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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I am a firefighter-paramedic, so I don't need a service gun, but I'd like to buy one great gun. I'm looking for a gun that I that is extremely reliable, accurate, can conceal carry, home protection, and practice a lot with. I really like the idea of only having one gun and that being MY gun. From what I've read I'm really leaning towards a Walther P99 for what I'm looking for. I'm thinking the 9mm and .40 would be the best balance of power for protection and cost for lots of practice. Your opinions are very welcome!
-JAM
 

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It's hard to help someone pick "one" gun because of personal tastes and bias.

Do you want a semi - auto or a revolver?

Do you like black guns or silver guns or a two tone?

How much are you going to carry?

How much are you willing to pay?

How much shooting do you do?

You need to answer these and probably other questions befroe someone can answer more than "I like such and such" .

I suggest you go to a range that rents guns and start with 9mm and shoot several of them.

Guns really do shoot differently and feel differently - you'll probably find one or two that you like better than others.

Then come back here and tell about the one's you like and we can help you better then.

Just my .02

Good luck.
 

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All very relevant questions by dondavis3. "One Gun" is a tough call, since CCW and home defense would necessarily prefer different guns..... which one are you going to compromise?

If Concealed Carry were a consideration, I'd opt for an Officer's Model 1911, and if CCW were not a factor, I'd go for a Government Model 1911, both in .45 ACP - but, thats me.... 25 guys could easily give you 50 different opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think all of those questions are answered by saying from my research I'm leaning towards a Walther P99 in .40 or 9mm, except for the how much shooting, and that's just when i go with friends and use their guns. I'd like to do a lot more with my own gun.
 

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id look at the Glocks. Im not a big Glock fan, but they are reliable and i do have one too. Im not familar with the Walthers other then my PP series of pistols.

one thing nice is that there are some really nice used Glocks in 9 out there since alot of people are dumping them for the 40.
 

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Sounds like you have already made up your mind on what pistol you want. If your still open to suggestions a Kimber Ultra CDP II and S&W M&P are worth a good look. If I had to choose between 9mm and .40 S&W, I would go with the .40. I prefer the larger rounds.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to purchase.
 

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WDBradley said:
.......If I had to choose between 9mm and .40 S&W, I would go with the .40. I prefer the larger rounds......
Somewhere in "Rules of a Gunfight", it says that you should never go to a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a "4".

Personally, I'd follow the "4" with a "5". Or, has been quoted many times, "Why a .45? Because they don't make a .46."

Consider that a .357 expands to about the same diameter as an UNexpanded .45.
 

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I don't know about elsewhere, but it's easier to buy 9 mm ammo here than any other caliber and 9 mm's cost is about 1/2 the cost of .40 or .45 ammo.

In a 9mm I'd suggest you look at a Springfield Armory XDm



In a .45 I'd look at a Kimber Pro CDP II



Both are very accurate and very dependable. :mrgreen:

By the way I believe it's much more important to have good shot placement than how big your bullet is ... try a few guns & calibers out and buy the one that feels good to you and that you shot the best :D

Just my .02
 

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I agree and carry 45acp 90% of the time.

For someone new to firearms might not be a reasonable choice. I also confess I like the 9mm round, you can put a lot of them in a smal package, they can get the job done, they are less expensive to shoot and truly fun at the range :D With that said the .40 S&W is all of that with more thump and a little more money.
 

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Jamfire;
Something to consider and I am sure this will start the flames but still needs to be said.
I own a range with a very popular rental program including most of the top, brand name firearms. What has been said is absolutely true especially about going to a range that has a rental program and actually "trying" as many quality guns as you can. It will be some of the best money you will ever invest. As also been pointed out, there are many (more than just about any other tool I can think of) idiosyncrasies especially having to do with handguns. And the only way to discover them is to actually shoot the guns. Every handgun you pick up will fit your hand and arms and eyes differently. The recoil will vary as will sight alignment and picture when addressing a specific target and there are many more that will become apparent very quickly with actual shooting. I only wish that you all could hear and see the different reactions we see every day while helping people and answering their questions.

But another and perhaps just as or more important is service life or reliability of the gun you choose and this is where i will, without meaning to do so, step on toes. But if everyone will just remember that this critique is only top point out wht we actually see happening, (regularly).
I have no vested interest in any firearm company and I help people choose firearms all day, every day.

Do not buy the Walther if you are going to shoot the gun very much at all and the same goes with the M&P series of S&W. These guns, (Walthers are the worst) are not or will not hold together for long if you shoot them often. I have more trouble with these two brands/models than any others in the rental program.
That is not to say that the M&P series are junk or that you cannot or will not find a good one, you very well may. But you will very unlikely find one (especially the Walthers) that will handle more than 3,000 rounds without a failure of some of the parts. These two firearms in particular the calibers you mention are the most popular rental calibers so they do get asked for and shot more than the other cals. But again, the two models or Brands you mention are back for repair more than any of the others.
The Springfield and Glock are the most popular rentals along with all the different 1911 frames and they just never quit or break seemingly for any reason.

Keep in mind the cost and availability of the ammo as well but if you have any opportunity, please do as mentioned, go to a range and rent some of the different models before you buy or go to the range and ask some of the guys and gals to try their guns for a few shots. Fellow shooters are very helpful in this manner and will usually encourage you to try their gun(s).

Stay safe and good luck in your choice.

UF
 

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Have a look at the Glock 19, in a 40 it' a 23. These are tried and true. Some people don't like the way Glocks feel in their hands. :) Also look at the Sig 229 and 239 also very good guns. S&W makes a clone of the Walther for less money if you have your heart set on the Walther. You can also look into H&K and Kahrs.
 

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UncleFudd said:
Jamfire;
Something to consider and I am sure this will start the flames but still needs to be said.
I own a range with a very popular rental program including most of the top, brand name firearms. What has been said is absolutely true especially about going to a range that has a rental program and actually "trying" as many quality guns as you can. It will be some of the best money you will ever invest. As also been pointed out, there are many (more than just about any other tool I can think of) idiosyncrasies especially having to do with handguns. And the only way to discover them is to actually shoot the guns. Every handgun you pick up will fit your hand and arms and eyes differently. The recoil will vary as will sight alignment and picture when addressing a specific target and there are many more that will become apparent very quickly with actual shooting. I only wish that you all could hear and see the different reactions we see every day while helping people and answering their questions.

But another and perhaps just as or more important is service life or reliability of the gun you choose and this is where i will, without meaning to do so, step on toes. But if everyone will just remember that this critique is only top point out wht we actually see happening, (regularly).
I have no vested interest in any firearm company and I help people choose firearms all day, every day.

Do not buy the Walther if you are going to shoot the gun very much at all and the same goes with the M&P series of S&W. These guns, (Walthers are the worst) are not or will not hold together for long if you shoot them often. I have more trouble with these two brands/models than any others in the rental program.
That is not to say that the M&P series are junk or that you cannot or will not find a good one, you very well may. But you will very unlikely find one (especially the Walthers) that will handle more than 3,000 rounds without a failure of some of the parts. These two firearms in particular the calibers you mention are the most popular rental calibers so they do get asked for and shot more than the other cals. But again, the two models or Brands you mention are back for repair more than any of the others.
The Springfield and Glock are the most popular rentals along with all the different 1911 frames and they just never quit or break seemingly for any reason.

Keep in mind the cost and availability of the ammo as well but if you have any opportunity, please do as mentioned, go to a range and rent some of the different models before you buy or go to the range and ask some of the guys and gals to try their guns for a few shots. Fellow shooters are very helpful in this manner and will usually encourage you to try their gun(s).

Stay safe and good luck in your choice.

UF
UF,
As always much respect for your input as it is always good advice. As a proud owner of a S&W M&P 45 with well over the 5k rounds mark with out an issue can you provide any information concerning the failures? I truly enjoy the pistol but felt a bit un nevered with your statement as it is new information to me. What type of repairs are they coming back for and can it be documented? No intent to flame you sir, just a happy gun owner who's ears perked up with your statement and would like to know more.

It doen't sound like your a fan of the brand (S&W) and even less the model (M&P). If you would please share more. Again not flaming just asking for more information. If it is just your opinion I'm fine with that (we all have them).
 

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I'm also interested to know about the M&P failures...I've been looking at them lately, though have been skeptical of the MA trigger pull being too heavy. ( I dig da/sa, or sao myself)

On the question of what to buy...there's simply a different gun for everyone. This post will go on for months and you'll get at least a couple dozen recommendations for all the same top models. Me? I chose the SIG 229 for carry, in 9mm, and only in 9 because I like to go to the range a lot to practice, and it's cheaper. For home defense, it's a S&W 1911, in .45...or if I have time, the Mossberg under the bed.

Every person will give you a different opinion, so you gotta go with what feels good...and honestly, that might change...it has with me over the years. That's why I keep buying guns! What I thought was ugly is now cool, and vice versa...what I thought was comfortable is now a burden, and what I thought was the last one I'd buy is never the last.

Good luck.
 

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I am no fan of any of the plastic guns except my little KelTec .380 backup. I'd go with all steel, or if you have to, steel and alloy. While all frames are subject to temp variance, I find the plastic frames are even more so.

If you are using it for defense, .45acp is my choice, although a .357 revolver is close.
 

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There is also the potential for competition. Most IPSIC competitions that I've heard about tend to favor loads heavier than 9 mm so in that case the 40 and 45 cal loads would be preferrable. Another thing, if there is a chance that you'll want to consider handloading in the future (reasons of cost or even just experimenting with custom loads) then you should know that handloading 9 mm is more difficult than handloading 40 cal or 45 cal. Reason is that there are minor dimensional (or metalurgical) differences in the brass cases that make loading some brands more likely to fail catastrophically; the 9 mm cartridge being a very high pressure cartridge.

Personally, I'd recommend the 45 cal. It'll do everything you'll want and there are some nice compact pistols out there to choose from. Also, if you do get into handloading, there are no shortages of 45 cal cases.
 

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If your mind is set on a 9mm then the XDm Springfield Armory is the way to go. I would not myself carry a 9mm although I do keep one in the nightstand.

I am more confident in the 45 ACP so thats what I carry. The round is a predator stopper and puts them down quick without needing double taps or multiple shots.
Just my two cents! :mrgreen:
 

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I can't imagine life with only one gun. I shudder to contemplate such a bleak reality. But, if I had to, I guess it would be a 9mm. Ammo is as cheap as you are going to find for a centerfire and the modern +P hollow points are nothing to sneeze at for defensive work. .40S&W and .45ACP ammo is pricey. Sure a .45ACP is a better stopper, but some people have trouble managing the recoil to get a second shot on target quickly. Double taps are eminently easier to perform with a 9mm than a .45ACP. Don't be fooled by the much vaunted .45ACP's reputation as a man stopper. It is still a handgun and is not really all that powerful. Multiple hits on target may be necessary to stop a threat, even with the mighty .45ACP. It is hard to beat the ugly old Glock. All that I have fired were accurate and reliable. A G19 or a G17 would serve well.
 

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What? no Beretta fans?

I had a P22 for a while. It was a sweet, smooth shooting plinker that ate all kinds of 22 ammo and never wavered. Something else it never failed to do was toss hot casings down my shirt or between my glasses and my face! :shock:

So while the Walter might be a cool carry, occasional use gun, go for it.

But if you want to shoot some volume, you gotta go elsewhere.

I love my berettas, 92fs, px4 sc and px4 .45. I got the best of both worlds.

DD, does your range rent out berettas? how have they been performing?

Also, dont discount a small revolver. A 38 or 357 compact frame revolver like an SP101 will be inherently more reliable than an auto.

Welcome to the world of guns. Its a journey, not a destination!
 

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One gun is hard but you will never feel like you've "outgrown" a 1911. They are extremely accurate and reliable if you get one from a good company like Kimber or Dan Wesson (my personal favorite). A bobtail commander is an excellent choice for concealed with no drawbacks except it weighs more than a plastic gun. But the weight really is nice when you are shooting.
Besides, I like the history behind the 1911.
No matter what you get I recomend you get something you can get a 22lr conversion for. Unless you are rich, it's the only way to shoot enough to get really comfortable. Not to mention lots of fun and can help eliminate flinching.
I reload 45acps which saves a fortune but I still end up shooting more 22s than 45s.
Good luck and I would look at a Dan Wesson VBOB, since the CBOB was discontinued. Kimber is making a Bobtail now, too.
Good Luck
 
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