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first semi auto

4055 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dondavis3
This is my first post, I apologize if I am in the wrong forum.

I am rather new to the semi auto world. I have been shooting since I was a small child, with experience with revolvers, shotguns, and rifles. I have shot semis' but not much. I was wondering what a good starter would be? I am rather limited on cash, 300 or 350 would be my limit. I am looking for something in either the 9mm or 40 cal area. Do you guys have any suggestions? I am 6 foot 4 inches about 210 lbs. I was looking at some ruggers p85 I think it was, any reviews on that one would be nice and again any other suggestions as I am not set on it.


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Autoloading pistol preference can be a very personal thing. The standard advice here is "try before you buy". If you can locate a range that rents, or if you have several friends with different flavors of pistol, shoot as many as you can before settling on one.

Your budget limit will pretty much limit you to used pistols only... and won't even get you into the used market on some, unless they're pretty much a basket case.

My personal favorite.... a 1911 in .45 ACP. Colt, Springfield Armory, & Kimber all make nice ones, but they're about $800 new, and darn near that much used. Their "race guns" can run $1200 to $1500.
I agree with finding a range to rent some guns to try or if you have any friends that can take out out and try as many as you can.

since youre limited on $$$, i would spend more time looking then buying.

dont forget USED too. also, there are REVOLVERS out there including USED REVOLVERS that will fall into the price range.

physical stats are subjective. so, its best you handle alot and if possible try.

Look for a friendly local gun shop in your area ans if they are worth anything, let them know what youre looking for and whats available. alot of shops wil have used too.

If you go used, ask if the shop will take it back if it dosnt work or has any issues or what they will do for you if there is any issues.

as far as the Ruger goes, it isnt that bad either. There are others, but you could do worse.
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As stated if you can shoot a few before you buy it's the best way to go. I have three of the Ruger P series (P93 9mm,P94 40 cal & P95 9mm). I like the P93 the best and I think it is in your price range. I don't use them for a carry pistol but shoot them fairly often and expect I've shot a few thousand rounds through each of them with out a misfire or a jam. Best of all they shoot a nice tight grouping and are comfrontable to hold/fire. A pretty good pistol for the $. I've never shot a P85 but from what I know it's much the same pistol still if you can find a P93 in the price range (maybe a little more) I would highly recomend the pistol, it's one of my favorite range pistols to shoot.

The P85 was the first in the series and expect small and sometimes important changes were made to the pistol as the series numbers changed. The largest change I know of was the addition of a decocker that came out on the P89. The P85 has a 4.5" barrel while the P93 has a 4" barrel and the P94 a 4.2" barrel. The P95 is a polly frame and uses the P93 slide and 4" barrel. Might be more than you wanted to know but I tend to ramble.
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thanks for the replies and the honest truth, as far as ranges that rent, that's still a new thing here in MT and I don't know of any place that does. However I have been going with friends and trying some of their stuff, and I will continue to do that for a while till I find the right one.

Bradley thanks for the info on those rugers, I will look into the p93, as far as rambling that's the info I want, the changes, the pros and cons of the models, so thank you very very much.

I very much like semi-auto pistols. But my favorite is the standard 1911 .45 ACP. Lots of them out there, easy to customize, etc. I like the glock grip, but I hate the glock trigger. I also really like the feel of the XD and shoot it well, but again, the trigger isnt what I like (better than the glock though).
I shoot a 1911 well, grip fits my hands well and being single action the trigger feels better than most.

As suggested, try to find a range that rents guns and try out everything you can get your hands on. Please do not be put off by a rental gun that does not perform perfectly, like jams and such. Some ranges do not have the best maintenance regiments for their rental guns.

Good luck!
Your more than welcome Hawkeye,
Even with a limited budget there are some good choices out there. Feel free to ask about any you are considering and let us know what you buy.
Hey guys, I have it narrowed down to a P89 in 9mm or the new SR9, does anyone have any comments on these two rugers?
For $300-$350 I would suggest a Smith & Wesson SW9VE Sigma. You can get a $50 rebate from S&W or 2 free mags if you search their promotions on their site and print out the promotional coupon for the reabte or the 2 mags.
http://www.handgunsmag.com/featured_han ... ma_100507/
Hawkeye_90 said:
Hey guys, I have it narrowed down to a P89 in 9mm or the new SR9, does anyone have any comments on these two rugers?
The P89 is a good pistol but been around for awhile so condition is an issue, check it for wear. The SR9 has has had a recall so even if it's new best to know if it requires to be sent back for repair or post recall. The P89 is a hammer fired pistol, better/safer for a new user but I do like the striker fired pistols. I haven't shot a SR9 so can't provide much concering the pistol. I own a S&W M&P that is striker fired and truly enjoy it. If the money is the same and the SR9 is post recall I would go with the new SR9 as it will come with a the ability to send it back to Ruger if it has issues. All the same the P89 is a good pistol and if you find one in good condition it will serve you well.

Wish I could tell you more about the SR9 but I don't have first hand experience with the pistol.
Go with the P89 or the S&W Sigma. Both are fine starters and good enough to be keepers.
I bought a S&W Sigma in .40 cal

It has a long hard trigger pull - like a double action only revolver.

It shoots well and is reliable

If your on a budget this is the best buy around for a new gun.

My son bought one last week at a Fort Worth gun show for $275 with a $50 rebate from S&W = $225. for a nice looking gun.

don't forget to look at used guns too - gun shows are a good place to shop.

If you feel too new to auto's to buy used, snag a friend who knows guns and take him or her with you.

Good luck with your search.
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