Looking at 9mm Handgun, Pros & Cons

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Looking at 9mm Handgun, Pros & Cons

Postby ajmorell » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:14 pm

The g/f said she wants to buy me a handgun for x-mas so I've been doing a little research. I'm pretty much sold on 9mm just because it's relatively cheap and will be more than effective for anything I need it for. I've basically narrowed it down to these, generally speaking I'd like to stay in the $500-$600 range

H&K USP Compact
SA XD9
Glock 19
S&W M&P 9
SIG SP2022

I've never shot any of the above but have shot a glock 23 (40 cal) and it was just 'okay'. The 2 factors that are going to drive which gun I get are trigger pull (light) and balance. The glock was great in the trigger pull dept but not so great in the balance dept (felt barrel heavy). I've also shot a S&W sigma 9 and hated it...the trigger pull was horrendus although it did have decent balance.

So, given the above and what I'm looking for, which of these should I seriously consider?
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Postby waterfowlhunter » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:01 am

Depends on what you want it for. I shot a large dog at 10 yds with a 9mm and Winchester silvertips and it ran off. The dog was in my yard growling at my pregnant wife who was backed into the corner of the porch. Later that day one of the neighbors came over asking if I shot his dog and I told him that I may have. He wanted me to pay the $750 vet bill and showed me the Xrays. the bullet hit a rib and deflected down the rib cage and lodged between the skin and ribs. Total path of about 8". I explained to him that our farm ducks and chickens had been comming up missing and I had already talked to the Sheriff. I was informed that if I shoot the dog and can find the owner, They will receive fine for a trespassing animal and for the leash law and be responsible for restitution to me for livestock damage. He did not want to talk to me anymore and just left.

Bottom line is that the dog was fine. I tried it one more time on another "Wild" dog (rotty mix) and had the same results, The dog ran off.

I still have the 9mm but use it for target practice and now carry my 45acp.

I also am aquainted with several Police officers that will not trust their lives to a 9mm. They state that the penetration thru clothing SUCKS. And that it has little "shock effect".

Some people love them I and I like to shoot it but after first hand experience in its inability to do anything but cause a wound I will not carry one. If I had to carry one for self defence it would be loaded with FMJ ammo just to get the penetration.

Most PD's have switched to the 40 S&W. I do not own one but would take one over a 9mm anytime. :thumbsup:
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Postby apexhunter » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:14 am

If you are looking for a plinking or target gun the 9mm will suffice. For anything over and beyond paper targets (home defense, ccp, etc) you would be much better served with a 40 s&w or 45 acp. Like waterfowl mentioned, the 9mm is only capable of questionable penetration at best.

Granted, mahy military and police forces switched to the 9mm a few years back- thinking more rounds on target are better, but most have switched back to a 45, 40 or 357 sig for better terminal ballistics.

As far as the pistols you have listed, my order of preference would be the Sig, Springfield, Glock, H&K then S&W. With the sig you can switch from 40 s&w to 357 sig simply by getting an additional barrel.
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Postby GroundSwatter » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:07 am

I personally have been trying to go through the same thing you are, the issue is I want something my wife would also feel comfortable in handling, so a 9mm would probably have to be a starter gun, and then maybe I could get my 45 later.

I like the Springfield xd series. My friend had an XD .45 and it seemed like I couldn't miss with that sucker. I've shot the 9mm and .40 cal versions as well, they all feel relatively similar. Only issue, if you have small hands the handle safety can affect how you clear jams. Other than that I like the gun.

I've shot glock and a few other brands, I didn't like the way the handles fit. Nothing wrong with them, they just didn't fit in my hand well. Where I used to live there was an indoor range where you could rent guns, might try to find a place like that and shoot a bunch of them. Only you knows what fits you best.
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Postby ajmorell » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:07 am

waterfowlhunter wrote:Depends on what you want it for. I shot a large dog at 10 yds with a 9mm and Winchester silvertips and it ran off. The dog was in my yard growling at my pregnant wife who was backed into the corner of the porch. Later that day one of the neighbors came over asking if I shot his dog and I told him that I may have. He wanted me to pay the $750 vet bill and showed me the Xrays. the bullet hit a rib and deflected down the rib cage and lodged between the skin and ribs. Total path of about 8". I explained to him that our farm ducks and chickens had been comming up missing and I had already talked to the Sheriff. I was informed that if I shoot the dog and can find the owner, They will receive fine for a trespassing animal and for the leash law and be responsible for restitution to me for livestock damage. He did not want to talk to me anymore and just left.

Bottom line is that the dog was fine. I tried it one more time on another "Wild" dog (rotty mix) and had the same results, The dog ran off.

I still have the 9mm but use it for target practice and now carry my 45acp.

I also am aquainted with several Police officers that will not trust their lives to a 9mm. They state that the penetration thru clothing SUCKS. And that it has little "shock effect".

Some people love them I and I like to shoot it but after first hand experience in its inability to do anything but cause a wound I will not carry one. If I had to carry one for self defence it would be loaded with FMJ ammo just to get the penetration.

Most PD's have switched to the 40 S&W. I do not own one but would take one over a 9mm anytime. :thumbsup:


Good info. So caliber aside which of the above would you recommend. I'm no opposed to buying a 40 S&W by any means, the 9mm is just a little cheaper to shoot.
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Postby HotDog » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:03 pm

It's not on the list, but, Kimber makes some nice guns.
I own one of their .40s and love it.
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Postby GroundSwatter » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:29 pm

HotDog wrote:It's not on the list, but, Kimber makes some nice guns.
I own one of their .40s and love it.


I thought he was looking for one between $500-$600, most Kimbers are $900+.

I guess he could find a used one?
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Postby apexhunter » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:30 pm

Again, my first preference of the ones you have listed would be the Sig in 40. A good place to research would be Gunsamerica.com or Gunbroker.com...maybe not to buy but to get an idea of how much good, used models are going for these days. If you do find what you are looking for, most of the dealers on Gunsamerica offer a money back trial period so all you'd potentially be out is the FFL transfer fee and some shipping.

I'd suggest going to a gun shop and handling all of the models on your list, discussing each with the owner of the shop and decide from there- then do some shopping for the best deal whether new or a nice used one.
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Postby waterfowlhunter » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:41 pm

I own HK's and they are a bit pricy but a lot better quality than some others. Glock is ok But I like a manual safety on my carry guns. Sigs seem to be a bit too heavy but are excellent shooters.

One test I seen the was conducetd by lodging a bullet in the barrel and then fireing a live round behind it. The HK was the only one (glock, 1911, HK, Ruger and a couple others) that did not either blow or jam.

I also have browning and ruger Semi autos and they are fine too. It depends on what you want to spend, hand size, and how they point for you. A good test is to pick up the gun. Close your eyes and with a two hand hold point it straight out. open your eyes and notice the sight picture. For example, when I pull up a Glock I have to adjust the sight picture as I always point them too far up. Some others with my natural hold are pointing down. find one that points straight out for you which means that is has the correct grip angle for the way you hold it. Most polymer pistols now have interchangeable back straps to compensate for hand size and hold now.

I would stick to an HK, Sig, Glock, Ruger, or Springfield XD. Not a big fan of Tuarus Beretta or S&W. I would consider a 40, Avoid the 357sig unless you like paying a HIGH $ for ammo. You can get 250 rounds of 40 at dunhams for under $100 and usually under $70 on sale.

But my top choice would still be the time tested 45acp :thumbsup:
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Postby Pumpgunner » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:38 pm

The only one I have direct experience with is the Springfield XD, my buddy has one in .40 that he carries. It's a really smooth handling, easy shooting gun, and comes in several sizes from sub-compact to full size. I agree with the others about the .40 being better for defense, but for a smaller shooter like your wife putting 2 rounds quickly on target could be hard without a lot of practice. It kicks noticeably more than the 9mm.
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Postby ajmorell » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:50 pm

Pumpgunner wrote:The only one I have direct experience with is the Springfield XD, my buddy has one in .40 that he carries. It's a really smooth handling, easy shooting gun, and comes in several sizes from sub-compact to full size. I agree with the others about the .40 being better for defense, but for a smaller shooter like your wife putting 2 rounds quickly on target could be hard without a lot of practice. It kicks noticeably more than the 9mm.


lol, I'm not married yet...that's the other guy but my g/f said she wouldn't mind learning. That being said I don't think she would know the difference since she's pretty new to guns. Seems I'll have to do some investigating next time I have some free time.
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Postby Sagebrush » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:30 pm

maybe a .38 - .357 mag revolver ?

only 6 shots but lots of bullets and energy to choose from
and cost the same as the 9mm to shoot or less for practice.
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Postby waterfowlhunter » Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:22 am

Sagebrush wrote:maybe a .38 - .357 mag revolver ?

only 6 shots but lots of bullets and energy to choose from
and cost the same as the 9mm to shoot or less for practice.


Good point, a revolver is easier to learn on for some people. and my wife has a hard time cycling the slide on my 45's, in theory a revolver "should" be more reliable too.

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Just curious, but what does 38 spl ammo go for in your area? Around here UMC 9mm 250 round packs are $45 on sale and $59 not on sale. The UMC 250 packs of 38 spl runs $69 and up and they never seem to have sales on it. 357 Mag is over $20 a box for cheap stuff. I Do not reload 9mm because it is cheaper to buy it especially when Natchezz runs their $6.99 a box sale on Blazers.

Between a 9mm and a 38 / 357, I would carry the 38 / 357 before the 9mm :thumbsup: .
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Postby Preacher1011 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:08 pm

Don't get a 9mm that's all I can say. People have said it before me and I'll say it again. No knock down power. There are plenty of stories out there of people taking numerous hits from a 9 and running off. Look at police videos where they use 9's and shoot at windshields they don't do well at all. Usually they bounce right off. 40's and 45's go through. I suggest a .40 to start out with. That's what most law enforcement agencies are switching to. It's a great calibre between the 9mm and .45. If you shoot a 180 grain .40 and .45 they have the same energy on impact. I think you'll be much happier with a .40 over a 9mm.

Also, if you're buying a gun for protection DON'T hesitate to spend a little money. Don't settle for sub-par when lives are on the line. That's what I tell people when they come into work looking for a hand gun.

I noticed you didn't like the S&W Sigma series, good thing. I wouldn't own one, they are garbage. It was their first attempt to get into the polymer pistol market and they failed. Glock sued them over their internal trigger and take down assembly. They copied Glock exactly. The Sigmas are nothing but problems and that's why they are selling for 300 dollars with a rebate right now. A guy back in firarms had a friend that bought one because it was cheap, and he was shot for it. He came into a situation where he had to use it and it fired the first shot and failed to feed the second.

Anywho, sorry about the long windedness. Good luck on your choice. The XD is a great choice and is pretty inexpensive. Same reliability as a Glock and about 100 bucks cheaper. Just go somewhere and hold and handle each gun. Find what you feel comfortable with. If you have to use a pistol you don't want to second guess it when you need it most.
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Postby msmall » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:20 am

I would have to agree with waterfowlhunter and say that the H&K are a beautiful gun. I bought a full size USP in .45 years ago and ended up liking it so much that I went out and bought one in .40 and 9mm. Like having the external safety and decocking lever. I would look around for indoor gun ranges that might have guns for rent. Try a few out because ultimately it how it feels in your hands and how well it "points" for you.
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Postby pennsyltucky » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:40 am

if you want a weak, cheap gun for 500 bucks, just get 2 bersa thunder 380's :biggrin:

dont know about you guys, but any gun that is aimed at me and firing, will stop my actions :rofl:
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Postby ajmorell » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:33 pm

Been putting in some thought and I think I've decided on a .357. The gun will be used mainly for home defense and plinking (.38 sp makes that a nice cost-effect option). For the money I'm looking to spend I think I will be able to get a good gun, even if it is a used one. The two I'm mainly interested in are the Ruger GP100 and the S&W 686, both with 4" barrels.
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Postby devildog28 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:05 pm

I don't think i'd ever own a Glock. They seem cheap compared to a sig or HK. I have a 1911 myself but I wouldn't suggest that for your wife's first gun. A .40 doesn't really kick that much compared to a 9mm.

My vote is for the USP compact!
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Postby ajmorell » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:16 pm

I guess I don't understand how this thread got misconstrued but 2 things I'd like to point out:

1-I'm not married
2-This will be my gun, although I expect my g/f will want to shoot this at some point if she really gets into shooting this will not be her gun
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Postby GroundSwatter » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:24 am

ajmorell wrote:I guess I don't understand how this thread got misconstrued but 2 things I'd like to point out:

1-I'm not married
2-This will be my gun, although I expect my g/f will want to shoot this at some point if she really gets into shooting this will not be her gun


Sorry I mentioned my wife in the thread so its my fault, just relating my own story to yours.

Sorry for the confusion, although if you have a G/F that's buying you a gun, you may to consider a few things.

If you haven't gotten a chance to go pick up several guns, go to a gun shop and do that. I would even suggest going to a firing range and shooting several if you have a place like that near by that rents guns.

My personal favorite would be an XD series .40 or .45, but I don't know how comfortable you are with the recoil of a .45, and a .40 is a good middle of the road caliber.

Many people love the 1911 actions, thats fine as there are several fine 1911 manufacturers out there, Kimber is one of them, but I think they're expensive and they aren't the easiest to just pick up and shoot without considerable practice.

Get a gun that fits is probably the most important thing.
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Postby devildog28 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:46 am

I guess in reading this thread I thought you were married. Sorry about that.

I would still stick with the USP .40

As far as the 1911's go there's no need for a kimber or other overpriced model. I "keyholed" 4 shots with the base model springfield a couple weeks ago :thumbsup: I hold the combat course record at the base I was at though :biggrin: But the gist is that it's more the shooter than the gun.
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Postby JimG » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:39 pm

I went into a store a few weeks back looking for a Beretta 92F, and I came out with a CZ85B. Fit my hand really well. I can only use my range on Sunday's til hunting season is over and haven't had a chance to shoot it yet. I was reading at the CZ forum website that somebody did have a frame failure..........but it was after 40,000 rounds. I guess the woman really likes her CZ!!!

Next I'm hoping for a Kimber Custom II in 45acp.

Here's a tip:

Pick your caliber and start buying ammo NOW. It's getting to be in short supply

Also, it looks like the 45ACP ammo costs around 50% more than 9mil, so you can do a lot more shooting with the 9mil than the 45.
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Postby JimG » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:44 pm

Also, be sure of your states handgun laws. In CT you cannot even buy a handgun anymore without a CC permit, and post election, as people went to buy and found that out, all of the mandatory classes are booked solid. One major store won't even show you a gun if you don't have your permit on you, what's the point, as you can't buy it. Permitting process here takes around 4 months AFTER you take the class.
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Postby Ryan Hill » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:22 pm

Cons Cons Cons.... the 9mm is a pea shooter. Furthermore, some dumbass kid I know shot himself in the leg with one and the bullet is still in there, he's fine. Well, physically anyway, he did manage to shoot himself in the leg. The 9mm has none of the energy a midsize to large caliber naturally does. .40 or .45 no doubt, or .357 sig. I own an M&P40 compact and it's amazing.
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Postby Sagebrush » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:37 pm

maximum energy in a 4" 9mm is 399 ft/lbs.

maximum energy from a 4" 38 is 374 ft/lbs

maximum energy from a 4" 357 is 834 ft/lbs

c/o factory loads.............

but the 124gr 9mm can not hold a candle to a 158gr lead
38 special +P , no matter what the data list.

and the 125gr 357 is the all time favorite for a one shot, put them down and stay there, over the 9 and 38.
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