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  • which firearm to buy for a newbie

    Hi, my name is Anne, and I live in southeast Ohio. I am new to firearms, although I have long supported to right to keep them. So please excuse my ignorance about gun stuff, as I am a true newbie.
    My husband and I recently purchased several handguns, and are scheduled to take a concealed carry class in early February. My husband chose a Springfield 1911, which broke a firing pin of some kind the first time he shot it, and went back for repairs. While it was being repaired, he bought a Taurus .45 Millenium which he likes as well. He likes the 1911 best, as he used to be an Army MP 25 years ago, and he carried a 1911 back then, so he says a 1911 just feels right.
    I chose a Glock 27, a .40 that turned out to be too much gun for me to handle right now. I have used it twice, and it drew blood both times (once I pinched my finger as I tried to release the slide, and once I tore a gash in my thumb when the slide came back when I fired.) I don't seem to have the strength to pull back on the slide or release the slide when it is back, and do not have the finger length to release the magazine. So I went back to the gun shop and bought a Taurus .40 Millenium. I do okay with the Millenium, and after firing it a few times, my husband went and got his Millenium .45 since the Springfield was still being repaired.
    For the concealed carry class, though, it was suggested that I use a .22 pistol, so I went back to the gun store. I am trying to decide which .22 to get, and after the Glock experience, I'd like to not have to buy two or three to find the right one for me. So, I've narrowed it down to either the Sig Mosquito or the Walther P22. A lot of what I have read on this site is too technical for me to understand yet, and I'd just like some down to earth advice: which one do you all suggest for me? I ruled out the Smith and Wesson .22 because it was heavy and the other two are more like the Taurus Millenium .40 that I am learning to use. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

  • #2
    Anne, you need to make friends with folks who own firearms, or visit the nearest shooting range that rents a wide selection of handguns. You simply need to shoot some of these handguns before you buy them!

    Scratch that - you need some training before you buy another firearm. The kind of injury you describe while shooting the Glock simply can't happen if you have any sort of proper grip. You're already scheduled for the training you'll need to be licensed; does the trainer or organization you're scheduled with offer loaner handguns? Even if they don't typically offer this service, maybe they can make an exception for you and arrange to have a .22 handgun on hand for your use.

    One last thing: I'm interested in why you opted for a .40 when your husband is obviously a fan of the .45. If you haven't fired the .45 yet, you just might be pleasantly surprised. In my experience, the recoil from a .40 is more of a sharp, sudden impact, while recoil from a .45 is more of a shove. Some folks can handle the latter more readily than the former.

    It's good to hear that the two of you are working through the licensing process together - congratulations, and good luck!
    --
    James Beatty

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi James, thanks for responding.
      In answer to your comments, yes, I did ask about loaner .22 for the class, but the answer was no. I could look for another class, but there are very few in this area. There isn't a pistol range in Morgan County that I am aware of, but one of the neighboring counties must have one, and I will try to find one.
      I chose a .40 instead of the .45 because 25 years ago my husband took me to a gun range and I fired both a .38 and a .45. I did not hit the target with the .45, but did well with the .38 but now my husband felt that for the stopping power I would do better with the .40 than a .38 or 9mm.
      As far as the grip goes, I am struggling some with that. I am completely ambidextrous, but right eye dominant, and trying to shoot right handed. Dummy me was also wearing gloves when the slide came back and got my thumb. The Millenium grip is bigger than the Glock, and my left hand is better able to stay out of the way I guess.
      Thanks again for the advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Anne, welcome, glad to see your getting involved in firearms ownership and gun rights!

        first, i'll reiterate jabeatty's remark about renting before you buy - if there's ranges in your area that do this, this is a great way to test before you drive!

        second, make sure you know the right grip for the gun you are using - a slide to the thumb would indicate that there is something wrong w/ your grip - you might learn this in the CCW class, but i'd also recommend a first shots class, and perhaps advanced training (tactical, defensive handgun, etc.) at some time down the road.

        thirdly, when looking for what to buy, keep in mind that compact sized semi-auto pistols are often more difficult to charge (rack the slide) than their full framed versions, generally because the guide rod spring is stiffer in the compacts.. also you might want to look for something w/ a small grip, preferably an adjustable grip. for instance the S&W M&P line of pistols offer an adjustable grip, so you can change it to what fits you best. glocks tend to have large, "chunky" grips (they don't fit well in my hand, so i steer clear of them), if you want to keep the glock you might want to get a smith to grind down the backstrap, that might help it fit better in your hand - be sure to handle multiple guns in the store before you buy!

        good luck and see you on the forum!
        NRA Endowment
        GOA Life
        SAF Life
        Buckeye Firearms Assoc
        Ohioans for Concealed Carry
        Oregon Firearms Federation
        Maryland Shall Issue
        Colorado Second Amendment Assoc

        Comment


        • #5
          Anne:

          Welcome aboard!

          The Walther P22 is a fine toy, but don't expect it to be a reliable personal defense gun.

          OTOH, they're cheap.... The S&W M22A and M41 are kinda big and the latter is hilariously expensive, but also isn't a defensive weapon. (IMHO, no .22 IS.....)

          In a selection for a defensive firearm, nothing smaller than the .380 is a good idea (again, IMHO), but there's another issue. Most of the tiny .380 and 9mm guns are just plain nasty to shoot. IMHO, you need to shoot a defensive gun somewhat, and some people can't handle those little ones for more than a few shots at a time. A good choice, IMHO, is a Walther PPS in 9mm. Big enough to be comfortable, and otherwise a decent carry gun, too.

          Small .40's tend to be a little bit nasty, too.... The .45 is, as mentioned, more of a "shove" than a really snappy whack. I prefer a really goofy S&W CS45 (think PPK/S in .45ACP and about an inch thick) to my PPS40. (I'm fairly large, have big hands, and my everyday carry is a small 1911.) But the PPS40 is still a good one.

          IMHO the Springfield XD9SC or the S&W M&P 9mm compact are also superb choices, but kinda big. Cheap, too.... There are some nice small Glocks in that price range, too. Watch out, though - some of them have grips that are a little to short for some people. Magazine extensions can be a big help at very low cost, but the grip frame length, including the magazine extensions, floorplate, etc., are a key part of concealability.

          Guess it boils down to trying to shoot some of these before you buy something. I don't much care for Taurus, but there really aren't too many bad choices. Still better to try 'em first....

          It's likely that somebody on this board has one of whatever you're interested, and will be able to provide at least the positive side, as well as some additional information, but it still boils down to what you like/fit/whatever. I've got a Para Tac-Four. That's a 13+1 double-stack 1911. My daughter can't stand it.... It's big and heavy, and the spare mag is great for pulling pants down, but her problem (and my regular range buddy Joe) is that the grip is at least half-again as large (in terms of wrapping your hand around it) as a standard 1911. Not everybody can stand it....

          Regards,
          <t>Stu<br><br>(Why write a quick note when you can write a novel?)<br><br>ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE<br><br>יזכר לא עד פעם</t>

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          • #6
            Anne,

            If I have the right firearm, the Sig Mosquito is rather sensitive to the ammo it is fed. They come with two different recoil springs and I know one acquaintance that has half a dozen springs tuned to different brands of specific ammo for his Mosquito.

            It a much larger but not much heavier firearm, have you looked at a Ruger .22/45? It is much like their standard semi-auto .22s but the grip angle is different, it is made to match the M1911 and it is made of polymer instead of steel.

            They are not overly expensive and tend to work and work and work with very little problems at all.

            With your semi-autos try working backwards from the accepted. Instead of holding the grip and pulling on the slide, try holding the slide and PUSHING on the grip. This tends to work better for women, something to do with the way things are gripped or something.

            Do you know anyone in your area that reloads? Does your husband? I ask becasue you are really going to need to WORK UP TO full power ammo in the .40 S&W. If you start with the lowest powered reload that will work the gun it will give you some practice working the gun till you find that load and give you a lighter place to start.

            I consider the .40 S&W to be about the WORST round an inexperienced shooter can start with. As said, it has a much sharper kick than the .45 ACP. It has much more recoil than the 9 mm P or the .38 Special. Even if you get hooked up with a .357 Magnum revolver you can always feed it .38 Spec. in various load levels till you get worked up to the full .357 Mag. loads.

            Good luck and ask here if you need more help with anything, one of us will come up with SOMETHING that will help.

            Buckshot
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            Copyright as of date of post
            All rights reserved by author

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            • #7
              Thanks, everyone, for the replies and advice. Each of you has written something that makes sense and gives me an idea of which direction to go.
              The "slide to the thumb" with the Glock, but not the Taurus, is probably because of the shorter grip, and I'll look into an extension and pay more attention to how I'm holding it before I shoot it next time! The grip is chunky on the Glock, something I may or may not get used to over time, I guess.
              The difference is subtle but noticable with racking the gun by holding the slide and pushing the grip, rather than just tugging on the slide. Doing both at the same time does work better, so hopefully I won't have more pinched fingers!
              The shorter barrel length on the Glock causes more recoil than the Taurus, if I understand this correctly, so once I am more experienced I will try the Glock again. Until then, I'll stick with the Taurus.
              I still need to decide on a .22 for a less expensive practice gun since the ammo is a lot less expensive, and I obviously need a lot of practice. Since the best idea is to try them first, if anyone knows of a range in Morgan, Noble, Muskingum, Washington or Athens County areas that does that, I'd appreciate the recommendation.
              Thanks again for all the help and advice. I appreciate your input and encouragement

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, everyone, for the replies and advice. Each of you has written something that makes sense and gives me an idea of which direction to go.
                The "slide to the thumb" with the Glock, but not the Taurus, is probably because of the shorter grip, and I'll look into an extension and pay more attention to how I'm holding it before I shoot it next time! The grip is chunky on the Glock, something I may or may not get used to over time, I guess.
                The difference is subtle but noticable with racking the gun by holding the slide and pushing the grip, rather than just tugging on the slide. Doing both at the same time does work better, so hopefully I won't have more pinched fingers!
                The shorter barrel length on the Glock causes more recoil than the Taurus, if I understand this correctly, so once I am more experienced I will try the Glock again. Until then, I'll stick with the Taurus.
                I still need to decide on a .22 for a less expensive practice gun since the ammo is a lot less expensive, and I obviously need a lot of practice. Since the best idea is to try them first, if anyone knows of a range in Morgan, Noble, Muskingum, Washington or Athens County areas that does that, I'd appreciate the recommendation.
                Thanks again for all the help and advice. I appreciate your input and encouragement

                if you want to keep the glock, you can probably get the backstrap (back of the grip) ground down by a gunsmith - this will help with your grip some, but it's putting more $$ into the gun... if you want to trade it or get something new, i'd recommend looking at the Walther PPS or S&W M&P lines, they tend to resonate better w/ people w/ smaller hands... ..as for a .22, the Walther P22 is a popular one, small pistol, w/ small grip, ergonomic.

                don't forget to check out the Gun Talk section, if you post there you'll get more responses to your questions than here in the Newbie section...
                NRA Endowment
                GOA Life
                SAF Life
                Buckeye Firearms Assoc
                Ohioans for Concealed Carry
                Oregon Firearms Federation
                Maryland Shall Issue
                Colorado Second Amendment Assoc

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have read all of the comments from everybody here. My suggestion is get something that fits you. Some people say a 22 cal isn't the best for stopping power blah blah.. As far as I'm concerned any handgun you chose to carry is better than nothing. Remember it's better to bring a gun to a knife fight.
                  I have a ruger mark 3 .. Very dependable, you just have to make sure the sun , moon and stars are all in line to take it apart and put it back together..
                  MY 2 Cents...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't give up on the G27 :!: :!: :!: the slide will loosen up after 3-4 range sessions, but I do agree with others that a sub-compact .40 S&W was probably not the best first handgun. (even though I love my G27 :!: :!: :!: :wink: ) The .40S&W is "snappy" in a sub-compact (more so than even a .45 ACP IMHO)

                    I usually advise colleagues to go in this order when pursuing a defensive handgun proficiency -

                    1)- NRA basic Handgun training -
                    2).22LR target-style handgun - (buckmark, ruger MKII&III ...etc)
                    3) 9mm (or .38 if you prefer a revolver)
                    4) -CCW training -
                    5) then into the .40(5)s when you are comfortable with the 9mm ...

                    Yes, this involves the expense 3 guns/calibers but it is a very good approach if spread out over a few years and budgeted for (and the skills are priceless once properly attained) ... Handguns & defensive training are not something that needs to be rushed into past your comfort zone...it is a very serious decision to carry a defensive firearm, something that changes your whole lifestyle.

                    A GLOCK 19 is probably the best novice GLOCK for its versitility (carry, capacity, size, 9mm controlliblity & low cost ammo)

                    There are other great carry handguns in this $ range if one prefers an manual safety, other features, etc too...

                    Good luck, have fun and welcome to the forums!
                    US NAVY VETERAN
                    Navy Qualified Tactical Action Officer
                    Navy Qualified Sharpshooter (Pistol, Rifle)
                    NRA Basic Pistol Instructor

                    "Vigilia aeterna est pretium libertatis"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Viking:

                      +1....

                      However....

                      IMHO, if you have a heavy .38 (like my S&W M10HB), or something like a Browning HiPower, you probably can omit the .22....

                      They're a lot of (cheap) fun to shoot, but that's some serious money if you can't find a good used one....

                      Don't try this with a .38 snubbie, though. Especially the real lightweights. Same thing applies to little bitty .380's or .32's. If they're not pleasant enough to shoot 25-50 rounds the first time out, you aren't ready for something like that anyway. They look cute, and are easy to carry, but if you can't get a degree of proficiency, you shouldn't carry it.

                      (If you buy a .357 - especially a lightweight/snubbie - stay with .38Spl target loads to start with. "Where the hell did my hand go" does not make for a pleasant experience, not to mention accuracy issues for most people.)

                      Personally, I don't see a problem with starting with a .45 (or even .40) if the gun's more "bedside" than carry. The Beretta M92, although 9mm, is probably the best example - "big, heavy, accurate, dependable", etc. But a full-sized (or Commander-length) all-steel 1911, with range loads, isn't all that hard to shoot. Just put some time in with a small-caliber gun first, just to get used to the overall effect - flame, noise, smoke, and recoil. A big heavy .22LR just sort of sits there, but you get the idea even so.

                      (I bought the kid an S&W M22A. Big, heavy, .22LR, etc., target gun. She put a couple magazines through it and demanded my Commander....)

                      Same thing goes for the full-size Tupperguns. The Glock, S&W M&P, and Springfield XD's, are all heavy enough to eat most of the recoil, and won't destroy your 401K to purchase. Anybody should be able to shoot one with little or no instruction, in .40 or .45.... (Most people would be very comfortable with the 9mm, too!)

                      When you get into carry, the thing changes. The smaller Tupperguns, especially in .40 or larger, tend to be a little harder to shoot, and a little harder to be accurate with. By then, though, you're mostly ready....

                      Some people just can't shoot the Walther PPS in .40ACP, btw. Mine was very uncomfortable, although the recoil itself wasn't a problem. The gun's a dream in 9mm, though. The new Taurus "Slim" is probably in the same category.

                      I was shooting a double-stack .45 the other night, and switched to my full-sized M&P40. The .40 felt like my old .38.... Sometimes it's expectations ....

                      In short, IMHO, you need a good bed/range/truck gun. Start there if the .22 is a budget-beater. Being able to put 6 rounds in a 6" circle at 30' is good enough, and don't believe the "match grade" stuff. 9mm, .40, or .45 is OK - you'll get used to any of them in a large gun. Then the sexy concealment gun....

                      Finally, if you're really hooked, it's time to find a couple of "airline" guns. Guns you wouldn't mind getting an insurance check for. Just hope that it gets lost on the return leg of a trip....

                      The truck guns and the airline guns can be used, etc. You will want to depend on the airline gun when you get "there", so don't go too goofy, but $500 is plenty. (An M&P Compact or a similarly-sized Glock would be nice.) Spend a few bucks more for the carry gun - laser, night sights, etc. (No flashlight!) I don't care to depend on the laser at all, but it's a great training aid, and the grips aren't bad for general carry, either. I don't trust fiber optics at all. They really don't give you replacement inserts for cosmetic reasons....

                      (If you have to pay extra for night sights and a laser, spend it on the laser....)

                      Regards,
                      <t>Stu<br><br>(Why write a quick note when you can write a novel?)<br><br>ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE<br><br>יזכר לא עד פעם</t>

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                      • #12
                        Thanks, everybody, for all your help and advice. I think you all have convinced me to go to the effort to get to a range and try out a couple different .22s before I get one. It will only really be used for target practice, so I'm not too worried about its' stopping power or ccw use. I'll use the Taurus for that, but you'll all be happy to hear that I won't be doing that until I am seriously more proficient a shooter than I am right now. I'm sure that makes everyone more comfortable :lol:
                        Thanks again!

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