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First Timer’s Guide to Buying a CCW Pistol

Sld1959

Professional
Not a bad article, a slight bit surprised he touched on how important holsters belts and mag holders etc. are, but basically ignored that part in the body. I think a big part of selecting a handgun is how it is going to be carried. Seeing how that part of the thought process effected his choices might have been interesting.
 

Annihilator

Emissary
Founding Member
My thoughts on getting a CCW gun, first off, take your time picking one out, if you can try one from a friend or rent one, do so, make sure it fits you good and you can operate all the controls easily. Don’t just go buy one cause you saw it in an advertisement, or just because it looks cool to you, this purchase is very important since one day, heaven forbid you might have to use it to save your life or your family’s life. Good article Mike, thanks!
 

The Night Rider

Master Class
Priorities are a thing.

You're more likely to die from complications of obesity than you are to need a gun to to defend yourself.

I think if I was pressured to recommend a specific handgun for a new shooter it would be a 9 mm M&P Shield. Preferably a first-generation model.

1. It's a relatively inexpensive handgun. At least it was before Coronageddon.

2. It's small enough to conceal easily and people who are not committed to concealed carry will still carry it.

3. It's an easy gun to shoot well.

4. Nine rounds is adequate to most self defense needs.

5. They won't be too butt hurt when they eventually move on to something else.

I think I told this story before but the senior pastor at my church approached me one morning and asked for my advice on what kind of handgun he should get for concealed carry.

I didn't even actually suggest a gun I just told him that I carried an M&P 9 and without any further examination of the gun he said that's too big. That's too much to carry. Somebody told me later that he ended up with a Glock 42 and they weren't even sure that he carried that ever.

Now if somebody asks me I just recommend the Shield and list the reasons I mentioned above except for the part about people not being committed.
 

Annihilator

Emissary
Founding Member
Priorities are a thing.

You're more likely to die from complications of obesity than you are to need a gun to to defend yourself.
Where have you been living, go to any big city and see if obesity will kill your before a thug will……if you don’t feel the need to carry a gun, that’s fine for you, but others may have a different mind set on carrying a gun


Like how you edited and added to your post after I replied..
 
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The Night Rider

Master Class
Where have you been living, go to any big city and see if obesity will kill your before a thug will……if you don’t feel the need to carry a gun, that’s fine for you, but others may have a different mind set on carrying a gun


Like how you edited and added to your post after I replied..
I was responding to the author's statement that he is 30+ pounds overweight.

A whole lot more people die from complications related to obesity than are killed by thugs. That's a true statement.

I edited in the part about the Shield because it's my standard response to this question.

I've had too many people ask me what kind of gun they should get then blow off my suggestions to invest my time in giving a reasoned answer to the question.

I tell them to get an M&P Shield and roll.
 

Honorman

Elite
Well friends if you have seen some of my prior post you know I’m not a fan of micro guns. My carry guns must have at least a 4 inch barrel. This provides better sight radius which was pointed out and enhances accuracy for shots taken at greater distance. Hollow point bullets have expansion threshold requirements to perform at optimal performance. The more you take the barrel down you are creating a deficit it bullet expansion. After being involved in ten shootings during my career I can tell you that removing factors that enhance overall bullet performance is not something I would ever do. In the day to day EDC situation you really don’t have a lot of resources available to you unless your inclined to carry a battle pack ruck with you. YOU REALLY DO NOT want to get in a sustained gunfight if at all possible. Providing you do your job and place the rounds where they need to go why not stack every possible advantage on your side. Why would you want anything less, remember someone is trying to kill or seriously harm you. When I think of gunfighting one word comes to mind. WIN!!!!!!. Notice I did not say survive there is a difference. So currently, I carry the Sig P320 X10 (10MM) which has a 5 inch barrel. I carry this for specific reasons which checks all the boxes for me that greatly improve my odds of winning the gunfight in a multitude of scenarios that could occur. This is based on 38 years of LEO with 22 of those years in Special Operations participating in over 600 deployments/missions. Real world experiences that I can speak intelligently about. I agree with Annihilator in that you should invest the time in finding the weapon that checks all your boxes. I suppose that If a new shooter asked for my recommendation I would suggest a Glock 48. It has a 4 inch barrel 10 round mags and is very easy to carry and easy to operate. There are many great offerings to select from. If you absolutely want to carry a micro gun train hard with it especially at distance and more importantly select good performing ammunition that has proven itself to be consistent in ACTUAL SHOOTINGS. As with any weapon system training is paramount along with BULLET PLACEMENT. TRIAN,BE SMART, THINK TACTICS.
 
I was responding to the author's statement that he is 30+ pounds overweight.

A whole lot more people die from complications related to obesity than are killed by thugs. That's a true statement.

I edited in the part about the Shield because it's my standard response to this question.

I've had too many people ask me what kind of gun they should get then blow off my suggestions to invest my time in giving a reasoned answer to the question.

I tell them to get an M&P Shield and roll.
So your advice is to get what works for you without offering any other advice.
You must be so proud that everyone you meet is built and thinks just like you.
All due respect but VERY narrow minded.
 
Hello all, here is today's article posted on TheArmoryLife.com. It is titled “First Timer’s Guide to Buying a CCW Pistol” and can be found at https://www.thearmorylife.com/guide-to-buying-a-ccw-pistol/.

As usual a great article however that being said it does raise some questions about what I guess is a “new right up” on Concealed Carry guns talking about Springfield handguns that are no longer being offered?? Specifically speaking about the XD-M line in 40SW including “except” the XD-M Elite which is also no longer offered in 40SW?? I will say I was pleasantly surprised that the article didn’t focus to much on the HellCat as so many articles have.
I’m so very glad I was able to purchase the XD-M 4.5 inch 45ACP
“Not Elite Version” before it was discontinued and I’m not implying anything bad about the Elite lineup.

I’m a fan of Springfield products and not ashamed to admit that however I’ve made the decision that I’m done buying handguns as I have what works for me in every situation I see myself getting into.

EVERY ONE is different in body type and desire on how they want to carry, for me when I’m asked for a recommendation I say there are lots of options on the market and never go into detail about what I own or carry as that is no one else’s business. As already mentioned I say look at everything out there for what fits your hand and rent to shoot so you know what you’re getting into before you buy and then train and practice.
 

wolfpack076

Master Class
I get asked this question all the time. First off I'm no expert but I start with what is the person's budget ? Tell me the reasons they want it for ? How do they intend on carrying it ? Then I tell them what I use and carry but what I like and what works for me may not necessarily work for them. Then I advise them to go to a range with people who have different weapons and shoot all the different makes, models and calibers or go to a range where there are rentals available and shoot all they can. Once they make their decision then learn the laws front and back and then seek out training from a well vetted instructor and then after all that's done, train and train and practice some more...Just my two cents...
 

bc22wm

Operator
My advice is always, 1st and foremost get what you like, something you enjoy, or you won't carry it. Unless your supper dedicated. Get something small, not tiny but small or it will be too much of a hassle to carry. Get something light or it will be too heavy to carry. Now that you have small, and light forget elephant stopping calibers. A: nobody wants to get shot with anything and B: if it's painful to shoot or you develop a flinch so you can't hit with it you won't practice or carry it. Get a good belt and a good holster is almost as important as the belt. Lastly and most important, be prepared to do this 15 or 20 times though out your life. Eventually you will find that nothing is as good as you expect it to be, and you will find something acceptable....if you're lucky.
 

somorris

Professional
Founding Member
Interesting article Mike. Thank you for posting it.

I agree that if a person can, they should try any gun they are considering before they buy. Unfortunately, even if a person tries a gun at the range, can shoot fairly accurately with it and stand the recoil, it may not “fit” them for EDC. All of us may not have the disposable income to wind up buying several handguns like the author did. I think about the single mom, maybe who cannot afford to live in the best neighborhood, who knows she needs to protect herself and her kids but has no idea about guns and maybe is even afraid of them. Articles like this one may be helpful in steering them towards his final solution. Maybe even a friendly “gun person” like some of us here can offer to introduce them to firearms without insisting on teaching them “tactical” carry the first time out.

At any rate, it is a good article, but sometimes folks need articles that are even more beginner oriented than this one. Thanks again, Mike.
 

The Night Rider

Master Class
So your advice is to get what works for you without offering any other advice.
You must be so proud that everyone you meet is built and thinks just like you.
All due respect but VERY narrow minded.
I don't even own or carry an M&P Shield.

First of all I really don't care what you think of my solution.

Second, I've been down this road before. I don't make my living giving other people advice on what kind of gun they should get. The author of the article obviously does. I don't see any reason why I should waste my time walking somebody through the process and then have them ignore what I said anyway.

To repeat what I said above I'm not going to waste my time or my ammunition taking you to the range, showing you what I've got, letting you try my stuff out and waste my ammo only have you ignore everything I said and buy a Taurus because it's pink (not you specifically of course but that actually has happened to me)

When my wife was looking at her last three guns, I did the same thing each time. I took her to our local gun store where we know the proprietor and the counter people. I handed her off to one of them and I went next door to the used bookstore and browsed around for about an hour and bought some books ( if mamasan's about to drop 600 bucks on a gun she doesn't get to gripe if I spend 15 bucks on a book)

When I went back she had found a gun that met her criteria, that she liked, that she could actually handle and that she would carry regularly. Experience has taught me that none of those things would have happened had I been with her.
 
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The Night Rider

Master Class
So your advice is to get what works for you without offering any other advice.
You must be so proud that everyone you meet is built and thinks just like you.
All due respect but VERY narrow minded.
I don't even carry an M&P Shield.

First of all I really don't care what you think of my solution.

Second, I've been down this road before. I don't make my living giving other people advice on what kind of gun they should get. The author of the article obviously does. I don't see any reason why I should waste my time walking somebody through the process and then have them ignore what I said anyway.

To repeat what I said above I'm not going to waste my time or my ammunition taking you through the range showing you what I've got letting you try my stuff out and waste my ammo and then have you turn around and buy a Taurus because it's pink (ot you specifically of course but that actually has happened to me)

When my wife was looking at her last three guns, I did the same thing each time. I took her to our local gun store where we know the proprietor and the counter people. I handed her off to one of them and I went next door to the used bookstore and browsed around for about an hour and bought some books ( if mamasan's about to drop 600 bucks on a gun she doesn't get to gripe if I spend 15 bucks on a book)

When I went back she had found a gun that met her criteria, that she liked, that she could actually handle and that she would carry regularly. Experience has taught me that none of those things would have happened had I been with her.

ETA THE ONLY REASON I EDIT A POST IS TO CORRECT SPELLING ERRORS AND TYPOS OR TO ADD SOMETHING I'VE POSTED ELSEWHERE.
 

Annihilator

Emissary
Founding Member
Me personally, I think an inexperienced potential shooter should start out with a small frame revolver, like a S&W J frame or which I did a Ruger LCR. These are easier for new shooter to learn, don’t get me wrong, pistols are good also, but a revolver you have less to learn on how to handle and shoot them, just my thoughts

You know this damn auto insert and auto correct blows on iPhones
 

Bassbob

SAINT
Me personally, I think an inexperienced potential shooter should start out with a small frame revolver, like a S&W J frame or which I did a Ruger LCR. These are easier for new shooter to learn, don’t get me wrong, pistols are good also, but a revolver you have less to learn on how to handle and shoot them, just my thoughts

You know this damn auto insert and auto correct blows on iPhones
Solid advice. However a lot of people aren't in a position to be able to afford multiple firearms and not everyone will be in a situation where carrying a revolver is feasible or practical. Instead, my advice is simply for the new shooter to do a bunch of research and narrow their choices down to as few contenders as possible, go to gun ranges and rent these guns and shoot them and then buy the one they like best and get appropriate training to conceal and carry it and to continue training with that weapon.
 

The Night Rider

Master Class
Me personally, I think an inexperienced potential shooter should start out with a small frame revolver, like a S&W J frame or which I did a Ruger LCR. These are easier for new shooter to learn, don’t get me wrong, pistols are good also, but a revolver you have less to learn on how to handle and shoot them, just my thoughts

You know this damn auto insert and auto correct blows on iPhones
I don't know if I would say they're easier to learn but they are much more forgiving than an SFA
 

Annihilator

Emissary
Founding Member
I don't know if I would say they're easier to learn but they are much more forgiving than an SFA
What I was meaning by easier is, there not ammo sensitive, no misfeeds or jams, if a round doesn’t go off, just pull the trigger again, you don’t need to learn how to rack the slide when a pistol jams or there is a double feed, now once you become familiar with how an auto works, there a good choice, but with any firearm, you need to train with it
 
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