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First Handgun. How small is too small?


Dx54r

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Hey all, I'm looking to get my first handgun. Although I do own a variety of semi-automatic rifles and carbines, I have never actually shot a handgun of any kind before. My hope is to eventually at some point next year get my concealed carry license.

 

I'm sure this question is subjective but should my first handgun be a full size firearm to learn the basics on, or can I save some money in the future by purchasing a firearm that is concealable now and just learning with it? Will I pick up any bad handgun habits learning with a small carry gun instead of a full size?

 

I was looking at something small like a LC9, Glock 43, or LCR. Would I be better served having something larger like an M&P9, a Glock 17/19, or even a full size .357 revolver for a first gun?

 

I guess I could always just get a 140 dollar hipoint to learn with, right? :hmm:

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Go to a range and try which feels/fits better in your hands.

 

I prefer the M&P 9c over the Glock 26, but also look at one size smaller ... look at the Shield and the Glock 43. Which one feels right and which one would you prefer to carrry? The smaller the gun, the shorter the barrel the more practice you may need.

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Hey all, I'm looking to get my first handgun. Although I do own a variety of semi-automatic rifles and carbines, I have never actually shot a handgun of any kind before. My hope is to eventually at some point next year get my concealed carry license.

 

 

most people start out with a 22 I would suggest looking for a used Ruger mark 1 or 2 but out of your list a 357 revolver

but if you do the Ruger SP101 with a 3" barrel would be the way to go

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First gun, I would recommend G19, M&P9c, or XD Mod2 size of pistol.

 

Which gun is right for you? Depends on you. The smaller the pistol the more skill it takes to shoot. The compact size models listed above are large enough to be fairly easy to learn, small enough to conceal, big enough to use as home defense.

 

Once you get comfortable, you will find that there are LOTS of good guns to choose from and as many of us do, you will purchase as many as your spouse will allow you to buy.

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I definitely wouldn't start with a 357. I usually tell people who are new to handguns to start out with a double action semi or a revolver because the trigger pull is alittle longer and harder to pull back then a striker fired handgun. They will have less chance of an accidental discharge while getting use to the gun.

I would recommend a sub compact handgun because you will be able to use it at the range comfortably and also be able to conceal carry it when you get your license. Handguns.. revolvers I like and have the ruger lcr 9mm it's small nice hogue grip and smooth cycling and 9mm.

I have glock 26 9mm it's sub compact 10rd nice to conceal but glocks don't have external safety so you need to practice and be aware of that.

Smith and Wesson Shields are nice. They are sub compact and have long grips.

Ruger lc9 are nice but I think the grips are to thin.

I could go on and on but really you need to go and just feel and hold a bunch of hand guns and see what you think feels the best in your hand.

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Hey all, I'm looking to get my first handgun. Although I do own a variety of semi-automatic rifles and carbines, I have never actually shot a handgun of any kind before. My hope is to eventually at some point next year get my concealed carry license.

 

I'm sure this question is subjective but should my first handgun be a full size firearm to learn the basics on, or can I save some money in the future by purchasing a firearm that is concealable now and just learning with it? Will I pick up any bad handgun habits learning with a small carry gun instead of a full size?

 

I was looking at something small like a LC9, Glock 43, or LCR. Would I be better served having something larger like an M&P9, a Glock 17/19, or even a full size .357 revolver for a first gun?

 

I guess I could always just get a 140 dollar hipoint to learn with, right? :hmm:

 

How small is too small? LCP/P3AT/etc. is too small. .38 snubby is probably too small (not usually regarded as a good place to start.)

 

G19 is probably a good size. Full size, wouldn't end up getting carried, most likely.

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*IF* you genuinely intend to carry-all the time-in the near future, I'd say get that G43. It's true what others have said, the G19 or similar compacts are the most versatile guns, and are generally easier to shoot for most folks. But I don't personally know a single person who carries a anything bigger than a single stack 9mm all day, every day. Like others have said, shoot as many as you can, and of course, practice!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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THis article I wrote might save you some money when it comes to buying guns... http://www.alphakoncepts.com/blog/what-is-the-best-gun-for-concealed-carry/

 

There are no one size fits all solutions to firearms, and any recommendation you receive is what works for that person, and might not necessarily work for you. Size, shape, features, etc... are all major considerations. Take Glock for example. Fine reliable firearm. I hate it. Why? The shape doesn't fit my hand well. That doesn't mean it's a bad gun, it just mean that it doesn't work for me.

 

If you have no experience with hand guns, perhaps you should wait until after you take your concealed carry class. If you choose to attend one of my classes you can test my various firearms for free. If you are worried about practicing first, don't worry, I have had people whom have never shot a firearm before ace their qualification.

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*IF* you genuinely intend to carry-all the time-in the near future, I'd say get that G43. It's true what others have said, the G19 or similar compacts are the most versatile guns, and are generally easier to shoot for most folks. But I don't personally know a single person who carries a anything bigger than a single stack 9mm all day, every day. Like others have said, shoot as many as you can, and of course, practice!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Most days, I carry a G26. Sundays I carry G19.

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I have friends who went through this same decision making process. Here is the advice I normally give them.

 

You'll inevitably own more than one handgun, so start off with something with at least a 4" barrel since that will be easier to shoot, control, and learn on.

 

Some start with the G19, others with Springfields or Smiths and others. Go to a range that offers rentals, and try a few to see which one feels best and that you naturally shoot better.

 

The compact handguns for carry like the G43 are inexpensive enough that you can always get one down the road once you feel comfortable with your shooting technique and most importantly, are confident.

 

A short sight radius is extremely unforgiving to any flaws in your technique. If you anticipate the recoil a little, it'll cause you to completely miss a 6" target from 10 yards. If you're jerking or snatching/slapping the trigger, your accuracy will be horrible. Get all of those flaws out of you system beforehand.

 

As far as calibers, I'd recommend 9mm. In a full size frame, it'll feel like a pea shooter. That will help avoid developing a flinch. I'd also recommend a handgun marksmanship class or two.

 

A handgun is far more difficult to shoot accurately than a rifle. It takes some basic techniques to be solidified through practice, and once you've ingrained those techniques, shooting a handgun becomes pretty easy, and you'll be outshooting more than half of the people at the range.

 

The other way you can go, but will be a bit more difficult is to just get the subcompact handgun you want, and practice with it a lot. When I say a lot, I mean at least weekly with live fire, and a lot of dry fire drills during the week. A good book for dry fire drills is Ben Stoeger's dry fire manual. If you go to the Ben Stoeger Pro Shop, they offer the book with some scaled down versions of the USPSA silhouette. While the drills are somewhat tailored to competitive shooting, the fundamentals are the same.

 

Getting quality handgun fundamentals training will drastically reduce and nearly eliminate the learning curve. It'll actually be cheaper to take lessons than learn on your own.

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Personal opinion about which gun for a first gun? It all depends.

 

How big is your hand? That will determine how 'big' a gun should be. The gun should fit the hand.

 

If the gun is too big, (too long a distance between the back strap and the trigger face. On rifles, it's similar to what I've heard called "Length of Pull") then the trigger finger will tend to pull sideways on the trigger, throwing aim off. If the gun is too small (shorter distance between the back strap and the trigger face) then you have to fight the tendency of putting too much trigger finger over the trigger, and again, throwing the aim way off at moment of primer ignition.

 

How wide is the grip? Too wide, and it will be harder to get a good two handed grip (preferred, even if it is not always possible)

 

How much does the gun weigh? Do you want to carry that on your side or ankle all day? Also, will the gun be so big as to make it hard to impossible to let the outline of the gun be hidden against your body?

 

Bigger gun usually means a smaller perceived recoil, which makes for pleasant shooting. That's usually, but not always. Smaller gun usually makes for more perceived recoil. IF that recoil makes the gun uncomfortable to shoot, human nature being what it is, means you will practice less. Which is a badness thing.

 

Practice is our friend. Shooting is a perishing skill, not an accumulative one. Being a great shot two months ago doesn't mean diddly towards being a great shot today without practice.

 

All that being said, it might be an excellent idea to do the gun rental thing at a range or store, try out which gun 'feels' best in the hand, which gun fits the hand best, and then think long and hard about how much you will want to practice with that gun. Do this after finding an instructor that can guide you as to how to fit the gun into your hand and have a good stable and secure grip.

 

All this is personal opinion, of course. Good luck!

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There are many ways to go about this, and none of them is wrong. If you already know what you plan to conceal carry, you can skip the middleman and just buy that gun. But if you don't know yet, it's great to go to a gun range and try out a few different firearms. At the very least, get a feel for many different options at a gun store before deciding. A midsized compact in smaller caliber isn't that difficult to shoot, although it is always a little easier to learn on a full-size.

 

I would recommend 9mm as the best "go to" caliber for CCW. It's large enough to have good stopping power, but small enough it isn't crazy to shoot out of a subcompact. But of course that is just my personal opinion; others may disagree. :)

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I have friends who went through this same decision making process. Here is the advice I normally give them.

 

You'll inevitably own more than one handgun, so start off with something with at least a 4" barrel since that will be easier to shoot, control, and learn on.

 

Some start with the G19, others with Springfields or Smiths and others. Go to a range that offers rentals, and try a few to see which one feels best and that you naturally shoot better.

 

The compact handguns for carry like the G43 are inexpensive enough that you can always get one down the road once you feel comfortable with your shooting technique and most importantly, are confident.

 

A short sight radius is extremely unforgiving to any flaws in your technique. If you anticipate the recoil a little, it'll cause you to completely miss a 6" target from 10 yards. If you're jerking or snatching/slapping the trigger, your accuracy will be horrible. Get all of those flaws out of you system beforehand.

 

As far as calibers, I'd recommend 9mm. In a full size frame, it'll feel like a pea shooter. That will help avoid developing a flinch. I'd also recommend a handgun marksmanship class or two.

 

A handgun is far more difficult to shoot accurately than a rifle. It takes some basic techniques to be solidified through practice, and once you've ingrained those techniques, shooting a handgun becomes pretty easy, and you'll be outshooting more than half of the people at the range.

 

The other way you can go, but will be a bit more difficult is to just get the subcompact handgun you want, and practice with it a lot. When I say a lot, I mean at least weekly with live fire, and a lot of dry fire drills during the week. A good book for dry fire drills is Ben Stoeger's dry fire manual. If you go to the Ben Stoeger Pro Shop, they offer the book with some scaled down versions of the USPSA silhouette. While the drills are somewhat tailored to competitive shooting, the fundamentals are the same.

 

Getting quality handgun fundamentals training will drastically reduce and nearly eliminate the learning curve. It'll actually be cheaper to take lessons than learn on your own.

A big +1

 

Well said, DD123.

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Buy a .22 cal pistol. It will help you learn and reinforce the basics of handgun shooting, while avoiding flinching and helping build the correct muscle memory and skills. Ammo is becoming more available online, and is still the cheapest to shoot. I start out every range session with about 150 rounds with my .22 Buckmark pistol.

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I'd probably pick the 357 because you can shoot both 357 and 38 special ammo through it, but I'm a revolver guy.

 

Get a buddy who owns multiple handguns to go to the range with you so you can try them out, or else rent a few and see what feels good to you. If it's not comfortable and fun to shoot it will sit around unused and that defeats the whole purpose of owning it.

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The best gun is one you can shoot well and the best carry gun is one you are willing to carry. Even a full-sized pistol can be concealed easily with the proper holster and a cover garment. You haven't seen me with a .44 Magnum revolver, and you won't either if I'm doing it right.

 

The smaller the handgun, the harder it will be to shoot accurately. Even a .380 ACP can have a nasty recoil, despite its low power. .357 Magnum in a pocket sized revolver is beyond punishing. Most people would revert to .38 Special in such a gun.

 

In broad terms, a pistol (semi automatic) with a 3" or 4" barrel will be large enough to shoot easily and small enough to conceal. The most typical calibers for self-defense are 9 mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP. Smaller bullets tend to have less recoil energy, but are snappier.

 

The best option is to rent before you buy. Many larger gun ranges will rent firearms if you have a FOID card. I don't care for Glocks, but others love them. They just don't fit my hand right. Your mileage may differ, and only you can make that determination. If possible, arrange for an instructor. It's not expensive and well worth it for a beginner. Many gun ranges can assist in these arrangements.

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Canik TP9.

 

They are a smallish full-frame, which can be had for under $400 (less online), 19 round capacity (21 w/ extended mag), smaller than a G19, more accurate IME, and rugged as all ****. All with very low felt recoil, so follow-up shots are very easy.

 

Check out the youtube stress tests... I have had great experiences with them.

 

I know some people will have negative opinions on it, but I have shot several, and I'm a huge fan especially at their current pricepoint.

 

It would make a great entry level pistol.

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Here is my 2 cents and it is worth every penny!

1. Try to shoot as many weapons as you can before you buy. Just because it feels good in the hand does not mean it will shoot well for you. See what you like and dislike. Also realize that once you get comfortable and trained with that weapon, other weapons that once did not feel or shoot right for you might now.

2. How are your funds? Can you afford to buy a full/medium size weapon now then buy a smaller "concealable" one later? I normally carry a Glock Model 23 (same size as the 19) with no problems so don't immediately think you can't conceal a larger weapon. Of course when you get the "bug", you can't ever get enough of them.

3. Carrying any weapon concealed is more about using a quality holster/belt set up than the weapon. Spend the bucks to quality first and you won't be disappointed.

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Buy a .22 cal pistol. It will help you learn and reinforce the basics of handgun shooting, while avoiding flinching and helping build the correct muscle memory and skills. Ammo is becoming more available online, and is still the cheapest to shoot. I start out every range session with about 150 rounds with my .22 Buckmark pistol.

This is my opinion as well. Get a .22 and more important, get some training.

 

I like Rugers but Brownings are fine pistols. You won't be wasting your money buying a .22 for a first pistol. They use cheap ammo and are a lot of fun to shoot. They are also ideal for introducing new shooters to pistols.

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I have to disagree that buying a .22 is really necessary.

 

9mm is affordable and, in the right platform, an easy to shoot caliber. Your pistol will also be actually effective as a defensive tool and not just a toy.

 

Just my opinion...everyone has one.

 

I have to note that 22LR is not a toy. :) Any firearm is a tool which needs to be respected and treated properly. While 22LR is not the most effective self defense caliber, I certainly wouldn't want to be shot with one. I had a .22LR pistol as my home defense firearm for about a year (long ago) because it was what I could afford at the time. It is not what I would recommend as the best carry round. But the gun you have is much more efficient than the one you don't. :)

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Two of my first batch of guns (inheritance) were .22s. Having them to shoot alongside the .38s let me enjoy the sport of shooting and kept the cost down while getting used to being around guns.

 

A .22 is a fine choice for a first gun and sorta like Xwing says... A gun you have and can shoot well is better than all the guns you think you want to buy later on.

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I have to disagree that buying a .22 is really necessary.

 

9mm is affordable and, in the right platform, an easy to shoot caliber. Your pistol will also be actually effective as a defensive tool and not just a toy.

 

Just my opinion...everyone has one.

 

I have to note that 22LR is not a toy. :) Any firearm is a tool which needs to be respected and treated properly. While 22LR is not the most effective self defense caliber, I certainly wouldn't want to be shot with one. I had a .22LR pistol as my home defense firearm for about a year (long ago) because it was what I could afford at the time. It is not what I would recommend as the best carry round. But the gun you have is much more efficient than the one you don't. :)

 

 

+1

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