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Author Topic: First Handgun Guidance  (Read 4524 times)

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Offline whitehat

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First Handgun Guidance
« on: November 14, 2012, 03:49:18 PM »
So I know asking handgun advice will probably result in multiple and contradictory advice, but Hey that's what the interwebz is for right?

My wife has (finally) okay'd my purchasing and storing a handgun in the home.  Out of respect for her, I wanted to wait until she signed off on this because we have young kids and I want her to participate in getting trained on safe handling and use. My budget is circa $500-600.

So for my first handgun I think I want a CZ-75 sp-01.  Now I consider myself a borderline prepper.  Borderline because I'm not 100% convinced we'll see TEOTWAWKI but do believe there will be a SHTF event of some kind.  I prep nonetheless as insurance.

My inner prepper voice says the CZ-75 is not a good choice because its not a common model and if we do see TEOTWAWKI I'm risking failure of a critical tool.  I have been to the range many times and rented various weapons to get a feel .  Frankly it hasn't helped. Perhaps I'm too new at this but none of them "felt" any different than the other. Caution would seem to lead me to a glock which from what I've read is both sturdy and ubiquitous.  Parts and/or replacement can easily be found.  But personally, I'm not thrilled with the look and in California can not legally get the Gen4.  The CZ is the only handgun which makes me tingle although I'm not sure I can say why. I think I'm drawn to it because it is not common but has excellent reviews, it's apparently sturdy as a glock, has steel frame, and frankly I just like the look.

So prepper brethren, what says you? Should I suck it and go with reliability or go with fun?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 04:20:05 PM by whitehat »

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 04:10:16 PM »
You're right.  Opinion is all over the map on first handguns, including the opinion that your first handgun should be a shotgun (I believe CD is a big exponent of this notion - I'm not, however).

That said, the best approach to any gun purchase, at least from a prepping POV, is to take the usual approach: hope for the best, plan for the worst.

In this case, "the best" would be that you'd never use your handgun for any critical self or home defense scenario (or even hunting) but would simply have lots of fun with it at the range.  The worst scenario would be either deadly self defense, or various SHTF situations.

The two need not be mutually exclusionary, but many might find them so.  A good target shooter may not be the best self defense weapons.  In extended SHTF, simplicity and ruggedness may count for more than beauty and fun.

Finally, many people think that different calibers are suitable for different situations.  I do know that if I had to shoot somebody in order to preserve my own safety, I'd prefer to shoot them with as heavy a handgun caliber as I can use effectively - in my case, either .357 magnum or .45 ACP.  I have both.

However, in stressful times, it might be better to have something more concealable that might still offer some effectiveness - I have .32 and .25 caliber pistols for that purpose.

Again, it boils down to how you view your own situation.  In general, though, I'd go for ruggedness, easily obtained ammo, and ease of maintenance, coupled with the most power that I'm comfortable and effective with.
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone


Offline Les Nessman

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 04:20:55 PM »
Go for it. The most important thing is to get one, whichever one it is, pronto. Then safely train you and your wife in it's safe use and storage.

I don't personally have any experience with your CZ, but it's not so totally out of the mainstream that it would be problematic, I would think. (If anyone with real experience or expertise chimes in with good reasons against the CZ, then disregard my previous statement.)

I personally would go for the Glock, especially as a first firearm, and double especially as a first and only firearm; but that's just me. If your head and heart are set on the CZ, then get it.


Offline cd

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 04:52:47 PM »
(Exponentially weighing in here...  ;) )

As I rebuilt my firearm collection with more than just gun enthusiast goals in mind (like eschewing 10mm Auto, 7x30 Waters, .41 Mag, .357 Maximum, 7x5 Mauser among my past experiments) my first handgun was a Ruger SR22. Because I want to be able to practice, cheap.

My next gun will likely be a police-trade-in Glock (22 or 23 flavor) which will probably run, after shipping, FFL, yada, yada, out the door for a touch under $400. And it will be pre-broken in.

I'm not familiar with the CZ, so I can't cast asparagus at it. ;)

But if it is $500-600, I'd recommend a p-t-i Glock and put the rest of the $$$ in ammo. Or a low-end Mossberg / Stevens pump shotgun. (See, I can't help. That sentence wrote itself. ;D )

Offline Jishin

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 05:33:43 PM »
Honestly, while I'm no gun expert, the CZ 75 is the sweetest handgun I've used. Speaking as a smallish female, it fits my hands well, and it shoots like a dream. My husband agrees, and when we buy a gun (we're planning to purchase before the end of the year), we're getting a CZ.

We took a class on handguns from our local retired police officers, and they strongly suggest that your first gun in the house be one that everyone in the household is capable of shooting. While I'm not sure if your little ones are ready for that yet, I think the CZ is a fine choice for the adults.

Offline ColoConsrvCowboy

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 06:55:08 PM »
Gotta agree with cd, the Ruger SR22 is the perfect practice handgun. It has a wonderful feel, ammo is cheap, and definitely take some abuse. My wife has severe rheumatoid arthritis and the recoil from our Glock 19 was really hurting her, while the SR22 is easy on her hands. That being said, my carry gun is the Glock 19 as it has a wee bit more stopping power.

Frank

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 07:48:03 PM »
Believe it or not, I still haven't gotten a .22 pistol.  Unfortunately, not a single Ruger model is legal in California.  Anybody got any other recommendations?

Never mind.  It's listed as "Sturm-Ruger" in the Cali database.  So when I looked under "R" I didn't see it.   ???
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline cd

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 08:07:26 PM »
Not to go too far off-topic, but the SR22 enjoys a reputation of reliably shooting whatever (read: cheap ammo) you put in it. So far, mine has been flawless with cheap Remington bulk ammo. Some 22 auto pistols can be ... finicky about their ammo.

Walther & S&W have 22 pistols in that price range, along with the Ruger Mark series 22 pistols. The Walther has that finicky reputation, not sure on the S&W (seems to bulky for me to contemplate carrying about much for a 22LR) and the Ruger Mark series, while they have remarkable reputation for durability, most aren't exactly lightweights. The SR22 seems to have the best combo of attributes from my perspective.

And if you practice will your full-size pistol enough to get really good with it, you will have easily spent the $300 or so that the SR22 will run you--just in ammo for the full-size practice. Now, you still gotta practice with the full-size, but the SR22 will pay for itself. Plus its just ... fun.

Offline Suburban

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 08:17:54 PM »
Plus its just ... fun.

Yep, a nice 22 handgun can be a lot of fun to shoot, besides being dirt cheap to shoot.  My favorite at the moment is a Browning BuckMark.  It has nice balance and just _feels_ good in my hand when I shoot it.

Offline Langenator

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 09:08:49 AM »
First off, I'll say that the CZ-75 series are great pistols.  They have a dedicated following (though a small one) within the 'action' shooting community in the US, and pretty much rule the roost in the same sports in Europe (yes, competitive shooting exists in Europe.)  I'm actually considering buying an SP-01 to use in 3-gun and USPSA.  (And I already own the -75s big brother, a CZ-97B)  They're very reliable and quite accurate.

That said, it wouldn't be my recommendation for a first handgun, especially if you're buying it with SHTF considerations in mind.  Magazines tend to be expensive (as in almost $50 each if you buy them from CZ) and parts aren't as common as with many others.

For a first pistol, if I wasn't buying a .22 to train with, I'd probably go with something that fits the description of "Handgun, 9mm" - i.e., a Glock 17/19, and S&W M&P 9, or a Ruger SR9.  These are all very common, very reliable, and accessories and parts are easy to find.

Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 09:46:46 AM »
Doc loves Glocks:

What Firearms do I need?
Do I treat them like I treat my lawn mowers? No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons about like I treat my fire extinguishers and smoke detectors:  Annual maintenance, and I expect them to work when I need them.

Because that's what they are for.
Read the whole thing.  Good rundown on SHTF firearms requirements, plus potential drawbacks for certain other handguns.
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline cd

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 10:15:54 AM »
I'll just mention, briefly, that Walmart's black Friday flyer at least in my area includes a Stevens pump shotgun for $169. Sure beats a sharp stick. http://localad.walmart.com/Walmart/Entry/Flash? Ducks...

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 10:56:28 AM »
Yep, a ten pound, yard long stick makes a great handgun.  ;D
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline AuricTech

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 11:15:34 AM »
For a first pistol, if I wasn't buying a .22 to train with, I'd probably go with something that fits the description of "Handgun, 9mm" - i.e., a Glock 17/19, and S&W M&P 9, or a Ruger SR9.  These are all very common, very reliable, and accessories and parts are easy to find.

I went with the Ruger SR9c over the SR9; its compact form factor makes it at least somewhat concealable.

Overall, for the original poster's stated purpose, I concur with the .22LR recommendation.  For those who are able to buy one (I'm pretty sure they're not on the California list), the Kel-Tec PMR-30 would be a useful compromise between a training pistol and a home-defense pistol.  Of course, even in states that don't have official lists of approved handguns, good luck finding one!  ;)
American parachutists...devils in baggy pants...are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere....

Offline whitehat

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 03:25:13 PM »
Thank you all for your responses.  It has helped me solidify my decision.  It seems the general consensus is away from the CZ and toward a more commonly used brand. (Are magazines really $50 for a CZ?  Ouch!) Fortunately, since I posted my question yesterday a friend of mine just offered to sell me his excellent condition Glock 23 because his department is issuing him a newer one. He's had it just over 10 years so I think its Gen 3. Unfortunately I won't be able to get his "high (standard) capacity" magazines. Now I just have to figure out what the market price is for a PTI glock 23 without magazines in Southern California?  I am thinking $300-$350 but if anybody knows better I would appreciate guidance.  In any case, I can't turn down a good deal. Although since Black Friday was mentioned I'm wondering if any of the Orange County gun stores will have a better "doorbuster" deal.

To respond to a couple of comments: I had considered a shotgun instead and it is on my list (along with hundreds of other prepping needs), but the local ranges are very restrictive on shotgun use if they even allow it so I would't be able to practice with it as easily.  A .22 handgun is also on my list but is a lower priority than a self defense weapon. 

Thank you again for talking me through it.  I realize that as sweet as I think the CZ is, its better to start with a sturdy Toyota than with a ferrari when I'm just learning to drive.

Offline cd

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 04:51:20 PM »
The lowest I've seen so far on a pti G23 is $339. So your range is about right, it seems to me. I'd jump on it.

I'm not familiar (thankfully) with the Californistan issues, and the shotgun restriction is entirely foreign to me. Sporting clays is quite the thing in most of the rest of the country, near as I can tell. Anyway, I don't know what the issues will be finding 10rd mags for the G23. Your LE friend might be able to point you to a source.

Offline AuricTech

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2012, 06:39:28 PM »

<<snip>>

Anyway, I don't know what the issues will be finding 10rd mags for the G23. Your LE friend might be able to point you to a source.

I just did a search at Cheaper Than Dirt, and found they have them in stock for $22.62 each.
American parachutists...devils in baggy pants...are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere....

Offline Langenator

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2012, 11:18:04 AM »
CD- restrictions on using shotguns are quite common, if you're not on the skeet/trap/sporting clays area.

Bird and buckshot are extremely hard on target frames/backers, so most ranges don't allow it (except the skeet, etc, as noted above).  Sometimes they allow slugs, but a lot of ranges just take the easy way out and say "No shotguns"

If you want to practice for any kind of defensive use with your shotgun (ie, buck or slugs) this gets problematic.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline eXe

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2012, 11:26:15 AM »
I work part time in a gun shop, and my advice is always the same.. Find a range that will let you rent some handguns.. see which one fits your hand best and go with that,

I tried a 1911 when I was new to handguns and shot it horribly, then I moved on to other guns, and found that Sigs and Glocks fit my hand best,   

Even if you cant find a place that rents handguns, make sure you feel every one you might be interested in.  Feel how it fits in your hand first.

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2012, 12:39:20 PM »
Yeah, I've never been able to warm up to the 1911s either, but am perfectly happy with my Taurus PT145.  Of course, that particular discussion moves perilously close to religious argumentation.... ;D
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline Drang

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2012, 02:16:24 PM »
Yeah, I've never been able to warm up to the 1911s either, but am perfectly happy with my Taurus PT145.  Of course, that particular discussion moves perilously close to religious argumentation.... ;D
Like anyone cares what an infidel like you thinks!  :D
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Offline Bill Quick

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2012, 04:17:30 PM »
All hail God Browning!  :D
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline bloc

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2012, 11:54:46 PM »
First of all, I understand that you'll probably spring for the Glock, and that's a very good choice.  But — IMO — a Glock is not the only very good choice.

1)  CZ makes high-quality arms.  Period.  Though I haven't owned a CZ pistol, I'd trust one every bit as much as I'd trust Ruger, Glock, Kahr, Walther, Sig, H & K or S & W.  The brand is entirely credible . . . if a particular gun doesn't live up to expectations, then you deal with it.

2)  ANY gun purchased for self defense MUST be practiced with.  If you practice with it the way you ought to, you should know within a month or so whether or not it is reliable and whether or not it is right for you.  If you practice as you should — until you're proficient with it  (initially, 100 - 200 rounds a week, thereafter less) — you'll know all you need to know.  If the gun fails to meet your standards, you have a choice:  dump it, or send it off for repair.

Conversely, if you buy a gun and don't practice with it, and (for whatever reason) you and it don't work together seamlessly, then you have nobody to blame but yourself because (leaving aside caliber and ammo choice) practice would almost certainly have uncovered a deficiency in either your technique or the gun itself. 

If you are uncomfortable with your technique, practice more, ask a local expert or consider attending a firearms training course.
 
3)  As a corollary,  if you've put several hundred rounds through it and your weapon doesn't fail, chances are it won't fail when things go bad and it must work. 

Members of my family and I have bought and used a fair number of hand guns over the years, and we've found that one learns rather quickly which guns you trust and which you don't, which you like to shoot and which you don't, and which you'd trust your life to and which you wouldn't.  (WRT "liking" a gun . . . if you like to shoot a gun, you're more likely to practice.)

The key is practice:  if you shoot it enough, you will learn all you need to know about your abilities and the reliability and accuracy of your gun..

Even if your gun functions just fine, but you don't like it or trust it, you can sell it and eat the $25 -$50 loss, and buy another which looks like it'd fit the bill.  Consider the financial loss to be the cost equivalent to tuition:  if your goal is to prepare for when the SHTF, that's a small price to pay.

The bottom line:  having shot your gun enough to get a feel for it:  do you trust it?  will you practice with it?

Offline Langenator

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2012, 08:56:22 AM »
Nothing against CZs - I have a -97B that I love, and I'm thinking about buying another for competition shooting - but the primary reason I wouldn't recommend one for a carry pistol, especially as a first gun, comes down to functional simplicity.

With the Glock, M&P, XD, or SR9, it's the simplest point and shoot interface around.  No thumb safeties, no DA/SA trigger pull difference.  And, especially with the Glock and M&Ps, they're stone cold reliable.

I know competition isn't real life, but at this year's IDPA Nationals, almost 2/3s of the pistols used were Glocks or M&Ps.  Why?  Because they work.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline cd

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Re: First Handgun Guidance
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2012, 09:31:15 AM »
Well, I suppose everyone here will be gratified to know that I bought a police trade in Glock 23 on a GunBroker auction.

Still, when there is a bump in the night, if I can get to my 870, I will.  ;D


 

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