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First Handgun / Concealed Carry

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Linus View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 June 2012 at 4:43pm
Had the idea lately of getting a pistol for self defense, but have been having a tough time deciding what a good one to get is. But to be honest, my experience with firearms is M16's and a Mosin Nagant... never even laid hands on a pistol before today when I went to a local gun shop, let alone shot one.   (Though I will be taking the NRA basic and pistol safety classes, as well as eventually the CHL class)



I've looked at the Glock 26/27, the XD9/40, and the Ruger SR9c/40c. I know I want a compact/subcompact.

I'm not picky between 9mm or .40cal. 9mm, I'd be able to hold more in the firearm, but .40 is much more prevalent around here as far as LEO goes.

I can't seem to find a pistol I like that has the safety features I want. I like the grip safety on the XD, but also like the 1911-style manual safety on the Ruger. I don't like how the Glock only comes with the trigger safety (though yes, I know, you can install aftermarket safties). Is there any pistol out there with a grip safety, trigger safety AND manual safety? The 1911 comes close with the grip and manual safeties, but it's a bit too big for my liking.



Anyone have other suggestions?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote merc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2012 at 5:38pm
springfield emp
glock 19/23

i used to hate glocks, but with the gen 4 and having owned about a dozen different pistols i started to like them.

i dont know what ID you need but as an EMT your eligible for glocks LEO discount. gun (small cals) with night sites and 3 mags for $499... cant find a better deal. i think the .45s are about $30 more.

edit, go to the gun shop and fondle a bunch of guns. then pick a few and rent them.

FNP, hk USP and P30, glock, 9mm 1911s, beretta, SW, spring field.

a compact 1911 will be smaller than you think. get a bobbed beaver tail too and it gets that much smaller.

Edited by merc - 16 June 2012 at 5:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2012 at 6:07pm
STAY AWAY FROM THE GLOCK 26.

And this is from a guy who carries one daily.

Honestly there is not enough of an advantage over the Glock 19 for it to be actually worth considering. If I could do it all again I'd got with a Glock 19. If you NEED the smaller size of the 26, you can get a gunsmith to chop the grip down to take the 10 rounders the 26 uses, but you still have space for a light on the rail.

And get a light. With good quality holsters you'll be surprised with how much gun you can conceal.

Also, stay away from the XD series. They have reliability issues, as well as service issues.

The latest gold standard for pistols has to be the M&P series. The M&P9 will give you everything you need, except possibly the grip safety.

The M&P9 Shield is the baby bay of the family. It only holds 8 or 9 rounds, but it is a very compact, very concealable weapon.

The M&P9c (Compact) is what I'd probably go for if I am shopping for carry guns again. It'll let you get a light on it, it'll let you run higher capacity magazines and it comes with a thumb safety and the Glock style trigger safety.

M&P9c

If you get a light, wait for the Surefire X300 Ultra to come out, and get one with the "DG" switch for one handed operations. - Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Why is it you want a grip, trigger and a thumb safety? That is honestly overkill. And the more things you have in the gun the more there are to go wrong. A decent holster means you won't have to worry about the gun going off when it is in the holster. You aren't likely to be dropping it from a galloping horse, so the grip safety isn't needed. You aren't going to be hitting the hammer with other gear, so the thumb safety isn't really needed either.

A trigger safety and the thumb safety is more than enough for a modern striker fired pistol.

As for 9x19mm .vs .40, the actual caliber makes little to no difference. With modern ammunition it is all pretty much the same. Shot placement > Anything else. If 9x19mm is cheaper, you will train more. Hitting your target is more important than marginal differences in terminal ballistics. The 9x19mm is also, generally, easier to shoot, easier for follow up shots, and more pleasant to shoot, meaning more training gets done.

KBK

Edited by Kayback - 16 June 2012 at 6:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deadeye007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2012 at 8:43pm
I've carried the Glock 27 everyday for a few years, and I can complain. Since you are concerned with safety, look into getting a double action pistol. The longer trigger pull will make it harder to accidentally discharge. Just know that the double action pistol is harder to shoot accurately at long distances, but most self defense shooting situations would be a close range anyway.

I had a Taurus PT111 Millenium for a year or two. The way I held the gun made me occasionally hit the mag release while shooting, but I believe Taurus fixed the problem with the Millenium Pro. It is a DAO 9mm that is relatively cheap and has a thumb safety.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote impulse418 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2012 at 8:43pm
Go to range that rents guns. Try all that you seem interested in. Which ever is most comfortable and you shoot best with, buy it. Pick up a Comp-Tan Minotaur holster.

The caliber you choose depends on how much you want to spend practice shooting, which will correlate to how often you practice.

I like having as little safety features as possible, so I can't help you there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2012 at 8:58pm
Originally posted by impulse418 impulse418 wrote:


I like having as little safety features as possible, so I can't help you there.


<Removed overly wide sig. Tsk, you know better.>
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2012 at 9:22pm
^^^ Hey, a single bullet in one's pocket is a safety feature.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GI JOES SON Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2012 at 10:10pm
go to a store that also has a range and rents pistols, see what you like. Once you pick a caliber it's easier to narrow down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SSOK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 June 2012 at 10:42pm
If I were to go buy a CCW, I would look into the M&P series after looking into revolvers and 1911's. I have never fired one, though. 

I hate triggers with creep.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 June 2012 at 3:52am
Also look into decent training. While the NRA and a CHL course are the bare bones of knowing what you need to know about the gun, very very little time will be spent on learning how to FIGHT with the gun.

Getting a pistol for self defense is a lot more than buying a pistol and maybe learning to shoot it.

Shooting is great, and you can't fight with a gun unless you can hit what you need to, but shooting isn't fighting.

I do not know which trainers in your area are decent, I have heard good things about EAG, but that's because I hang around their forum :p

Getting a gun you like is a good thing, but not always the best thing. There is a lot to be said for using what a lot of other people use too. With enough training you should get comfortable with pretty much any weapon system, unless the system is fatally flawed.

KBK

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 June 2012 at 10:31am
My CCH is a 3.5" 1911. I think you'd be impressed by their size/conceal ability.

Unless you're wearing small pants and shmedium shirts, it's really not that hard to conceal a wide variety of firearms, as long as you don't skimp on the holster.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote merc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2012 at 5:18pm
reliability issues of the XD? i think in the thousands (i lost count but probably close to 4000) of rounds ive put through my XD40 i had one stove pipe. within 500 rounds i started having feed issues with my glock 17...

i over lubed the glock but still, never had an issue with my xd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StormyKnight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2012 at 8:18pm
We use the Glock model 22 .40 at work.  I like the weapon, but I didn't want one to carry concealed off duty.  I decided on the model 23.  Slightly smaller, same caliber and the mags hold 13 rds.  I feel that I can conceal that better than the 22 and the 2 rd offset is negligible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2012 at 2:10am
Originally posted by merc merc wrote:

reliability issues of the XD? i think in the thousands (i lost count but probably close to 4000) of rounds ive put through my XD40 i had one stove pipe. within 500 rounds i started having feed issues with my glock 17...

i over lubed the glock but still, never had an issue with my xd


Individual results may vary.

My Glock 26 has close to 10K through it and it only suffers from bad ammo - which will stop any gun, and mag related issues. Mags wear out so that is no a surprise. I stick to the spring replacement guidelines. (I didn't once and had issues with hard primers and weak strikes)

My personal experience with the XD was it is a jam-0-matic. But I wouldn't use my 25 rounds through an XD as an argument. I don't have the time now but I will go look for some examples of what I'm talking about later today.

KBK
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2012 at 3:40am
This is mostly gleaned from the same site, and we all know how that makes the reporting biased.

The main failure seems to be mag related and firing pin retention pin breaking related. The basic synopsis was

"The most important reason he stated was the malfunctions. Not the frequency of it, all guns will malfunction at some point, but rather the fact that many common XD malfunctions can not be cleared by the end user or even at the armorer level. Often when the XD jams, it jams in such a way that the whole gun needs to be physically sent back to Springfield to be fixed and unjammed."

Some aftermarket magazines are dangerous to XD ejectors. Not the XD's problem I know, but it does exist.

There are also issues with the re-assembly of the guide rod that can result in barrel under ramp jams which require hammers to fix.

That isn't to say issues don't exist with other weapons (Glock Gen 4 recoil spring anyone?), just what I've heard.

If you like the XD and can shoot it well, enjoy.

KBK

Edited by Kayback - 22 June 2012 at 3:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote proteus316 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2012 at 12:17am
I think getting a subcompact has your first pistol is a bad idea. Full sized weapon and learn with it. You don't have the amount of grip with a subcompact as you do a compact or full size pistol and you could easily create some bad habits early on.  Not to mention the recoil differences. 

Edited by proteus316 - 23 June 2012 at 12:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2012 at 3:08am
My first CC was a full sized M&P in .40SW.  While it was bulky, I was still able to successfully conceal it on my 5'11, 165 pound frame.  The 3.5" 1911 I got after that was a bit easier to conceal.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2012 at 3:20am
Quality holsters go a long way in what you can and can't conceal.

You'll probably need to make some lifestyle changes to allow easy carry of a large frame pistol with a light, but carrying a gun is a lifestyle change anyway, so it's a fairly moot point.

Again I'd steer clear of a sub-compact and go with a medium sized weapon like the Glock 19 or the M&P.

KBK
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