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-   -   Handgun Questions from Gun Noob (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=772235)

nmulax 06-16-2010 11:16 PM

Handgun Questions from Gun Noob
 
First let me say that my gun experience is non-existent. I've gone to the range with my dad's buddies and shot their rifles... that's it. And that was years ago. :( I'm looking for something for the range and to have available for home protection; also because I'm not a gun enthusiast and I want to be properly educated on them.

I'm basically decided on a 9mm as far as caliber goes.
I'm a lefty. Not sure how much of a difference this makes, and from reading online it seems a lot of lefties just learn to use the index finger for the mag release; but I want to know what all my options are. It looks like M&P and HK both offer reversible or ambidextrous releases and safeties. But being my first gun, I don't wanna break the bank. Is there anything in a lower price bracket that is still suited for left-handed shooters?

Is $500 a good price-point to start at?
What about barrel size? I don't plan to carry (at least not regularly), so I'm less concerned about being super compact.

Sorry if the questions are a bit basic, but like I said, I don't know guns and I'm trying to figure this out.
I stopped by Bass Pro Sports after work the other day and the guy behind the counter made me feel like a retard since I didn't know guns inside and out. :help:

Reedo302 06-17-2010 12:50 AM

I wrote this up last year as one of my Gun Nut Tip of the Week segments.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...handgun+buying


If cost is a major issue, I would highly recommend that you give serious thought to buying a used handgun. Gun shops and major retailers that sell used handguns usually will do gunsmith inspections on their guns prior to selling them, so you are getting an inspected gun. Also, many guns have lifetime warranties, such as Glock, Springfield, S&W, etc. So you are getting a great gun for a great price. Sig Sauer and Glock both sell factory reconditioned pistols that are basically law enforcement trade-ins. Great values to be had for usually around or less than $400. Real gun nuts that know their stuff always stroll through the used gun section in search for those good deals that often pop up. I'm sure most people on here will also assure you the merit in this method for cost savings and quality of purchase. Just be careful about buying from a private owner, because you won't know what you're getting until you get the gun inspected.

GlockMan 06-17-2010 06:42 AM

Some Glocks (SF) are ambi.

I believe 9mms are next since the mags have the ambi cut out.

I would buy new until you are very familiar with guns.

You better brands will hold value well and make it less of a deal for you to buy used.

Saving $100 is nothing over the long haul when it cost $50 to go to the range.

Since you are new to guns, you might want to give right hand guns a shot.

99% are built this way, and probably easier to learn now than later.

JMO.

SLVR JDM 06-17-2010 09:04 AM

In addition to what has been said so far, walk out of any store where the salesmen are not helpful. Find a smaller shop with someone willing to objectively explain things to you. It might cost a few dollars more, but the education will make the difference worthwhile for you. If a sales guy is hard core on one brand, he's likely anti- other stuff probably for no good reason. People who know guns will be able to recommend a variety of models, brands, etc. within your budget, rather than just giving you 1 answer.

Reedo302 06-17-2010 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SLVR JDM (Post 11888239)
In addition to what has been said so far, walk out of any store where the salesmen are not helpful. Find a smaller shop with someone willing to objectively explain things to you. It might cost a few dollars more, but the education will make the difference worthwhile for you. If a sales guy is hard core on one brand, he's likely anti- other stuff probably for no good reason. People who know guns will be able to recommend a variety of models, brands, etc. within your budget, rather than just giving you 1 answer.

This is good info. These guys will bash a brand for no good reason, or off of no personal experience.
I've actually found that major retailers like Cabelas, Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops are actually better, as long as you go when they're not busy. Larger independent gun shops are a great way to go. Small hole-in-the-wall gun shops can get a bit dicey, as the selection will be limited and they tend to usually be staffed by old guys that are very opinionated and cranky.

budman 06-17-2010 04:40 PM

I recently have purchased two guns on line at Buds and had great experience and the prices were good too. Sent them to the Local Bass Pro since they are an FFL. Shop around and figure out what you want then do price comparisons everywhere.

nmulax 04-05-2011 09:16 PM

Didn't want to create a new thread... so bumping my old one. Had some unexpected expenditures come up, so the gun was on hold for a while. But in the meantime I was able to do more research, and I think I've narrowed it down to 4 options.

S&W M&P
Glock 17/19
Springfield XD/XDM
CZ 75 SP-01

Found a local shop/range that carries everything and the staff impressed me with their knowledge, patience with a complete noob, and their fairly unbiased opinion (obviously they all have a favorite). Plus they seem like they're willing to haggle on pricing. I shot the M&P and the G17 (only two handguns I've ever shot... and split a 50rd box of ammo between the two) and while I was happy enough to put all 50 shots on target at about 20 yards, I did seem to do better with the M&P. I still want to try the XD and CZ, and probably the other two once more. But from everything I've read so far, I'm leaning towards one of these.

Sounds like the CZ are comfortable and shoot well... but more costly. Glocks obviously have readily available and cheap parts... but I'm not sure about the grip angle. Obviously each gun has its strengths and weaknesses.

Thoughts?

Reedo302 04-05-2011 10:38 PM

The big issue with the Glock has been the rear backstrap. The large bulge on the lower half has been an issue of complaint for a long time. I am one of those people that hates it, as I have small hands and it sucks. I currently have my Glock 34 set up to be sent to Robar to get their grip reduction done because of it. Glocks are the ones that have been tested and tried and found to be utterly reliable and tough. A lot of that is because of how long they've been around and been used. The parts are easy to find, and plentiful.
M&Ps are still relatively new, but they're starting to take a huge chunk out of Glock's LE sales. They're much more ambidextrous for the lefties, and the rear backstrap is much better designed for comfort and control. They're also accurate and reliable. The one major complaint about the M&P is the trigger. I've only dry-fired M&Ps, but the trigger feels absolutely terrible. It's kind of "clicky" feeling to me. There's a very numb feel to it also.
The XD/XDMs have the best trigger of the three, but that's because they're a single action pistol, not a DAO like the Glock and M&P. The ergos are good, the quality is good, and they're pretty accurate. The chief complaint I've heard is that they have a higher center of gravity due to the slide being taller, and that creates a higher recoil axis, which makes it harder to control recoil under rapid fire, thereby increasing your recovery time between shots. The other major issue with the XD/XDM is that it's single action striker-fired, which is why it hasn't seen much proliferation in the LE/GOV world like the M&P has.

I have heard great things about CZ in terms of accuracy, and CZ owners seem to be happy. However, you're talking about a pistol with a completely different dynamic. The Glock, M&P and XD/XDM are all striker-fire weapons, whereas the CZ is a DA/SA hammer-fire weapon. The CZ competes with pistols like the Beretta 92FS, Sig P226, and HK USP (to name a few).

Rush4theYehO 04-05-2011 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmulax (Post 13012006)
Didn't want to create a new thread... so bumping my old one. Had some unexpected expenditures come up, so the gun was on hold for a while. But in the meantime I was able to do more research, and I think I've narrowed it down to 4 options.

S&W M&P
Glock 17/19
Springfield XD/XDM
CZ 75 SP-01

Found a local shop/range that carries everything and the staff impressed me with their knowledge, patience with a complete noob, and their fairly unbiased opinion (obviously they all have a favorite). Plus they seem like they're willing to haggle on pricing. I shot the M&P and the G17 (only two handguns I've ever shot... and split a 50rd box of ammo between the two) and while I was happy enough to put all 50 shots on target at about 20 yards, I did seem to do better with the M&P. I still want to try the XD and CZ, and probably the other two once more. But from everything I've read so far, I'm leaning towards one of these.

Sounds like the CZ are comfortable and shoot well... but more costly. Glocks obviously have readily available and cheap parts... but I'm not sure about the grip angle. Obviously each gun has its strengths and weaknesses.

Thoughts?

I don't think it's any question that I'm a glock guy, so I won't offerany opinion on them. I either own, or have shot a fair amount on all of the other platforms you've listed.

-CZ: I have the CZ 75 and P01 models and they are phenomenal guns. Stone cold reliable, like Glocks. Extremely ergonomic, and their frames soak recoil up phenomenally. The downsides are the fact mags are relatively hard to find, and sometimes their triggers could use a bit of tuning to be better. The DA action on the models that are da/sa is pretty rough. However, check out Angus Hobdell (sp?) who is one of the top shooters for CZ-USA

-M&P: there's a reason these guns are becoming very popular. They're priced right, they're reliable, ergonomic and S&W's customer service is the best too boot (if you ever need it). There's pretty much a size and configuration that's going to fit your hand. Also, I like that they're one of the polymer guns that offer a good safety so you can carry C&L. You're gonna find them everywhere, as a lot of police departments are starting to use them for duty. My only gripe with them is the stock trigger. To be blunt, they're awful. Gritty, sloppy with an indistinct reset. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. S&W performance center or Apex tactical offer sears that will greatly improve the trigger and reset.

-XD/XDM: For target shooting, I do enjoy the trigger out of the box on the XD line vs other polymer guns. Tends to break better than the others. However, as a combat/carry gun I just don't think they do as well as the Glock or M&P. The grip safety is two ticks away from being completely useless. You can rack the slide without the safety depressed. The XD is an example of how you can make a gun too safe. The gun is reliable, but which gun on your list doesn't have that reputation? I have an XD 45 and that thing defies physics when double stacking .45acp, by far the thinnest grip in comparison to any other double stack 45.

You've got a good list, and each one will do you just fine. While I'd take the Glock without a second thought, you're not gonna be short-changing yourself with any of the guns on that list. I'd give the M&P the nod, with the CZ and XD a few steps behind. Do the sear upgrade and you've got yourself an amazingly well shooting gun for a relatively low price. Good luck!

**ETA: the grip angle on the glock is a moot point. I think poor shooters blame their inability to fire the gun on the angle & trigger. I find that the glock's trigger is the least forgiving for poor technique. Once you learn the fundamentals and can master the glock's incredibly short/crisp trigger reset you'll realize what a quality gun it is. There's a reason why they do so damn well in competition shooting, and that the Glock 19 is the universal standard when it comes to carry guns in 9mm.

speedcrazy1532 04-06-2011 08:48 AM

Since most has been said already I'll keep it simple. The M&P is your best bet. It's ambidexterous which means you're getting a gun you'll be comfortable shooting without having the learn with your right hand ON TOP of already being new to handguns. The M&P has a safety, or at least an option to come with one IIRC. This is important with a first gun. That is my opinion, but the logic behind it is pretty much common sense. Smith & Wesson service is top notch. 9mm is an excellent choice and I wouldn't sway from that. Good luck!

SLVR JDM 04-06-2011 09:05 AM

Like others have said, if you end up with the M&P, get a trigger job immediately. They are outright terrible. That was the weak link from my experience with them, other than being a tad on the heavy side.

nmulax 04-06-2011 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rush4theYehO (Post 13012573)
-M&P: there's a reason these guns are becoming very popular. They're priced right, they're reliable, ergonomic and S&W's customer service is the best too boot (if you ever need it). There's pretty much a size and configuration that's going to fit your hand. Also, I like that they're one of the polymer guns that offer a good safety so you can carry C&L. ...My only gripe with them is the stock trigger. To be blunt, they're awful. Gritty, sloppy with an indistinct reset. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. S&W performance center or Apex tactical offer sears that will greatly improve the trigger and reset.

You've got a good list, and each one will do you just fine. While I'd take the Glock without a second thought, you're not gonna be short-changing yourself with any of the guns on that list. I'd give the M&P the nod, with the CZ and XD a few steps behind. Do the sear upgrade and you've got yourself an amazingly well shooting gun for a relatively low price. Good luck!

**ETA: the grip angle on the glock is a moot point. I think poor shooters blame their inability to fire the gun on the angle & trigger. I find that the glock's trigger is the least forgiving for poor technique. Once you learn the fundamentals and can master the glock's incredibly short/crisp trigger reset you'll realize what a quality gun it is. There's a reason why they do so damn well in competition shooting, and that the Glock 19 is the universal standard when it comes to carry guns in 9mm.

What do you mean by "I like that they're one of the polymer guns that offer a good safety so you can carry C&L." Good safety? :hmm:

I just looked over the trigger packages Apex offers for the M&P. Seems like a simple/cheap way to improve the gun's major shortcoming. But I definitely want to give each one another look before I choose.

With the Glock grip angle... I don't mean to say that's a reason to not get it. I'd think Glock knows what they're doing and thought went into the grip angle; whichever gun I choose, it comes down to learning the correct technique.

david05111 04-06-2011 11:22 AM

This thread has some incredibly good information in it. I really have nothing to offer; it's all been said.

nmulax 04-06-2011 12:02 PM

Another question... My buddies wife is a corrections officer, and said "If you go with the Glock, I can get you a discount." Can that legally be done?

The last thing I want to do is get myself or her in trouble, especially to save $100.

SLVR JDM 04-06-2011 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmulax (Post 13014082)
Another question... My buddies wife is a corrections officer, and said "If you go with the Glock, I can get you a discount." Can that legally be done?

The last thing I want to do is get myself or her in trouble, especially to save $100.

She can buy it and sell it to you as a private party. Happens all the time.

JonJon 04-06-2011 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SLVR JDM (Post 13014107)
She can buy it and sell it to you as a private party. Happens all the time.

I'd be very careful about saying that it would be legal. The way the transaction is being described would be breaking the law and a felony since she'd be falsely answering a question on the 4473 (11.a.)

The person could go to jail for several years and forever be restricted from owning or touching firearms for life.

GlockMan 04-06-2011 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmulax (Post 13014082)
Another question... My buddies wife is a corrections officer, and said "If you go with the Glock, I can get you a discount." Can that legally be done?

The last thing I want to do is get myself or her in trouble, especially to save $100.

Join the GSSF and get your own discount the right way.

JMO

JonJon 04-06-2011 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlockMan (Post 13014232)
Join the GSSF and get your own discount the right way.

JMO

+1.... The OP would be risking a felony (actually he wouldn't, the seller would be). He'd also need to then transfer the gun through an FFL again anyways (20-60 bucks)... That 100 discount doesnt seem quite worth it after all that...

Reedo302 04-06-2011 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmulax (Post 13013687)
What do you mean by "I like that they're one of the polymer guns that offer a good safety so you can carry C&L." Good safety? :hmm:

I just looked over the trigger packages Apex offers for the M&P. Seems like a simple/cheap way to improve the gun's major shortcoming. But I definitely want to give each one another look before I choose.

With the Glock grip angle... I don't mean to say that's a reason to not get it. I'd think Glock knows what they're doing and thought went into the grip angle; whichever gun I choose, it comes down to learning the correct technique.

C&L means Cocked and Locked. It refers to having one in the chamber when carrying, aka Carrying "+1". I only carry "+1". Some people just feel more comfortable having an additional mechanical safety, like the thumb safety option available on some M&Ps.
I don't need one, but that's because I know how to keep my finger off the trigger. :evil:

Quote:

Originally Posted by nmulax (Post 13014082)
Another question... My buddies wife is a corrections officer, and said "If you go with the Glock, I can get you a discount." Can that legally be done?

The last thing I want to do is get myself or her in trouble, especially to save $100.

Blue Line pricing is $398 for a standard Glock.
As others have stated, this is technically a Straw Sale. If she gets you the discount, but you are the one filling out the 4473 and actually paying, then it's okay. However, if she buys the gun and then gives it to you, and you then pay her back, that's a Straw Sale.
Be careful doing stuff like this.

Adamo99 04-22-2011 01:04 AM

Just a quick note about the M&P- yes, the trigger is gritty when new, but both my 9 and 40 have cleaned up quite nicely after putting 1000-1500 rounds through each.


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