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Best Beginner’s 9mm?

TEXASforLIFE

Hellcat
My preference would be one with ammo, maybe the 9 want to be beginner should hold various manufacturers too hold for their best grip. What is the age and gender of that person? As far as ammo maybe some "Lite" not too scare them away!
 

Wirenut

Professional
I think one must try a few to see what fits, make sure it's full size.
I was told to buy a glock, it just didn't feel right.
The early M&P line triggers were crap, so I settled on a MOD_2 compact and then bought a MOD-2 Tactical for the range.
As far as ammo goes try a few some firearms are picky, so far mine likes everything I tried.
 

jfmorris

Master Class
Founding Member
My local gun store and range has quite a number of firearms available, with the "rental" fee being just buying a box of ammo in each caliber you want to try.

When I was shopping for a full size 9mm, my research had me really liking the Ruger American. I also liked the XD-M on paper. I ended up going to the range, buying several of boxes of 9mm ammo, paying my $10 lane fee, and the range officer brought me the Ruger, an XD, a Glock and a S&W. He also brought me a few others he thought I would want to try. I went through several magazines of ammo with each pistol.

I decided I liked the "feel" of the S&W best, and that I absolutely hated the trigger on the Ruger American. The XD was somewhere in the middle. It didn't feel quite as good in my hand as the full size S&W, and unfortunately they did not have an XD-M for me to try on the range. I just didn't like the Glock for some reason that eludes me - I think it was the grip angle. I had my best groupings with the S&W as well on that hour of shooting.

On the way home, I pulled into Academy to see what they had, and they had the XD-M 5.25 9mm marked down a full $300 on clearance, right around $400, and that made my decision for me. It felt great in my hand, the trigger felt great dry firing it, and it was on the top of my list, but out of budget reach at the time if I had paid full price. I have not regretted it, and liked it so much I picked up the XDM Compact a year later. I knew I didn't want a manual safety, but I liked the idea of the grip safety - another factor (for me) in the favor of Springfield over the S&W, which had a manual safety.

There is no substitute for actually firing the pistols you are interested in before purchase, and many ranges have rental guns, so I would at least check to see what feels good in the hand, then try to shoot something at least similar from that manufacturer on the range, before making a purchase decision.
 

TSiWRX

Custom
My local gun store and range has quite a number of firearms available, with the "rental" fee being just buying a box of ammo in each caliber you want to try.

<snip>

There is no substitute for actually firing the pistols you are interested in before purchase, and many ranges have rental guns, so I would at least check to see what feels good in the hand, then try to shoot something at least similar from that manufacturer on the range, before making a purchase decision.

^ This. +eleventybillion.

Fondling the weapon over the LGS's display case is akin to sitting in your potential new car while it's in the dealer's showroom or on the floor of your regional car-show.

Taking it out to the range and putting lead downrange is like the test-drive.

In all honesty, only well-experienced shooters can tell from just handling a gun, dry, what they will actually like and dislike about it.

How does this analogy play out in the real-world?

Think about the difference between you hopping into the cockpit of a brand new sports-car on the showroom floor, one of your two or three weekend-car candidates - versus your teenage son or daughter doing the same after mom or dad gets out.

With your decades of driving experience and a cooler head, you see is that candidate one's graceful C-pillar makes for a blind spot that'll hide The Titanic while candidate two's passenger side rearview mirror presents an annoying distraction as you apex.

Meanwhile, all your daughter the speed demon sees is that the tach sweeps all the way to 10K versus the 7 in the beginner's econobox that you got her for her 16th birthday and your son's imagining all the dates that'd be impressed by the power retractable hardtop.

All the while, the salesman is stoking your daughter's bloodlust with talk of driver selectable differential settings, launch control, and, gulp, a lap timer! or fueling your son's romantic dreams with the list of movies that this most desirable sports car has been featured in...... It's not like those gun-store clerks are exactly the quiet type, right? ;)

Put your hand to the gun if you can. Take someone who *really* knows guns with you, so that they can run interference and help you sort through the choices in a more dispassionate, more objective manner. Rent the gun and get out on the range if you can - or if you have friends/family that has the same gun, ask them for a session.

Even better yet, there are now plenty of training classes that specifically cater to the novice shooter, where the instructional cadre will literally bring out cases full of handguns so that the students can be shown their differences, and also be allowed to live-fire not only under supervision, but with corrections offered, if-necessary.
 

jfmorris

Master Class
Founding Member
Anything but a sub compact..... the recoil on it turns beginners off from the git go. After very comfortable with large or compact, then try the smaller frames.

This is very good advice. My youngest daughter knew she wanted a gun, but had mostly just shot my Ruger Mark II (.22LR) until that point. So, I took her to the range, and let her try my LCP (she HATED it), S&W .38 5" (she didn't like the recoil, and to me that one is not much worse than a 22), and the XDM 9mm 5.25". The only one of those bigger guns she could handle well and shoot well was the XDM - but its a bigger gun than she can carry with her. We then tried the LC9s (range gun), and a S&W EZ380. She had some limp wrist issues that caused FTF with the LC9s, but not the EZ380. I ended up getting her the Ruger LC380, based on the fact that she handled the LC9s, with just a few failure to feeds, and with the reduced recoil of the 380, she would be ok in the LC380, which also fit my Christmas budget at the time. It worked out well thankfully.
 

somorris

Custom
Founding Member
If you visit the local BassPro store, they have a display case full of 9mm pistols, as well as a lot of revolvers. It is difficult to pick just one. I bought my daughter's EDC because I had one already she could try and she really liked it. The last one I bought for myself, I decided on the features I wanted, researched on the internet to see which manufacturers made one like I wanted, then went and tried all those on my shortlist.
 

Ginge

Elite
Youd be surprised at how many adults cant pull the slide back on a full-size Gun like a 226. Lol. I actually usually recommend a single stack, like a 9mm shield, depending upon the individuals size. Something they can get a good grip on. Having a better grip of the gun gives new shooters confidence, and less discouragement, usually. Ive had a lot of new shooters not want to shoot some of my guns cuz they felt like they couldn’t hold on to it under recoil or work the controls reliably. Double stacks in the smaller sizes don’t really give much purchase, especially in subs. I always send them to a gun shop for a fitment test. The only way to get some to understand ergonomics is to get them to hold different guns.

If they want more capacity, I will almost always suggest the compact sizes like a g19 or a 509 midsize, and still stress the grip. If they cant properly hold the gun its unlikely they’ll hit what they’re aiming at and potentially lose interest. Full sizes will win in this area for most, as it offers the most real estate, better recoil manageability and max capacity. They can also restrict an individuals ability to grip the pistol enough to hang on to it, if they have small hands, or place the controls almost out of the comfort zone.
This is all subjective though and depending upon the individuals stature.
9mm is a good choice for beginners. 115 comes in plenty of flavors and gives new shooters confidence in a well balanced round.
 

michael.ed

Master Class
Founding Member
Good price for an entry level pistol. I’m interested in trying Syntech ammunition, unfortunately the local gun store around me don’t seem to have it. I’ll probably have to try online.
I get my Syntech from a company called Sgammo (sgammo.com). Good prices and extremely fast shipping. They are located in Stillwater, OK.
 

somorris

Custom
Founding Member
I shot a few boxes of Syntech, but really couldn't tell much difference in how clean the gun was as compared to FMJ ammo. Since the Syntech was more expensive, I switched back.
 

TSiWRX

Custom
I get my Syntech from a company called Sgammo (sgammo.com). Good prices and extremely fast shipping. They are located in Stillwater, OK.

I love SGAmmo.

They were good to the shooting community even throughout The Craze, and that's a family business sticking to their business ethics, at that, not some giant.

Their excellent and transparent shipping lead-times and up-front shipping quotes are great, too.

And their packaging is both bomb-proof and considerate.

What's more, pricing - while almost never the best - is always competitive.

They're really my first, and often only, stop.
 

Ginge

Elite
SG ammo is good to go. I use ammunition to go first, and have for years. Great selection, fast shipping and competitive pricing are hard to beat. SG is my definite second, aside from buying from Fort Scott or Underwood direct.
 

yrsued

Operator
Founding Member
I shot a few boxes of Syntech, but really couldn't tell much difference in how clean the gun was as compared to FMJ ammo. Since the Syntech was more expensive, I switched back.
Syntech will help with Copper Fouling, keep the Barrel cooler and reduce wear, that makes it a great choice for lots of shooting!!
 

Peglegjoe

Professional
Founding Member
I think recoil is strictly a perception, and if a shooter starts out with a subcompact they'll simply get used to it and learn to work with it. Granted, I also work in the music business, but to me, the recoil of my XDs when I'm running mags is simply a matter of timing. Pull. Recoil. Recover. Pull. Recoil. Recover. Muscle memory will learn how long it takes to recoil/recover.

I think GRIP is one of the most important comfort-level features. I have big hands - my Colt .38 has a grip expander and custom ivory grips, and it still feels small to me. My XDs has standard grips (an original XDs, not a Mod) with the ice cube tray pattern, and the #2 (larger) backstrap, it is rock solid in my hands, sweaty or no. It does not rotate side to side; it does not climb or drop; I do not have to strangle it in order to keep it under control. It can jump...and it always returns to target without any compensation on my part. And with knowing the timing...I always know WHEN it'll be on target so I can squeeze off the next round, and put it where it belongs, the instant the gun is back on target.

Now that I'm used to my XDs, I can't shoot that revolver worth a damn. I'd practice more with it, but since it's a family heirloom from 1952...I'm not too concerned with keeping myself proficient with it. It's a functional showpiece that can serve a purpose if needed, but it's more important to me as a remembrance of my father (Cdr. USN-ret), the sacrifices he made, and the values he instilled in me as I grew up. I hold it, and for a flash moment...he's back here with me, and his teachings come flooding back in a wave.
 

yrsued

Operator
Founding Member
I think recoil is strictly a perception, and if a shooter starts out with a subcompact they'll simply get used to it and learn to work with it. Granted, I also work in the music business, but to me, the recoil of my XDs when I'm running mags is simply a matter of timing. Pull. Recoil. Recover. Pull. Recoil. Recover. Muscle memory will learn how long it takes to recoil/recover.

I think GRIP is one of the most important comfort-level features. I have big hands - my Colt .38 has a grip expander and custom ivory grips, and it still feels small to me. My XDs has standard grips (an original XDs, not a Mod) with the ice cube tray pattern, and the #2 (larger) backstrap, it is rock solid in my hands, sweaty or no. It does not rotate side to side; it does not climb or drop; I do not have to strangle it in order to keep it under control. It can jump...and it always returns to target without any compensation on my part. And with knowing the timing...I always know WHEN it'll be on target so I can squeeze off the next round, and put it where it belongs, the instant the gun is back on target.

Now that I'm used to my XDs, I can't shoot that revolver worth a ****. I'd practice more with it, but since it's a family heirloom from 1952...I'm not too concerned with keeping myself proficient with it. It's a functional showpiece that can serve a purpose if needed, but it's more important to me as a remembrance of my father (Cdr. USN-ret), the sacrifices he made, and the values he instilled in me as I grew up. I hold it, and for a flash moment...he's back here with me, and his teachings come flooding back in a wave.


Try Front Sight, Press, Front Sight, Press and repeat!! Follow Through...
 
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