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buying my first pistol please advise

7431 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  HARDNOSE
i am looking for either a 9mm or a 40. the two guys that fit my hands the best that i can buy locally are a springfield xd or a glock. i am wondering of those two which to choose from since the prices are so comparable. i am using this mostly for target shooting, home protection and to carry in a backpack while hunting or quad riding.
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jrob_bfd said:
.....and to carry in a backpack while hunting or quad riding.
You don't say where you're from, but in many places, you would need a CCW to do that. On the other hand, if it's in a holster right in front of God and everybody, no CCW permit is required.

Check your local laws to be sure.

As to the pistol advice.... if it's your first handgun, I'd recommend a .22 revolver.
Like me! :D

Anyways. if you really dont want a .22 as your first, many people recommend a glock. I agree. Cost effective and you can change calibers relatively very easily.

Also, there are products you can buy which will help you avoid bad habits like flinching which are available for the glock (although there are such products for other pistols)
wait u caught me i lied i do have a 22 semi. looking for somethign with a little more power.
Then go with a glock, I say.
Model 20 or 17 would be the one you want.

If not those, then try CZ- you can get a 75 at about the same price as a Glock.
*rereads post*
OOOH. you want a comparison.

Well, I would think that a glock is in a completely different league in terms of reliability. Not only that, but changing calibers isn't too hard either.
You may want to review this before considering a Glock....


This is not the first time I've heard of problems with them. If you do an internet search using the terms "glock" and "kaboom" you will have enough reading to keep you busy for a while.

To each his own, but the only centerfire auto I would consider is a 1911 in whatever flavor you prefer. Your mileage may vary.
I took a CCW class last week and a man in the class had a new glock. It jammed every other shot. They aren't all perfect.

I've shot a 9mm Glock and I wasn't impressed. The gun feels cheap to me, maybe because my guns are all steel, but I couldn't get used to the feel of it. I also didn't care for the grip much. It was jumpy with 9mm because there isn't a lot of weight relative to steel guns. Neither my friend or myself shot very well with it.

I shot one mag out of an XD 40 once. I like the accuracy but disliked the grip safety and trigger safety. A grip safety on a 1911 is not something you really notice. On the XD I could feel it depressing when I grip the gun. You don't notice it when shooting though. The trigger thing just irritated me on both guns.

I obviously like all metal guns. Polymer just doesn't feel right in my hand. You may want to ignore me for this reason alone.
The Glock is a good gun despite the overall small number of problems with some models, primarily the .40 S&W models. I hear there has been a redesign to fully support the chamber on new production guns that should reduce the problem greatly. I personally don't like them as they do not feel comfortable to me but that is merely an individual perception. I have been issued them twice and owned two of my own so I feel I have some basis to judge them. The biggest advantage to a Glock is the number of p[olice trade ins that are available. Price for used is comparable to a used XD but one is more likely to find extras such as nightsights, upgaded triggers, holsters, and extra mags with the Glock.
My personal preference is for the Springfield XD and of these I have owned up to 4 but am currently down to two. Reliability seems to be as good as with Glock, I have put over 2,000 rounds of Wolf ammo (rather dirty) through the two I currently have without cleaning and they have not had a single hiccup. They have also passed many various "torture tests" by various groups and individuals which further bolsters my confidence in them. I finally cleaned them when I went to use them as my duty gun. The grip is much closer in angle to what I am most familiar with and is a much better fit for me than the Glock. Others find it different which for them is better. Try them both and see.
As far as changing calibers, there is a .22 LR conversion kit for some models of glock pistols but it is as expensive as a decent .22 auto of which you already have one. Changing calibers between the centerfires is possible in some instances such as going to .357 SIG or 9mm with a barrel replacement in the .40 S&W models and going to .40 or 9mm in the .357 SIG. One cannot go from a 9mm to one of the others safely though, something to do with the size of the casehead and ejector placing if I remember correctly. The Springfield has the same options with two differences; the barrels to change from 40 to one of the others are generally cheaper but not as available as Glock and there is not yet a .22 LR conversion kit on the market though one is supposedly scheduled to be on the market this winter. I'll believe it when I see one on the shelf.
My personal recommendation is to get whatever you decide on in 9mm. The ammo is common, easy to control, and most important one of the cheapest centerfires to purchase. That way it won't take such a bite out of the wallet when you wish to shoot it and you should be able to afford to shoot it at least occasionally. 40 S&W ammo is nearly twice as expensive and the .357 Sig is even more. This cartridge will work fine for the uses you plan and I would suggest going with the mid-size model in a Glock if you are looking at a personal carry gun, full sized if protection is meant to be a bedside gun, or the Duty/Service model in an XD. I preferred the mid-sized guns as the sub-compact Glocks are just too small for regular fun shooting and the full sized are a bit bigger than I like for concealed carry. In the XD line, bigger is the actical model for which it is difficult to find decent holsters for due to its barrel length. The Service only difference from the Tactical is an inch shorter barrel and many find it more comfortable to shoot as it doesn't have that bit of extra weight hanging out front. The sub-compact has a shorter barrel than the others but the grip is nearly the same length as a Service model which makes it no easier to conceal. That it has a 9 or 10 round magazine (depending on caliber) vs a 12 or 15 round mag makes it definitely less desirable than the standard in my eyes.
Best bet is to find a range that rents guns and give each model a whirl. One should grab your fancy.
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for a first handgun why not a 4" .357 revolver???They are simple and easy to clean.You also have the ability to shoot everything from mild target loads,shotshells or some real firebreathers :wink:
Why not? Because he specified a 9mm or .40sw pistol. :p

I would say the glock is of good reliability- the austrian army field trials found them extremely so. I also believe that the magazines are interchangable between models of the same caliber... right?

Since 9mm is cheaper and it'd be your first, go with it. Learn to shoot with the hi-power stuff (at least in comparison with .22's) before you move on to the bigger stuff.
And renting before buying is a good idea as well.

The problem with glock kB!s has always been a small one. The unsupported chamber was implemented to provide feed reliability in .40, .45, 10mm, and .357 (probably why 9mm can't safely be converted).

When there is a unsupported chamber related kB!, what is usually is is that impromper ammunition (exposed lead bullets, bad reloaded ammunition, or CRAP factory ammunition) was loaded, but did not correctly feed. When the round goes off, the casing overpressures and the gun, and possibly the slide causing a catastrophic explosion.(especially if the pistol was converted to .400 Cor-Bon, .45 Super, or .40 Super; in the model 20, the chamber is not designed to handle the MUCH greater pressures than the .45ACP)

Lesson? Glock is safe.
Unsupported chamber? for the most part, there's nothing to worry about.
Unsupported chamber with bad ammunition? I'd wear a blast mask and kevlar before firing.
Unsupported chamber with BAD .45/.40 to .400/.45Super/.40super conversion? You are both stupid and should convert back because you risk your life. (due to the higher pressures, when these kB!, they're the ones that send shrapnel everywhere)
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I would recommend 9mm over 40 simply because it is more affordable to practice with. Renting is a good idea and highly recommended if you have the option to do so. If you find a used Sig in your price range don't rule it out either.
In terms of defense most people will tell you the .40 S&W is a better cartridge than the 9mm - but you can buy special rounds for a 9mm that will do the job for defense as well.

The 9mm is definitely cheaper to shoot if you are buying ammo. If cost isn't a factor - then I'd buy a gun in .40 S&W

Of the 2 guns you mention - I would suggest the Springfield - but you should go to a range that will let you rent them both and try them out first. I don't like the fit, feel, trigger, etc on a Glock. Sig and others make some poly frames as well if that's what is driving your decision. But I would recommend you look at the variety of models made by SIG as well - they're awful good guns ( 226, 229 etc ).
Sig are excellent guns but they aren't typically polymer or blocky like the Glock or Springfield. If you are still somewhat open minded about requirements I strongly suggest looking at Sig. They are a bit more costly though.
I just bought my son his first centerfire. I picked up a Sig 239 with the DAK trigger (double action only). I figured it was a bit safer and is probably a good trigger to learn on.
Not sure about the DAO trigger being a good trigger to learn on, what with it being tougher to properly pull. Might work to help prevent accidental discharges, but if you've gotta use it for something serious like defense then you gotta pull that trigger as fast as necessary to get off as many shots as necessary, be it one, two or a full load's worth.
My first recommendation to my son was to go with a 4" Smith revolver before moving to an auto. I would recommend that to anyone just starting out. However, some people, my kid included, want to skip what I think should be a natural progression and jump right into autos and high capacity, so the DAK was a good compromise before going to a 1911. As to the trigger thing, if you are competent with a revolver, then a DAO auto should not present a problem if it's a decent trigger. A DA revolver trigger isn't tough to pull properly and in the right hands can be as faster than an auto for the same reasons that some guys can shoot a pump shotgun faster than and autoloader can cycle.
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