I want to purchase my first handgun, seeking advice

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by WilliamCombs, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. WilliamCombs

    WilliamCombs New Member

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    Hey everyone. I am about to purchase my first handgun. I have experience shooting, although not extensive. I've been around firearms my entire life, with my grandfather and father owning several. Recently, I worked for an outdoors marketing company who had a contract with Smith & Wesson, so I've handled and cleaned almost every firearm S&W makes. My budget is about $350-$400 as I'm currently a law student with a very limited budget. I want to find something reliable for that price that would serve me well at the range consistently.

    A friend has directed me to the Smith & Wesson Sigma SW40VE. He owns one and says it's a great gun and he has altered the trigger to reduce the pull weight. My preferred gun is the Springfield XD40, but I think it's out of my price range. Still early in my research. I want to go about this process in a good way to get what's right for me. Any suggestions would be great.

    Any suggestions on how to go about shopping would be great too. Online purchase? Store? Gun show? Thanks for any help.
  2. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    there have been a few post here about the s&w sigma, my advice would be go to a gun range that has rentals, try out a few different guns and go from there. hard to pick a gun for someone else , it's a personal choice. dont rule out a good revolver or something used, in the used market you can save alot of money. now back to the sigma and remmber this is just a opinion they're not highly rated or well thought of, if you must have a plastic gun the springfield or the glock are much better choices
  3. ARB

    ARB New Member

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    Welcome, WilliamCombs!:) With that price range, I'd try pawn shops or the paper. The folks here say that the High Points are good shooters. Ugly, as sin though. Cheap. Good luck!
  4. WilliamCombs

    WilliamCombs New Member

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    I've also looked a little at the Hi-Point .45 ACP and S&W .40. Very inexpensive, but I worry that it would be low quality, even though the reviews I read are good.
  5. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    i'd rather have a hi-point than a sigma
  6. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    Even though they may seem like low quality you'll fair better than getting a Sigma series. They are just plagued with problems. I've had 2 hi points and never had a problem with them plus if you ever did they have a lifetime warranty and HiPoint is quick to fix. S&W is not and its doubtful it would be fixed right. I'm not pushing Hi-point on ya, I would stick with the used market if you can. I just don't want your first handgun to be a disappointment.
    I have a friend that has a Sigma, he never shoots it anymore b/c its so inaccurate and jambs all the time.
  7. pinecone70

    pinecone70 New Member

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    I agree with all that has been said here. If it is possible, save up for a while and get a good quality gun you won't be disappointed in. I have gone down that road.
  8. red14

    red14 New Member

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    Have you considered a revolver? Easier to clean, maintain, less dependence on ammunition quirks. Many semi-autos prefer certain ammo. Revolvers just don't care.

    JMO, I'm a relatively new shooter. I don't feel confident with a semi-automatic.
  9. WilliamCombs

    WilliamCombs New Member

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    Yes. I've fired a few revolvers but I've always enjoyed semi-autos more.
  10. WilliamCombs

    WilliamCombs New Member

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    Something else for me to consider is that I'm a very big guy (6'3 300 lbs) with big hands. I want to avoid a gun that will be too small for my hands.
  11. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    The P95 is right up your ally. Beefy frame. Built like a tank. That's a good suggestion John. Never heard any complaints about them except for people with small hands.
  12. WilliamCombs

    WilliamCombs New Member

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    The Ruger P95 may be just what I need. gunbrokerdotcom has them right now for $289. I think I'll go to the range and rent one in the next couple weeks.
  13. 40CalJoe

    40CalJoe New Member

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  14. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    Can you get any sort of discounts on Smiths? Their M&P in 45 acp is a decent piece as is the Ruger P90 in 45 acp. I'm guessing the recoil of a 45 in the large platforms won't bother you. The suggestions to try a few are good ones.

    I own a Ruger P94 in 40 S&W (now the P944) and it has been 100% reliable in the 14 years I have owned and it is accurate and shoots to point of aim at 25 yards with 155 gr bullets. Ruger makes a rugged auto in the P series that are reliable and accurate.
  15. WilliamCombs

    WilliamCombs New Member

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    Actually, I may be able to. The place I used to work does sell some of their stuff when the new lines come out each year. I'm going to contact them.
  16. WilliamCombs

    WilliamCombs New Member

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    In researching the Ruger P95, I have come across the Ruger SR9. This looks like a great gun and affordable too. Thoughts?
  17. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    there is a love/hate relationship with the SR9 also. For the most part its a fine gun but people have complained about the trigger and some minor feed issues. Its Rugers first attempt at a striker fired semi. Not a bad first design and by far better than the sigmas. I think the p95 is a better built weapon. Its not a first model like the sr9. The p95, p89 and p85 design has been around a long time for ruger. The only difference is the poly frame. Before they were aluminum. The bugs have already been worked out of the mechanics.
    In your research don't rule out the beretta 92's and the S&W 39's and late model 59's. These too were very reliable. The berettas will cost you more but they too have a long history of being a fine handgun for the money. Any berettas that you would find in your price range will be well used but still functioning perfectly. I have a 92. I can't speak highly enough of it.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  18. WilliamCombs

    WilliamCombs New Member

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    Anyone have any thoughts on the Sig P226 .40S&W or the Glock 22??
  19. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    Shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. It might be expensive, it might cut into your budget, but better you make the informed choice and wait a little longer in the end.

    I was sold on a Glock, I had been shooting my dad's since I was 13, why would I even bother trying anything else? Ended up renting an XD for fun and instantly fell in love after shooting the XD I didn't understand how anyone could love the Glock, I got much better accuracy, preferred the feel considerably, etc. However, this proved one point- you can't count on anything until you have shot it.

    I ended up renting a USP .45, again, only because I wanted to try shooting a .45. Curiously enough I went from being sold on the XD to loving the USP- granted my accuracy was not as great, but I loved the weapon overall- its proven track record, the safety system is simply perfect, etc. I ended up with a 9mm Stainless Steel USP Compact and have never regreted it. It is both a fine carry piece and a fine range toy.

    I do hope to pickup a smaller revolver for easier carry in the near future... but still never regretted it.

    --

    Long story short- get your hands on as many guns as possible. NOTHING replaces experience- guns are a tool, but also a work of art. No one will shoot a gun identically, for me the XD was far superior to the Glock, yet many (including my dad) outperform with the Glock. As corny as it sounds, it is about finding the right gun, for the right shooter, and only you can do that!
  20. wabryan1

    wabryan1 New Member

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    Why do you care? When you are established in the lawyer business, you can buy them all.
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