I realize this is a broad reaching question, and I'm sure lots of people have opinions. I'm a person who is new to the gun arena. I'm looking to take an introduction to firearms course here in the near future.
Target shooting, home defense, conceal carry possibly down the road.
Also looking for my first handgun (which may be more defined after the class).
I've been reading reviews, watching reviews on Youtube, etc.
Initially, I was leaning towards a Glock 17. Also considering the Taraus PT111 G2.
I like the Glock because of it's capacity. I also like it because it looks like a reliable first handgun. People complain about the sights, and about the trigger, etc. But I think if I can learn to use the stock Glock 17, it would be worthwhile and then maybe upgrade as need be down the road.
I like the PT111 G2 for it's price. I can buy more ammunition, and be able to use it more and train with it more.
Again, this is a wide reaching question. Maybe I'll be labeled a clueness noob. I am a noob, I admit that. But I want to learn, and I want to learn the right way.
I'm in Washington state, and the state is trying to implement some stupid gun legislation, so I'm trying to get stuff done before that all goes into effect, unless we can get it defeated. If not, it will be more difficult to be a gun owner (IMO) in this state.
Me, I'd start with a wheelgun.
Some options to research or consider.
A .22 pistol.
You can shoot a LOT for very little. You learn to shoot by SHOOTING. A .22 is easy to learn on and much cheaper. You'll shoot a lot more for the same price.
After you know your way around a pistol, upgrade to a center fire.
In truth, if you're like many of us, you'll wind up shooting .22 more no matter what you buy later. It's cheap fun and keeps your skills up.
Look into buying a police surplus pistol.
Police departments trade their guns in often and buy new ones. The used guns are usually carried a lot and not shot much so they may be a little scratched up but in perfect shooting condition.
These can be outstandingly good deals.
Most dealers will order one for you for a reasonable cost.
A prime seller of used cop guns is Aim Surplus. They're always getting new shipments in and run sales about every week.
They sell a lot of Glock and S&W M&P 9mm and .40 caliber pistols.
An advantage of buying a used police gun is that it will be in perfect shooting condition and this will get you started much cheaper then when buying a new gun.
Later, once you know your way around you can buy a new gun and either sell the old one, or keep it as a back up.
Don't over look the excellent S&W M&P series. A lot of police departments and civilian shooters are buying the M&P over the Glock.
Also, take a look at the Springfield XD series. These are considered to be in the same class as the Glock and S&W pistols.
Consider buying a used revolver. These days the hot guns are the automatics, and often you can buy a used S&W or Ruger revolver at a good price.
Ruger makes some excellent revolvers in various models and are considered to be a "best buy" for a good revolver.
They also make some excellent automatics.
You can often buy a Ruger revolver or auto new for not much more then a used Glock or S&W.
In general, a double action revolver is safer to start out on because it's almost impossible to accidentally pull the trigger. With guns like the Glock you have to be fanatic about safety because inadvertently pulling a Glock trigger is shockingly easy and a lot of people have had accidents with them.
A good idea is to go to a well stocked gun store and just look at what's available. Most will allow you to handle them.
There are stores that rent guns that you shoot on their range.
This is a good way to actually fire a variety of pistols so it's easier to know what "fits" you and what doesn't.
I agree with the .22 pistol advice from the other poster. Of course, many affordable .22 pistols are autoloaders. Dare I advise a .38 revolver or a .44 loaded with Specials until you are very comfortable with it? A heavy .44 revolver loaded with specials is a very soft shooter.
So in this new vein, I was/am looking at a Heritage Rough Rider 22LR. Inexpensive enough that I can it and a bunch of ammo, and then move to 22 Magnums later on if I so choose to do so.
I still like the Glock 17, but I think that'll wait until later down the road.
I appreciate the feedback from you all.
AS much as I love single action revolvers, I'd not make one my first handgun. Rather, I get a S&W Model 17 or one of its many clones with a 4 inch barrel. OH, I still use and carry a SAA that's mostl likely older than some of the folks here.
But if you're determined to go with GLOCK then check their model 21. If you have smaller hands you might consider the GLOCK 21 SF.
To do all the jobs you mentioned you'll really need a couple of guns. BUT start with a .22.
Walt has a very good point about revolvers because they are reliable.
I really like the S&W M&P .22 and the new Ruger Mk IV is dandy.
The Glock leads the pack for negligent discharges and I would not consider one for a first gun
Don't use magazine capacity as a selling point: it just makes it possible to miss more.
But the most important thing is to find something YOU like. Going to a range with rental guns is a great idea.
A good quality double-action .22 revolver can be a thing of use, joy, and pride for the rest of your life. New ones are now almost ridiculously expensive but you might luck into a good deal on a used S&W Model 17 (K-22) or 18. Or an even better deal on a used Taurus, Rossi, or Ruger SP101. For your purposes, I'd think a 4" barrel and adjustable sights would work best. I see that Rossi no longer seems to be making handguns. Ruger has the SP101 with a 4" barrel and adjustable sights, 8-shot capacity. An even better value might be the Taurus 992, available in either blued or stainless with 4" barrel, adjustable sights, 9-shot capacity, AND comes with interchangable .22 Magnum cylinder (and it's cheaper than the Ruger). A 9-shot .22 Magnum DA revolver is not a trivial weapon for home defense or even carry use--I'd rather have that than an old-school Smith 10 loaded with the "traditional" 158-grain roundnose .38 Special ammo that was the standard of most American police departments for most of the 20th Century.
Another way to go might be with some kind of 9mm semiauto for which a .22 conversion set is available. This gives you cheap shooting AND full-power defensive capability for less than the price of two whole guns (and only one set of annoying "paperwork"). .22 conversions are available for some Glocks, Berettas, Tauruses, and I think some CZ75s and maybe others.
SORRY Gents but I disagree on a first handgun in that I see NO real reason to buy a .22LR or for that matter anything but a revolver by S&W, Ruger or Colt & in .38SPL/.357Mag.
.38 mid-range wadcutters are CHEAP, shoot well for target practice & if bought as reloads, are often about as cheap as .22 LR. = Also that means that you don't have to buy TWO handguns.
The last 22LR I bought in bulk was 4¢ per round. I get Ely target ammo from the CMP for 7¢ per round. If you know where I can get .38 Special for that I'd sure like to know. It costs me about 11¢ a round to reload it.
Inasmuch as I pick up .38SPL cases by the hundreds for free, get free lead from a friend who scraps out hospital X-ray shielding & Bullseye is CHEAP by the 8# jug, I'd bet that my reloads in 148GR wadcutter are about the same price as .22LR by the 100 & BETTER quality too.
Inasmuch as mike.strock's question was about buying his very first handgun...
I'll join the no Glock segment. Glock leads the known universe for negligent discharges. Sometime back, the Washington Post did an article on the DC Metro Police. Allegedly trained personnel averaged a negligent discharge a month for 14 years! (time from adoption to article, I expect the average hasn't changed much) Miami had enough "accidents" that the label "negligent" or "unintended" had to be invented to prevent cancellation of their liability insurance over excessive accidents.
If you learn on a revolver, you can transfer the trigger control lessons to other trigger systems. It doesn't work too well the other way. The manual of arms for the revolver is much simpler.
I'll leave caliber choice to you.
The choice of a first handgun is heavy weighted by the amount of time that has been spent with airguns. If you have proven to be competent with an air/bb pistol, the next step would be a .22LR. (wheel guns are visually safer on the range.) Perhaps expounding on your acumen with a sidearm would pinpoint how we could best direct our responses?
After my post, I decided to take an introductory gun course. It was a private course, just me and the instructor at an indoor range near my home. Very informative and very helpful.
I shot both a Glock 17 and a Sig P320, both in 9mm.
Shot both pretty well, given that it was my first time. Instructor helped me a LOT, and I am confident that my first gun will be either a Glock 17 or a Glock 19.
The Sig was nice, but heavier than I really liked, to be honest.
More practice is needed before a final decision is made.
Thank you all.
In my infinite wisdom, and given the fact that at this point, I get once chance to buy a gun (for now), I decided I would go with a Glock 9mm, bite the bullet, train with it, and find deals on ammunition.
I appreciate everyone's thoughts.
IF it was me, I would NOT even CONSIDER a Glock "anything" as a first handgun. = I regard the Glock pistols as "potentially hazardous" in even experienced hands & a POSITIVE DANGER for a new shooter.
just my OPINION as an old but NOT bold & long retired LEO, sw
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