revolver (Unlatch cylinder, depress extractor rod, load cylinder, close cylinder) (Drop magazine, insert magazine, depress slide stop lever) and is just as safe without having all those extra buttons, switches, zippers, and combination locks that other guns have.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 44 weeks ago, 12:37 AM

Ironmike15

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Jane

It may be your 1st handgun, but it won't be your last. I like your choices. I personally can't figure out whether I like revolvers or autos more. I love them both. they both have their strong points to be certain. I simply don't understand how anyone can go through life without them both. But I know you have to start with one or the other. The .357 is, well, a fantastic round, but it does best in a 4 inch barrel or longer. It is not at all hard to carry a 4 inch revolver. I have a Dan Wesson with a 4 inch and it is a near perfect carry gun. You need the 4 inch barrel to get the needed velocity to allow the cartridge to perform to its potential. I don't think you want a really light .357. Hot loads are quite stiff in a light gun. I don't understand the reloading thing really. I don't know how many times someone has fired 6, or now 8, .357 rounds at anything that hasn't died so long as they have hit the target. It has a 97% one shot stop record. If so, they missed. Just the noise alone will make them think twice! With speed loaders or the new moon clips, reloading is quite fast. I think autos are a little easier to carry concealed. I also think they can work quite well as a first gun. They may even be a little easier to shoot for some people. I have never held a gun that felt as good as a Browning Hi-power, but others like the Glock,Sig, HKs, or the 1911s. They are all great choices. I would go handle them, and see what they feel like to you. I am also cursed, because I like a pretty gun. It has been said that life is too short to go through it with an ugly gun. I think John Taffin said that. It is true for me. Good Luck.

5 years 44 weeks ago, 5:38 AM

wyattcl

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Jane

Sounds like you've put a lot of thought into your choices. My advice, Go to the shop and handle them all. See which one you feel the most comfortable with. Talk to the dealer. Most are honest and will help you make a a good choice. Practice plenty and take a defensive course. Happy shooting.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson

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