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First sidearm advice ?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Logansdad, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. Logansdad

    Logansdad Guest

    If an acquaintance came to you and asked for advice on a one and only defensive sidearm...they weren't real comfortable with the idea of owning a gun but :fuss: :rolleyes: :nod: :target:

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Ruger 9mm, preferably a P95DC due to controllablity and cost,plus mag capacity. I love .45's 1911 style but they can get that later.

  3. Klaus

    Klaus G&G Newbie

    I would recommend a Glock or Baby Eagle. They are DA, compact, have good safeties and ergonomics. If this person is not crazy about guns, I would not recommend any kind of .45 due to recoil. A .40 or 9mm should fit the bill. The Ruger in 9mm would be a good choice too, plus I think they are still made in the US.
    PS: If he is on a tight budget, a Star Super B or Bulgie Makarov would be good choices.

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Yes they are Klaus, plus they are double action and have the decocker button. And they will take the older P-series hi-cap mags.
  5. First Sidearm

    Well, first we address the entire pistol vs. revolver problem.

    DA revolvers are not really that easy to learn to shoot accurately, without spending a long time in SA mode first (manually cocking like the DA didn't exist). The handgun that I learned on was a SAA clone in .22LR/.22WMR; as a teenager, I made the transition to a Model 10 and similar medium to large frame DA revolvers. It really wasn't that easy. This is often given as the reason for the near universal switch to semi-autos for the military and law enforcement. Some of the modern SA revolvers are even more inherently accurate than semi-autos, but they are way too slow to reload.

    DA Revolvers are relatively easy for an untrained or semi-trained person to operate under stress (no manual safety, no need to chamber first round, etc.). Revolvers are simpler in concept than semi-autos, but they are actually more mechanically complex. (Compare adjusting a revolver's timing mechanism to changing an auto's springs). Revolvers are generally more mechanically reliable; they do not feed per se, which permits more flexibility in bullet selection. Generally speaking, an auto cannot be fired (at least more than once) in an enclosed space, like a coat pocket.

    By and large, modern semi-autos are now about as mechanically reliable as revolvers. Unlike revolvers, when something happens with an auto, the operator can actually do something about it in the field. (Compare getting sand in an auto's extractor to a revolver's extractor star). The feeding issue should not be a problem, since adequate training will establish a reliable load. It seems like the auto has replaced the revolver in films and television to an extent that people are no longer put off by learning how to shoot one.

    With a few notable exceptions, only the first shot is DA on most service pistols. This allows greater trigger control (read: accuracy) compared to DA revolvers. A semi-auto will be easier to shoot, have a higher capcity, and be easier to conceal than a revolver of the same size.

    First revovler: Any reputable .357 Magnum with a 4-5" barrel. Smaller .357s don't really develop Magnum velocities, and they are a real bear to shoot. The Magnum allows you to shoot the three most common revolver cartridges (.38 Spec, .38 +P, and .357). Before 9mm virtually replaced .38 Spec in law enforcement circles, this was THE cheapest caliber to shoot. It is still second, and casting is a viable option.

    First semi-auto: Whichever hi-cap 9mm service pistol best fits the shooter's hands. By service pistol, I mean a model actually used by law enforcement or the military (i.e. Beretta 92FS, CZ 75B, Glock 17, and the SIG 200 series pistols). These are the models that have been extensively tested in the field and lab. Many US law enforcement agencies use Ruger and S&W semi-autos for example, but they do not have the service history of some of the European pistols. I would make comfort the determining factor, more than brand or price. At the same time, a $600 European pistol is proabably a poor choice for someone who will rarely shoot.

    These are essentially the four "moderate" calibers; personally, I consider them the minimum "entry level" service calibers. All are ridiculously cheap to shoot (even .357 Magnum is cheaper than .45 ACP), and they will not discourage or abuse the new shooter with reasonable gun/load combos.

    If someone is certain that they will be shooting for life, I say: Go buy an AK the day you turn eighteen. 1911A1 at 21. You'll never regret it. Keep it real, soul brother.

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Nice, short, and to the point! I like it!
  7. Eric

    Eric G&G Newbie

    Yep, I agree with FEG...start'em young! Shooting is awesome.
  8. Logansdad

    Logansdad Guest

    Okay.. Let me try it this way...If you didn't know anything about firearms...What would you want a friend to steer you towards ?...
  9. New Shooters...

    Well, like I was saying, new shooters generally come in two flavors: people that may not like it and people who almost certainly are going to. When I was in grad school, one of my neighbors had a teenaged son who went out and bought a G3 on his eighteenth birthday. Normally, I would say a "new shooter" may not have wanted a full-size .308 battle rifle. This youngster is now an artillery officer.

    Someone who may be scared off by a .45 or big-bore revolver can usually shoot the moderate cartridges (9mm, .38, .357) in a full-size gun. Go to a compact, and you will have the same problem all over again. The problem is that the best handguns for learning (larger, heavier frames) are not the best for carry. If you are serious about CCW (which may not be such a great idea for a new shooter), you are going to have to learn the hard way: on a smaller gun. Someone in this position doesn't have the luxury of training with anything except the proposed carry gun.

    I really don't recommend that, but many people are going to fit in that category. For people who grew up around handguns, I really do recommend the 1911A1 over the full-size 9, if for no other reason than the fact that prices are on the rise for .45s. Might as well get a nice one before there's a family to feed...
  10. dave375hh

    dave375hh G&G Newbie Forum Contributor

    A Glock model 19 w/fixed sights. Minimal mainence, low recoil, big enough and small enough at the same time, and they always work. Also no extra levers, safeties, or gizmos needed to get them working. relativly low ammo costs, yet OK stopping power. Not my choice but the best compromise for a newbe. I like a .45acp & a.357sig, but they arn't the place for a rookie to start.

  11. First Sidearm

    I actually had the Glock 17 in mind as a first Glock, but the 19 is really the better choice in many ways. It isn't ridiculously small like some of the recent 9s.
  12. jerry

    jerry Since 2002 Forum Contributor

    don't matter. if it's meant to be they will end up with all sorts. just cover the safety and training factors.
  13. I started my son out on a P 89. He was nine at the time. It wasn't long before he was hitting all black.
  14. jerry

    jerry Since 2002 Forum Contributor

    my 13 yr old shot a .40 S&W (belonging to LE friend) and did very well. left me with my jaw hanging, albeit a good hanging.
  15. Man that's the spirit get your kids out there and teach them how to use firearms the right way. That way they won't be curious about them when you are not around.