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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im looking to get my first gun sometime in the not to distant future. Although this is gonna be my first gun i am not completely new to guns, but at the same time i do not know alot. So my question is what kind of velocities, penetrating power, and damage capabilities do these rounds have, plus whatever other pro or cons they might have (what is the price difference between the rounds?). The rounds i am interested in are 9X19 vs .357 vs .40 vs .45. Oh and are .357 sig rounds gonna have the same velocity/stopping power as a regular .357 round? I am kind leaning toward .357 because of the speed and power they offer but am a little hesitant bacause of the hefty recoil (I have shot a .357 mag but it was out of a short barrel revolver and im looking to get a full size gun so i dont know how much that would affect the recoil). The gun will be partly for defense purposes, so i want something that has a good balance of power and controllability in a life or death situation. Oh and by the way im pretty sure its either gonna be a full size Glock, or a Sig Sauer P226 (kinda leaning towards the Sig), so please dont turn this into a which gun is better thread or try changing my mind on that cause right now im just trying to learn about rounds.

Thanks in advance for the responses.
 

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The .357 and the .40 S&W are the two most powerful of the rounds you listed, although the 9x19 and the .45 ACP are both more than adequate defensive calibers.

Be aware that a .357 Magnum and a .357 SIG, although comparable in power, are two totally different animals. The .357 Mag is a rimmed cartridge used only in revolvers, while the .357 SIG is rimless and used only in autoloaders.

I would suggest you consider a revolver in .357 Magnum, as you can than shoot .38 Specials for practice.... much milder loads without the blast and recoil, and much less expensive. If you're concerned about ammo capacity, you can get speedloaders for revolvers. Don't ever sell a revolver short.... in capable hands, it's a devastating firearm. Check this out...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srM2qghDFuI&NR=1
 

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I have modified my stance some on this topic, at one time I would have agreed wholeheartedly with wwb's suggestion. Today, I am pretty hard pressed to suggest starting with any centerfire handgun as ammo is pretty expensive and can be difficult to find at times. I am also big on learning proper technique as it is so very critical in shooting a handgun. The best starter gun for this is a 22 LR as ammo is available and relatively cheap. for a revolver, it is difficult to get a decent rimfire and they can easily cost as much as a decent 357/38 if not more. Instead, I suggest a centerfire semi-auto as similar 22 LR handguns are relatively inexpensive and are easily found as several manufacturers make them. One only needs the 22 to be essentially similar to their large gun for pretty realistic practice. In the case of the models you list, there is possibly an even better option, a 22 LR conversion kit. Most, if not all, Glocks and many SIG models have a 22 LR conversion kit available and the cost is about the same as a second rimfire. This allows you to shoot inexpensive rimfire ammo through your primary gun for very realistic practice as you use the same lower unit. Switching between the kits is rather quick and easy for the most part. This may be particularly beneficial in those jurisdictions that make obtaining a handgun an onerous process. I have a 22 LR conversion on a Kimber 1911 and I liked it so much that I don't remember exactly where I put the regular upper. I don't carry a 1911 very often anymore but the shooting I do with the Kimber translates into better scores with all of my other handguns whether pistol or revolver.
 

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if you can, look for a gun rental range in your area. even if you have to make a day(s) of it since you will save alot of headache. i would spend more time looking/feeling/handling and trying before you buy. the guns will always be there, so you dont have to rush into a purchase.

then spend some $$$ on testing/trying various calibers and platforms to see how they compare. since you are recoil sensitive, it will answer alot of questions. take a notepad along and jot down your thoughts/impressions and such about fit, recoil and such.

i wont comment on the caliber choice since there are more vocal people out here that have more then enough of an opinion.

you should also realize that using an autoloader for SD/HD can have its drawbacks. they can malfunction and you WILL have to know and PRACTICE on how to clear those malfunctions. If you arent willing to practice on the drills, then you should think about what youre going to get.


you should also try to find a instructor in your area and spend some time having them go over the basics and after some time watch what youre doing. it could nip some bad habbits before they get hard to change.
 

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^ What he said. Try to shoot as many weapons as you can get your hands on. I know you want an auto, but do not pass up an opportunity to handle and/or fire revolvers. .357 Sig will do the job well, but I think the problem will be with ammo availability and cost, because of that you may want to rethink your choice to something more popular and common.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah i have been thinking about cost and availability, im gonna try to do some local pricing and see just how big the price variation is. and i know i can rent guns at the local range, so im probably gonna rent a glock 17 they have and also try to rent regular size semis in .40 and .357 to get an idea of recoil controllability.
 

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Thing to keep in mind about recoil and recoil control or felt recoil is that it isn't just the caliber or the load but the geometry of the gun itself. You mentioned that you'd fired a short barrel revolver before; well two differences between a short barrel and a long barrel are sight radius (longer radius of iron sites = better accuracy) and barrel flip (i.e. recoil).

Another thing to think about is the suggestion that you start out with a 22. A very nice round for learning (or plinking) especially if you've a better half you might want to introduce to shooting. 22's also have quite a variety of loads themselves ranging from the hot Stinger hollow points down to the "Sans Poudre" rounds that are very quiet (bullets are only 20 grains and powered only with the primer).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for the suggestion but my father has a 22lr that im free to use anytime. ill probably endup getting a .357 or .40 in a sig p226 or possibly a glock.
 
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