New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Handgun, Pistol and Revolver topics

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New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:42 am

Hey guys, just looking to gather opinions and advice on the matter.

After extensive research into the best first pistol purchase for myself, I decided on the Ruger LCR .38 special. I am not disappointed in any way with it. Perfect for what I need out of a first gun, which is:
- Easy to keep "ready" for use
- A good "pick up and go" weapon for home defense in the middle of the night
-something my fiancee, a very small woman (5'2" 110lbs) could easily point and shoot with little training if I'm not around
- Possible CCW after I take the class this summer

Definitely not the easiest pistol to learn on, but the recoil is very manageable with the Hogue grips and the fiancee and myself had no problems shooting it.

The majority of my shooting experience is either with my Ruger 10/22, which I've had since I was a kid, and my dad's Mossberg which we've used for deer hunting for a few seasons now. I am a complete noob when it comes to pistols at this point. Although having the LCR has given me some experience, I am already looking into a 9mm for the cheaper ammo, which would allow me to train more often with it. I was looking at the Ruger SR9 (always loved Rugers), as well as the Glock 19, but I'm sure there are other good options out there. Basically, I'm looking for recommendations on what guns to try out at the range (I always do extensive research before making a purchase). I would ask friends to borrow a few pistols first... but most of my liberal-minded college buddies are not gun enthusiasts (thank God for ZS!). Thoughts? Suggestions?

Also, hello from North Carolina to everybody who didn't see my intro post! (I've been stalking your forums for over a month! :oops: )

Edit: I meant the Ruger SR9, not the LC9
Last edited by Rivers2Gates on Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by TheLastOne » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:30 pm

Standard response mode:

Go to a range and rent some guns. Most should have a g19 for you to try, I see a lot of lc9's too. (BUY THE GLOCK).

Don't sell your lady short on training. If you expect her to use it properly, make her go learn it as well as you do. (BUY THE GLOCK)

9mm is just fine, research good defensive ammo and make sure you shoot enough of it (IN THE GLOCK 19 YOU SHOULD BUY) to make sure it feeds properly (winchester talon is what I use, do your own research).

HAVE FUN WITH YOUR NEW GLOCK 19
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:35 pm

Everybody keeps pushing the Glocks, must be some kinda reasoning for it I suppose? haha.

I"m sure you get similar questions all the time, I apologize if my questions bore all you ZS'ers ;)

I've also been considering a CZ.... just throwing that out there.
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by northernxposure » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:33 pm

Rivers2Gates wrote:Everybody keeps pushing the Glocks, must be some kinda reasoning for it I suppose? haha.

I"m sure you get similar questions all the time, I apologize if my questions bore all you ZS'ers ;)

I've also been considering a CZ.... just throwing that out there.
Because they're just about as stupid proof as you can get for a new shooter. Simple to shoot, simple to take down, simple to forget about cleaning and have them still work.

Not saying that there aren't other pistols out there that are just as good - there are IMO. However, for a new user, there's a lot of positive things about the GLOCK platform. The fact that they offer a significant discount to LEO/FR/FD/Fed/Mil and have a huge aftermarket worth of accessories helps too.

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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Neville » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:06 pm

Hey Rivers, welcome aboard the ranks of pistol owners. Enjoy that lcr. I like revolvers and own several of them. Odds are on the day you need a gun, it will be gun enough for the job.

However I do like semi-autos as well and frankly there are much better training options out there if you want to really learn to use your gun as a fighting weapon, if you can bring a semi-auto to the party. What I mean by that is go look for how many courses there are teaching revolver skills to actual fighting professionals (cops, military and contractors, security etc). Not many. Now how many teaching semi-auto pistol skills to the same groups? Plenty. In a class where pros are wielding semi-autos and you have a revolver, you will constantly be holding the class back, spending your time loading, while others are (or want to be) shooting. Sure, you can find "basic" classes where they teach grandma how to pull the trigger on her very first gun... but you will quickly outgrow that basic level of training and want/need more to be effective at defense with a handgun. You will want better training, and that will necessitate a more modern design.

I like my CZ's a lot (own five of them) but I have had a bit of tinkering done with them too. It's hard to go wrong with a classic 75b or 85b. These will get you used to operating a manual safety and are in the same class as 1911's when it comes to general operability. You should keep in mind there is no grip safety so the manual is what you have... USE IT. Carrying in condition 2 (hammer down on a chambered round with a DA pull ) is not advised because there really is no safe way to decock the gun, thumb slippage being a possible issue. It is best carried cocked and locked at all times.

The Springfield XD pistols offer some excellent ergonomics and safety features and are also a very good choice. One thing I dislike about the XD is the fact that the trigger must be pulled in order to disassemble the gun. That's a very small gripe about an otherwise terrific handgun. They are worth checking out. My wife has a couple and they are reliable performers with good automatic safety features and indicators. There is very good aftermarket support for them and a variety of models various sizes and calibers. I'm not a fan of the xdM because it's not compatible with the existing user base.

As far as the Glock - they are popular pistols and there are many reasons why. Should you consider one? Go hold one, line up the sights... fire one at a rental range if you can. Did it look, feel and seem "right" and "natural"? If so, you should consider it... if not, scratch it right off the list. Get your woman's opinion. Some will just care that it feels good in their hand. Others will not be able to get past the appearance and think of it as that "ugly gun" that they don't want to be seen shooting at the range. It's an esthetics thing and won't make the gun shoot any better or worse... but lack of practice with it will make it shoot worse when she's at the controls. And if she won't practice with it because she thinks it's fugly... there you go.

The Ruger SR's are kind of the new kids on the block. I'm actually impressed with the appearance of these pistols. I'm especially enamoured of the green frame/stainless slide combo. Do they shoot? are they reliable? So far I have heard very little back on them. Is there aftermarket support? No, at the moment it's almost non-existent but maybe that will change as they linger on the market for a few years. If you can find one to rent, and it shoots well for you, that might be a good choice for you. And your lady might like it too. The only way to know is to try one and see. If you think it might be a CCW piece at some point - check out holster availability before you take the leap. More than one gunny has been dismayed to find that the new gun he just got, a holster cannot be found for. My CZ 75b Compact 40 is an example of that. It's just enough different than the other CZs that finding a proper holster was a real exercise in patience and dilligence. I finally found someone to custom make one, and it is a beaut. Only took me 6 months and a nice big chunk of change. Like I said, look before you leap, it makes life easier. Check other things like magazines etc. I do know that Ruger is stingy with spare parts, maybe something to consider if you were planning on doing your own fix-it down the line.

Good luck with your search. Finding "the next one" is half the fun of this pursuit!

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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by AKFTW » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:30 pm

Glock in 9mm. Pick your flavor- 19 if you are looking for a good all around gun out of the box without having to do anything to it- but for the best of both worlds, get a 17, if you've got the balls to take a dremel to your NIB $500 plastic gun 8-)

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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:34 am

Neville wrote:Hey Rivers, welcome aboard the ranks of pistol owners. Enjoy that lcr. I like revolvers and own several of them. Odds are on the day you need a gun, it will be gun enough for the job.

However I do like semi-autos as well and frankly there are much better training options out there if you want to really learn to use your gun as a fighting weapon, if you can bring a semi-auto to the party. What I mean by that is go look for how many courses there are teaching revolver skills to actual fighting professionals (cops, military and contractors, security etc). Not many. Now how many teaching semi-auto pistol skills to the same groups? Plenty. In a class where pros are wielding semi-autos and you have a revolver, you will constantly be holding the class back, spending your time loading, while others are (or want to be) shooting. Sure, you can find "basic" classes where they teach grandma how to pull the trigger on her very first gun... but you will quickly outgrow that basic level of training and want/need more to be effective at defense with a handgun. You will want better training, and that will necessitate a more modern design.


Good luck with your search. Finding "the next one" is half the fun of this pursuit!
I really appreciate you taking the time to offer your advice Neville, I will take what you're saying under consideration. You are absolutely right about wanting to get advanced training with my chosen weapon, this is likely going to be a lifelong interest and hobby for me, and I do not want to freeze up under pressure, especially if anyone I care about is counting on me for protection.

I realize that pistols are simply a tool and means to an end (protection), and looks do not matter to me. That being said, I plan on getting some shooting time this weekend with a G19 at the very least, probably the XD as well. After doing some looking around on the web, it looks like the Ruger LC9 has a terrible trigger out of the box, and is described as a "decent, bargain -priced weapon", not something I want my life counting on...

AKFTW wrote:Glock in 9mm. Pick your flavor- 19 if you are looking for a good all around gun out of the box without having to do anything to it- but for the best of both worlds, get a 17, if you've got the balls to take a dremel to your NIB $500 plastic gun 8-)

AKFTW, you'll have to explain why i'd want to use a dremel bit on my weapon... no comprende! (Remember: pistol noob here)

Appreciate the advice guys!
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by bigmattdaddywack » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:41 am

I must say go with a Glock because of parts, holster, and accessory availability. Plus it is a damn fine gun. Go with a 19 or 23 or both.
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by TheLastOne » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:21 am

AK basically cut the pistol grip down on his 17 to fit 19 mags. It is to shorten the handle for concealability and keep the long slide for better accuracy (short answer to long story).

I was short in my response, but seriously go try stuff at ranges. It'll be worth your money. Glocks are great for beginning shooters as stated above, but they are also great for advanced shooters for many of the same reasons. I keep coming back to them. Read a lot, try a lot. You will end up buying about 3 guns, but you'll also buy the first one well informed. :)
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:20 pm

TheLastOne wrote:AK basically cut the pistol grip down on his 17 to fit 19 mags. It is to shorten the handle for concealability and keep the long slide for better accuracy (short answer to long story).

I was short in my response, but seriously go try stuff at ranges. It'll be worth your money. Glocks are great for beginning shooters as stated above, but they are also great for advanced shooters for many of the same reasons. I keep coming back to them. Read a lot, try a lot. You will end up buying about 3 guns, but you'll also buy the first one well informed. :)
Thanks for the clarification man. I know ammo at the range is ridiculously expensive... do they require you to use their ammo at their range or can you bring your own? I'd much rather target practice in the woods instead of at a range to be perfectly honest, but the woods doesnt rent out guns I guess :lol:
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by bigmattdaddywack » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:23 pm

They make you buy their ammo and for good reason too. Price may not be too bad if you look around.
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by AKFTW » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:25 pm

TheLastOne wrote:AK basically cut the pistol grip down on his 17 to fit 19 mags. It is to shorten the handle for concealability and keep the long slide for better accuracy (short answer to long story).
Yup! It balances much better now too I find. Another advantage of Glocks is the availability of .22LR conversion slides- several other pistols have these as well, but the Advantage Arms series for Glocks are well made and not terribly expensive, can be found for $250 or so, and the kit will pay for itself in no time. I shoot 300+ rounds every time I go to the range, and I can afford to with the rimfire slide. Excellent for new shooters too, allows you to practice the fundamentals and not develop a flinch.
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:41 pm

bigmattdaddywack wrote:They make you buy their ammo and for good reason too. Price may not be too bad if you look around.
I imagine that rule is in place to protect their backstops or to limit faulty ammunition from damaging their guns?

I remember a few years ago I was getting my 10/22 sighted in at the range and some dude had tracer rounds he bought in Israel for the weapon he was firing (not sure what kind, its been awhile) and it set the backstop at the range on fire somehow... it was quite hectic as you can imagine.
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by AKFTW » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:43 pm

Rivers2Gates wrote:
bigmattdaddywack wrote:They make you buy their ammo and for good reason too. Price may not be too bad if you look around.
I imagine that rule is in place to protect their backstops or to limit faulty ammunition from damaging their guns?

I remember a few years ago I was getting my 10/22 sighted in at the range and some dude had tracer rounds he bought in Israel for the weapon he was firing (not sure what kind, its been awhile) and it set the backstop at the range on fire somehow... it was quite hectic as you can imagine.
They should have just switched from incendiary to cryo ammo to put out the fire :lol:
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:48 pm

AKFTW wrote:
Rivers2Gates wrote:
bigmattdaddywack wrote:They make you buy their ammo and for good reason too. Price may not be too bad if you look around.
I imagine that rule is in place to protect their backstops or to limit faulty ammunition from damaging their guns?

I remember a few years ago I was getting my 10/22 sighted in at the range and some dude had tracer rounds he bought in Israel for the weapon he was firing (not sure what kind, its been awhile) and it set the backstop at the range on fire somehow... it was quite hectic as you can imagine.
They should have just switched from incendiary to cryo ammo to put out the fire :lol:
That's what I said!! They wouldn't listen to me though.... :(
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by cheech_sp » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:58 pm

The LC9 is a pocket gun, it would be good for daily CCW, but not comfortable to shoot at length at the range.
For a good 9mm range gun consider: Glock, XD, M&P, Sig, CZ, SR9

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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:01 pm

cheech_sp wrote:The LC9 is a pocket gun, it would be good for daily CCW, but not comfortable to shoot at length at the range.
For a good 9mm range gun consider: Glock, XD, M&P, Sig, CZ, SR9
Ah! I'm dumb. I definitely meant to say the Ruger SR9, not the LC9, which i did NOT like at all...

If I had originally said I was interested in the SR9 instead of the LC9, would that change anyones opinion? Or should I still get the Glock? :roll:
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by kbilly84 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:07 pm

Rivers2Gates wrote:[...]Or should I still get the Glock? :roll:
GLOCK. GET THE GLOCK. NOW. RIGHT NOW!!!
The Glock 19 seems to be the unofficial handgun of ZS.
SO GET WITH THE FRIGGIN PROGRAM AND GET THE GLOCK!!

:lol:

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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:24 pm

kbilly84 wrote:
Rivers2Gates wrote:[...]Or should I still get the Glock? :roll:
GLOCK. GET THE GLOCK. NOW. RIGHT NOW!!!
The Glock 19 seems to be the unofficial handgun of ZS.
SO GET WITH THE FRIGGIN PROGRAM AND GET THE GLOCK!!

:lol:
Can I at least wait 'til my boss leaves work at 5 before I run out and get it? Or do I have to give him the bird and leave right this minute?? :lol:
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by kbilly84 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:33 pm

Rivers2Gates wrote:
kbilly84 wrote:
Rivers2Gates wrote:[...]Or should I still get the Glock? :roll:
GLOCK. GET THE GLOCK. NOW. RIGHT NOW!!!
The Glock 19 seems to be the unofficial handgun of ZS.
SO GET WITH THE FRIGGIN PROGRAM AND GET THE GLOCK!!

:lol:
Can I at least wait 'til my boss leaves work at 5 before I run out and get it? Or do I have to give him the bird and leave right this minute?? :lol:
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by bigmattdaddywack » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:52 pm

kbilly84 wrote:
Rivers2Gates wrote:[...]Or should I still get the Glock? :roll:
GLOCK. GET THE GLOCK. NOW. RIGHT NOW!!!
The Glock 19 seems to be the unofficial handgun of ZS.
SO GET WITH THE FRIGGIN PROGRAM AND GET THE GLOCK!!

:lol:
Get the Glock. You will thank us.
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by AKFTW » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:59 pm

docdredd wrote:I disagree, you should go now.... But Im a little biased.... G19 ccw - A little stipiling with a soldering iron, and you will never "NEED" another pistol...
Hell, I don't even WANT another pistol! Except maybe another identical one for backup :D
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by TheLastOne » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:14 pm

You need the glock, but you will want a few more (like maybe a $1100 sig in 9mm :roll: it's only natural. Then you'll HAVE to build yourself an AR or buy an AK, whichever floats your boat. Then the 308 semi auto's will really look cool to you. Then you'll be like, 'what's this shit about lever guns???' and then you'll need one of those. 'And holy shit, what's this 300 blackout supressed sbr stuff all about???' and then you gotta get that too. Then you'll want to start hitting a lot of classes, and 'shit! I need a war belt, chest rig and I can't spell shemaugh but I sure as fuck want one, and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need that custom tomohawk!' happens. You'll start buying ammo by the thousands, because one thousand barely gets you through the weekend. So, get your wife on board now or you will be single pretty quick. :lol:

but anyway, not sure about ammo at ranges where you rent. I've never rented, but pretty sure I saw people bringing their own. Ranges in general will check your ammo to make sure it's cool for their facilities (esp indoor). Just call ahead or check range websites. They usually have all that answered for you online, or you can call and figure out what guns they have and the ammo situation.
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Re: New-ish to Handguns. Advice?

Post by Rivers2Gates » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:13 am

TheLastOne wrote:You need the glock, but you will want a few more (like maybe a $1100 sig in 9mm :roll: it's only natural. Then you'll HAVE to build yourself an AR or buy an AK, whichever floats your boat. Then the 308 semi auto's will really look cool to you. Then you'll be like, 'what's this shit about lever guns???' and then you'll need one of those. 'And holy shit, what's this 300 blackout supressed sbr stuff all about???' and then you gotta get that too. Then you'll want to start hitting a lot of classes, and 'shit! I need a war belt, chest rig and I can't spell shemaugh but I sure as fuck want one, and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need that custom tomohawk!' happens. You'll start buying ammo by the thousands, because one thousand barely gets you through the weekend. So, get your wife on board now or you will be single pretty quick. :lol:

but anyway, not sure about ammo at ranges where you rent. I've never rented, but pretty sure I saw people bringing their own. Ranges in general will check your ammo to make sure it's cool for their facilities (esp indoor). Just call ahead or check range websites. They usually have all that answered for you online, or you can call and figure out what guns they have and the ammo situation.
Hahah speaking from personal experience I assume? I would love to blow through a thousand rounds in a weekend... paid $72 just for 200 rds of Remington FMJ last weekend :(

I don't picture myself becoming Rambo, per se, but I would definitely not mind having the reputation of "that guy whose house I'm scared to go near" if/when the world ends. 8-)
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