Looking for first ever handgun

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Looking for first ever handgun

Postby MNWaterfowler22 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:20 am

First time poster on the handgun forum and I need some advice. I recently made a career move after being in education for 10+ years to a career that requires me to carry. I have little experience with handguns since I have only needed shotguns for hunting. Here is what I am looking for something that is easy to carry and not to bulky. I would like it to be in 9mm since it will be readily available and cheaper to shoot. I would like it to be some what inexpensive which kind of doesn't matter since I can get it at a discounted price. It won't be for competitions it will mainly be used at work to carry and to shot every once in a while since I mainly use shotguns. Here is what I have narrowed it down to.

Glock 17 or 34
Smith & Wesson M&P
Springfield Armory XD or XDm
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby Sagebrush » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:29 am

It would be nice if your could get all three in your hands to get a feel for weight and balance.

Also how to take them apart and if parts are available and what type of warranty they have.

I have not used the 3rd weapon listed but the first two are quality weapons.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby CutEm214 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:45 am

MNW - You can't really go wrong with the Glock, although neither of the ones you listed are very compact. Have you looked at the 22 or 23? The only downsides to them is they have poor balance (IMO) and they're kinda blocky at the grip. The Springfields are nice as well. I personally stay away from anything S&W anymore by principle, but that's just me. I know its not one of the guns you mentioned and also a bit pricier, but have you looked at any of the Sigs? The P227 is perhaps the most well balanced handgun I've ever picked up. Good luck in your search!
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby TomKat » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:50 am

I enjoyed shooting Jensen's .40 XD, as seen here. I have owned a number of Springfield Armoury guns, and liked all of them.

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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby MNWaterfowler22 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:19 pm

Cutem - I've looked at the sigs and would really like one. As you stated they are are pretty expensive and therefore didn't make the list.

I just can't justify spending a crap load of money when I don't do that much pistol shooting. The discounts I can get are pretty good and I would rather use them towards a nice new shotgun since that would be more worth while...but since I have to carry I need to get a handgun.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby rmb79 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:30 pm

I have an XD 40 and a Beretta 96 also in .40 Both are good guns.

Just a thought, if your job requires you to carry, you might want to look a something other than a 9mm.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby mw46 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:44 pm

rmb79 wrote:
Just a thought, if your job requires you to carry, you might want to look a something other than a 9mm.


+1 I only have experience with the M&P and its been a great pistol, but I wouldnt hesitate to go with any of what you listed.

If your dealer doesnt charge alot for transfer fees, cdnn has good pricing on M&P's,and possibly the glock and xd too, i havent checked them out lately
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby apexhunter » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:59 pm

Assuming you aren't required to carry concealed and don't have to worry about a subcompact piece my preference would be an XD or XDM. That said Sage had a good piece of advice to handle and possibly shoot all 3 makes. Glock and Springfield have different grip angles and what suits one person may or may not suit another. Being new to handguns you probably have no preconceived notion of the feel and geometry so either would suffice. I just like the Springfield better because the ergonomics just work for me.
As far as caliber goes, the 9mm will work and is a bit cheaper to shoot but there are more powerful options available...anything starting with a 4 comes to mind. Many will argue that the 9 is more than sufficient but a 40 or 45 is proven to carry more energy and create more damage on the receiving end. And somebody carrying for work definitely wants the capability to stop somebody in their tracks.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby CutEm214 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:54 pm

apexhunter wrote:Assuming you aren't required to carry concealed and don't have to worry about a subcompact piece my preference would be an XD or XDM. That said Sage had a good piece of advice to handle and possibly shoot all 3 makes. Glock and Springfield have different grip angles and what suits one person may or may not suit another. Being new to handguns you probably have no preconceived notion of the feel and geometry so either would suffice. I just like the Springfield better because the ergonomics just work for me.
As far as caliber goes, the 9mm will work and is a bit cheaper to shoot but there are more powerful options available...anything starting with a 4 comes to mind. Many will argue that the 9 is more than sufficient but a 40 or 45 is proven to carry more energy and create more damage on the receiving end. And somebody carrying for work definitely wants the capability to stop somebody in their tracks.


You better have a big set of paws to shoot a Glock in a .45 caliber. The grip is about as ergonomic as a 2x4.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby apexhunter » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:24 am

Agreed! But the slim grip profile models aren't that bad even though the grip angle just doesn't work for me. Being more of a 1911 shooter the Springfield (and Smith) comes to point more naturally for me. One thing I do like about a Glock is the "U" shaped rear sight lines as it creates a nice frame for the front sight to sit between.

Referring to the Sig...some shops sell refurbs from LEO that are awesome bargains. A buddy of mine just picked up a very nice 229 in .40 for less than $500 which is around the price of the 3 guns the OP mentioned. As far as open carry guns go a Sig is hard to beat with its DA/SA action, decocker, pretty awesome accuracy and hell for stout construction. Look in the holsters of many, many cops and if it isn't a Glock you'll see a 229 strapped in.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby CutEm214 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:00 am

I'm with you.... I pick up the Sig and it just has that balance where the gun becomes an extension of your arm. Almost like pointing your finger at a target its so fluid.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby aclumpkin » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:17 am

MNWaterfowler22 wrote:Glock 17 or 34
Smith & Wesson M&P
Springfield Armory XD or XDm

All very good pistols and ones I looked at when I recently picked up my S&W M&P .40. I picked each of them up and the S&W by far felt the best in my hand. So all are really good guns, just see what fits you best.

But I must say that I LOVE my S&W M&P .40! Shoots like a dream and is ultra smooth. Oh, and I do have my CC and do carry it sometimes. It is a little big but most of the time when I carry (which is not a lot), I am not as focused on the conceal part as much. When I do want to conceal, I typically carry my .38 special snub-nose revolver.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby MOhuntingGuy » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:38 am

I have shot all three. I personally own 2 S&W MP's. The regular size in .40 and the compact in 9mm. I love both of them, they shoot like a dream. It comes up with 3 different size back straps so you can custom fit it to your hand. I don't have my CC yet, but the compact 9 is perfect.

You really can't go wrong with a glock. I've shot the 17 and the 19. I like the way they feel and I shot both of them pretty good. Only reason why I didn't buy a glock is they aren't left hand friendly. Dual slide release on the S&W plus the mag release is reversible. Just throwing that out there if you are left handed.

Only shot one XD but I did like it. I think it looks kind of ugly, but it has a great feel to it. Again, its not as left hand friendly.

Both of my M&P's. The desert tan standard size is the .40. Black one is the compact 9mm
WP_000108.jpg


This gives a good idea of the size difference.
WP_000109.jpg
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby MOhuntingGuy » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:45 am

Oh, and another good question to ask, Do you have to conceal carry or open carry? That will be the deciding factor on the size.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby MNWaterfowler22 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:21 pm

Wow thanks guys for all the info... keep it coming.

MOhuntingGuy wrote:Oh, and another good question to ask, Do you have to conceal carry or open carry? That will be the deciding factor on the size.


I do not have to conceal it will be on the hip. Glocks are nice but my pop has a glock and it is ok to shoot but I kind of want something different. Something that I picked out and fits me instead of following his lead.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby CutEm214 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:44 pm

MNWaterfowler22 wrote: Glocks are nice but my pop has a glock and it is ok to shoot but I kind of want something different. Something that I picked out and fits me instead of following his lead.


MNW - I will follow up with although the Glock is a great quality firearm I don't find it to be a joy to shoot at the range. That seems like something you're looking for. I'm only accurate with mine to a distance of about 25ft, which works well because I don't have a room in the house that's much larger than that. And because I don't enjoy shooting it much, it only leaves its case when things go bump in the night and I do my stalk of the house in my birthday suit. :eek:
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby mccree79 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:56 pm

If the size is not a concern, I would say the Glock 34. Excellent gun. The Springfield,s are also good, but will cost you over $250 more.

Personally, I like the size of the 17 over the 34. I do not have either...I am a .40cal man. So, I have a 22 and very familiar with the 35. Same size guns tough.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby MOhuntingGuy » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:05 pm

MNWaterfowler22 wrote:Wow thanks guys for all the info... keep it coming.

MOhuntingGuy wrote:Oh, and another good question to ask, Do you have to conceal carry or open carry? That will be the deciding factor on the size.


I do not have to conceal it will be on the hip. Glocks are nice but my pop has a glock and it is ok to shoot but I kind of want something different. Something that I picked out and fits me instead of following his lead.

Just go with whatever you like the best then. I threw out what I know about them. All 3 are excellent pistols.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby Der Chef » Thu May 03, 2012 9:03 am

Lots to consider here. Number one would be the intended purpose, then probably what fits you best and you can shoot accurately and comfortably.

I have several handguns from Glock, S&W, Colt etc. love them all, get rid of the ones that don't "seem" right for whatever reason.

I have two favorites that I go to when it's all business. As retired LEO, my go to choice for personal protection is the Glock 19. I have one, that has fired 10's of thousands of rounds and I can't recall a single FTF or stoppage of any kind. Eats any make ammo, simple to maintain and goes "bang" every time, with blistering rate of fire and plenty chances. It fits me well and shoots remarkably accurately. A lot of complaints relative to accuracy are almost always "pilot error". Due to the safety features, these pistols have quite a bit of trigger travel so most new to it have trouble at first to get decent groups and shoot right or left (depending on strong hand) because of this. A "coach" will cure you of this, and once you get what's goin' on your troubles will be over. :thumbsup:

My other favorite is the S&W model 60, .38 revolver. I carry this fishing, or when I'm in the woods training dogs, etc. 100% reliable and remarkably accurate.

As to caliber, a well handled .38 or 9mm gets the job done. I owned a Glock .40 and just couldn't get it to work. Tried others, same result. Wasn't the gun, I'm sure, but it was a poor match for me and I sold it.

Big guns won't help much if you can't get 'em on the X. I'll take the 9mm any day if my life is on the line.

Find some "Buddies" with a few pistols, go to the range and try 'em out if you can. A winner will "choose" you.

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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby deepmarsh1 » Thu May 03, 2012 1:05 pm

If having never owned a handgun before, I would recommend the xd. If your job requires it, sounds like your life may depend on it. There's no way I would try save a hundred dollars if it means the difference between going home at night or not. Glock is nice but the springfield has a metal trigger instead of a plastic one. The ergonomics make it much more comfortable to shoot. You have the added grip safety. 1) this gives you an added safety 2) when holstering, as long as you don't push in the safety, the slide can't accidentally be pushed out of battery causing it not to fire when you need it to. The springfield is actually single action. The recoil cocks it. On a glock, the recoil cocks it halfway and trigger pull finishes it and to me, this makes trigger pull nicer on the xd. Your looking at basically the same price between the glock and the springfield. Only difference is, you can get a stainless slide, od green or flat dark earth frame as well as the black. Oh, and you get a holster, a mag holster, and of course the speed loader. I almost forgot to mention, if you want a sub-compact, you'll have a light rail. And a hi-cap mag so you'll have somewhere to put your pinky. But glocks are good too...
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby Der Chef » Thu May 03, 2012 1:55 pm

Another good choice DM.

I guess what it comes down to is that you can't go wrong with many of these choices.

Try to shoot a few if you can, and among the ones being recommended in these posts, pick the one that fits you and shoots well. :thumbsup:

I for one, look forward to hearing what you decide on and your impressions on whatever you get to try.

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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby ibedamn » Fri May 04, 2012 2:20 pm

I copied the info below from a web site that I frequent. The guy that wrote it, is like a Champion, he knows his stuff. The only problem is some shops want let you dry fire their guns. My local shop doesn't mind, and they also have the Sig model E20229B for 399.95 and you get a free laser. Several other places here have similar pricing. Nice gun for the money.

ADVANCED TIP: ONCE YOU'VE NARROWED YOUR CHOICES DOWN TO ONLY A FEW DIFFERENT FIREARMS, THERE IS A SIMPLE DRILL TO TELL WHICH FIREARM YOU WILL SHOOT THE BEST. FIRST START WITH AN UNLOADED FIREARM (NOT RIMFIRE) AND AIM IT IN A SAFE DIRECTION, SQUEEZE THE TRIGGER, WHILE WATCHING THE FRONT SIGHT. IF THE SIGHT MOVES WAY OFF TARGET, THIS WILL TELL YOU WHERE THE BULLET WOULD HAVE GONE. YOU NEED TO USE THIS DRILL WITH EACH ONE YOU ARE CONSIDERING AND COMPARE THE MOVEMENT OF THE FRONT SIGHT. THE ONE WITH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MOVEMENT, IS GENERALLY THE FIREARM YOU WILL SHOOT THE BEST.

The above has always worked for me. Good luck.
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Looking for first ever handgun

Postby troutman561 » Mon May 07, 2012 12:20 pm

I have had both a Springfield XD .40SC and Glock 30. I like the Glock better but both are good guns. I am 6'2 and the Glock fits me better in .45. I think the Glock 45's don't usually fit the average sized person's hand as evidence by some testimonies in this thread. One thing that I did not like about the XD was the fact that when I would pull up to shoot at the range, my hand would sometimes not depress the grip safety causing the gun not to fire. I did not like this because if it's gonna happen at the range, what will happen when adrenaline is running and you reach for the gun in a hurry? My carry guns these days are the G30 and the S&W 642 revolver depending on which one my outfit of the day will conceal better. I plan on getting a Glock 21SF for a hunting side arm and home defence gun eventually. IMO, you can't go wrong with the simplicity, reliability, and price of a Glock.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby pifer » Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:36 pm

One thing I would recommend if at all possible is to go to a range and rent each of them, and go with whichever you like the best.
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Re: Looking for first ever handgun

Postby stew870 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:45 pm

I love my xd sub compact 9mm and service xd 40 , in my opinion can't go wrong with the xd great gun at a great price
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