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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#6444241 - 09/08/16 06:08 PM Best handgun for beginner?
rebeca1987 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/08/16
Posts: 9
I have no experience with handguns, but want to buy one for personal protection (and will definitely take a firearms course). From the research I've done it seems the 2 basic options are a 9 mm or a .45.

Could anyone please give basic info on which is "best". I realize each has its positives and negatives.

For simplicity I'll just list some questions:

1. Is one easier to be more accurate with?
2. Does the .45 have more "stopping power"?
3. Is the "1911" a specific model type of a .45?
4. Is either more reliable (not breaking, lasting over time)?
5. Regarding Glock's: What does the number refer to (i.e. Glock 17, 19, 21, 30)
6. Is either easier to use?
7. Is either easier to repair personally (with a repair kit)?
8. Is there a particular brand that is best?

Though I want a good gun for a beginner, I also want one that I can stick with long-term and appreciate as I become more experienced.

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#6444314 - 09/08/16 06:44 PM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
syncerus Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1993
Loc: Dallas, TX
Your first handgun should be a .22. Pick one that fits your hands well and has a good trigger. Once you are competent with the .22 take a look at the XD or the M&P or the Glock in 9mm. I suggest 9mm simply because the ammo is cheaper. Shooting handguns well is all about practice and ergonomics, which is why I suggest the .22 first.
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#6444351 - 09/08/16 06:59 PM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
LandPirate Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 10919
Loc: Buda
Many women have difficulty controlling the recoil generated by a .45 ACP. Same with the snappy recoil of a .40 S&W. As a beginner, I'd suggest a 9mm. Furthermore, I'd suggest going to a gun shop that carries a variety of makes and models. Try each of them and select one that fits you best. One you're comfortable with.
1911's are fine firearms but they can be finicky about the ammo you use, how clean/lubed they are, or the magazines used. Definitely not a beginner's handgun. They're also fairly large and heavy due to all steel construction. Not something that you're apt to carry in your purse all day.
There's a bunch of well built, quality firearms chambered in 9mm and they run from sub-compact to full framed/full sized. Only you can decide what's best for you.
Don't get caught up in the "knock down power" argument. There's no such thing. Bullets punch holes in vital organs and cause the hydraulic system to bleed out and stop working. There's virtually no difference between how a 9mm vs. .40S&W vs. .45ACP will perform on a human body in that regard. So go with what you can shoot accurately and you're comfortable shooting.
_________________________
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Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer

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#6444416 - 09/08/16 07:37 PM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
Roll-Tide Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/11/15
Posts: 1832
Maybe start with a hammerless, 38.

I just got a glock 43, 9'm. The numbers are just model numbers and have no meaning that I'm aware of. Glock has no safety.

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#6444433 - 09/08/16 07:46 PM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
Mr. T. Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 1625
Loc: Fort Worth - Hunt in Eastland ...
My wife who is 70 years old and never fired a handgun got her permit this year. She shot several guns and decided that she liked the Glock 19 4th generation the best. As others had said, the 45 & 40 caliber where just to much gun for her. Go to a range that rents guns and try several out. Also get good ear protection. You will need it more than you know when at the range.
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#6444600 - 09/08/16 09:39 PM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
BDB Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/30/14
Posts: 333
With modern ammo 9mm is almost as effective as 45. Two major benefits the 9mm has is cheap ammo, like stated above and your guns magazine can hold more rounds. The appeal of the newer, smaller guns are appealing for women but I still like a double stacked magazine (more bullets) I'd get a 9mm and if it was me a glock. I got my wife a 38 revolver for her first gun. Mistake. Its collecting dust as she now shoots her glock. A modern striker fire gun is the way to go.

And remember, the best safety on a gun is the one between the users ears. Hence just one of the appeals of a glock.

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#6444747 - 09/09/16 06:21 AM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
Dave Davidson Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/24/06
Posts: 4286
Loc: Hurst, Tx
Agree with Mr. T. Go to a range, rent several, and figure out what you are most comfortable with.
_________________________
Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#6445014 - 09/09/16 10:02 AM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
Black Horse Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/29/08
Posts: 548
Loc: D-FW, TX
A hammer less .38+p shooting specials for practice and .38+p ammo for HD is a really good choice. Saw one in classifieds here priced right. Good luck and enjoy.
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"Deal them aces!"

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#6445058 - 09/09/16 10:44 AM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: Dave Davidson]
Sparky45 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 2235
Loc: Big Country
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson
Agree with Mr. T. Go to a range, rent several, and figure out what you are most comfortable with.

^^^
this is a good idea


I'm a former military police and a avid shooter for 30 years. I have seen people choose SD guns over style and even color. This is not the way to approach it.

The semi auto handguns are better for SD in my opinion because of the larger capacity, but you have to be able to handle them properly or they can fail

For instance, a semi auto works off of blow back force. (Simple science, Newton's 3rd Law) So if you fire one and don't hold it firmly enough in your hands, the motion needed to eject the old case and load the next one may not be sufficient and you could end up with a malfunction. If you have a bad guy coming at you, can you think and move fast enough to clear a jam and get back into firing position?

It is for this reason that I started my wife out on a snub nose revolver.
All you do is aim and pull the trigger. Period

A Ruger SP 101 is one excellent choice. It is a 357 Mag with but you can practice inexpensively with 38 Special ammo

The air weights are good, but are very hard to manage recoil with SD ammo and can give the new shooter a bad experience.

Once you have had experience and can clear a jammed gun, then consider carrying a semi auto.

Whatever gun you choose, train like your life depends on it

One question I have to the OP

How will you want to carry this gun. Vehicle / Home only? On your person?
Concealed or open?


Edited by Sparky45 (09/09/16 10:53 AM)
_________________________
The only easy day was yesterday


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#6445077 - 09/09/16 11:03 AM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
dogdown23 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/15/14
Posts: 880
Loc: TX
Are u going to use the pistol you decide on to shoot your oakley sunglasses???
_________________________
Dogdown

The only thing that'll stop a bad man with a gun, is a good man with a gun.

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#6445229 - 09/09/16 01:15 PM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: dogdown23]
bigorosco Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 18
Loc: Plano, TX
Originally Posted By: dogdown23
Are u going to use the pistol you decide on to shoot your oakley sunglasses???


bolt

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#6445232 - 09/09/16 01:18 PM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: syncerus]
scalebuster Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 1919
Originally Posted By: syncerus
Your first handgun should be a .22. Pick one that fits your hands well and has a good trigger. Once you are competent with the .22 take a look at the XD or the M&P or the Glock in 9mm. I suggest 9mm simply because the ammo is cheaper. Shooting handguns well is all about practice and ergonomics, which is why I suggest the .22 first.



This^^^^^^^^

If your just looking for home defense buy an 870 youth shotgun. It has plenty of "Stopping Power."

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#6445290 - 09/09/16 01:54 PM Re: Best handgun for beginner? [Re: rebeca1987]
Wacm Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 05/13/16
Posts: 378
Loc: Wimberley, Tx
I wanted a pistol for snakes or putting down injured or trapped hogs. I bought a Springfield 45 and i shot it ok. It was really loud And I wasn't really able to place shots like I wanted. Then I bought a Browning buck mark 22. After shooting the 22 I got rid of the 45. I shoot so fast and accurate and you can get by with no hearing protection if you need to. That 45 will really hurt your hearing fast without protection. The 22 is all I need. If it came down to a gun for protection I think it might still work. I'd be tempted to try since it shoots so well.

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