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First Timer’s Guide to Buying a CCW Pistol

PAGunGuy

Elite
I haven't read the article, yet.t I think the advice here in the posts are interesting. Personally, I wouldn't go with some of the suggestions, from my experience.
I don't agree with the recommendation of the Sheild 9mm or a small revolver for a 1st time shooter.
But, again, just my opinion, which probably isn't worth my time explaining LOL. TO each their own

I did not grow up around guns at all. Fired a 12 gauge pump and a 2 gauge single action ( a couple of shots each, 2 different occasions) when I was around 12. With crime going up and living in the city, I bought my first handgun when I was about 25. Started with a Hi Point C9 (yes, I did many hours of research first and I actually don't regret that purchase) and then after a few years bought a Sheild 9MM (first gen). I loved carrying the Shield, especially after carrying the Hi Point, but I really didn't like shooting it. In fact, as a range toy, I'd take the Hi Point over the Shield. Hate me all you want, but I am being honest.

Fast forward 1o years later, I have owned and shot many different pistols, had almost 200 hours and thousands of rounds in training. I now have a Hellcat Pro and a Kimber 1911. The 1911 is hands down the best gun I have ever shot. I need to get the Prodigy. I like the Hellcat better than the Shield, but it's still not my favorite shooter. I might recommend it to s first timer if they were going to practice/train pretty regularly.

I have never owned a small frame revolver, but I have shot a few. Not my cup of tea, and definitely wouldn't recommend one to a first timer. They just aren't fun/easy to shoot. The mechanics, sure. Pull the trigger, they go boom. But personally I think they are harder to grip than a semi auto and the trigger pull is crap, unless you go single action. And for someone who may not train/practice, I don't think it's a good choice. I actually have read articles that support this.

What would I recommend? Not sure. Maybe the Hellcat Pro. Or Sig 365XL. Maybe a Glock 43X, 45 or 19 (and I am not a Glock fan). M&P 9, or probably, a 4 inch XD 9. I regret selling mine. Those size guns really aren't hard to carry, and shoot better than the micros.
 

Sld1959

Professional
First handgun? .22 da revolver with a ton of ammunition. Why? For the same reason I recommend a recurve bow for the new prospective archer. Start at the begining with the most basic of tools. Practice, practice the basics, learn the hold, hand eye coordination, trigger pull, both light and heavy. Learn to shoot a recurve or longbow anything else comes easy. Learn to shoot a revolver double action well everything else comes along fairly easy.

Once you master that then shoot everything you can get your hands on, using your new found knowledge to make an informed choice, for you.

I also taught my kids to drive on a stick, drive a stick you can drive anything.
 
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Flyboy514

Operator
First handgun? .22 da revolver with a ton of ammunition. Why? For the same reason I recommend a recurve bow for the new prospective archer. Start at the begining with the most basic of tools. Practice, practice the basics, learn the hold, hand eye coordination, trigger pull, both light and heavy. Learn to shoot a recurve or longbow anything else comes easy. Learn to shoot a revolver double action well everything else comes along fairly easy.

Once you master that then shoot everything you can get your hands on, using your new found knowledge to make an informed choice, for you.

I also taught my kids to drive on a stick, drive a stick you can drive anything.
Unfortunately, some of us living in the Socialist Utopia known as NJ, aren't afforded the luxury of smaller cal EDC. The CCW laws enacted here require "nothing smaller than a .38 or 9mm" AND you must "qualify" with EACH gun you want to carry... NJ requires this in writing from a certified CCW instructor along w/ make, model and serial number. Better not get caught carrying a firearm that you didn't certify with. Also, you must get recertified every 2 years.
 

Sld1959

Professional
Unfortunately, some of us living in the Socialist Utopia known as NJ, aren't afforded the luxury of smaller cal EDC. The CCW laws enacted here require "nothing smaller than a .38 or 9mm" AND you must "qualify" with EACH gun you want to carry... NJ requires this in writing from a certified CCW instructor along w/ make, model and serial number. Better not get caught carrying a firearm that you didn't certify with. Also, you must get recertified every 2 years.
There are plenty of other places to live and the job market is wide open everywhere it seems. Might sound flippant but sincerely if you are unsatisfied with where you live there is a huge country out there...
 
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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..
Right! I'm a Big Man at 6'4" 240lbs and healthy as a horse at 62. My hands are too big for compacts, so I carry my Rugar 9mm comfortably and it's the main piece I use at the range, both target and tactical training. I have both a XD .45 and .40 but the Rugar for me is the most accurate and easy to use of all my pieces.
Everyone needs to find their comfort with what they need to carry as a CCW and get to the range at least twice a month!
Also, I picked up a Taurus TX 22 full frame to use for training to keep the ammo cost down! And love it!
 

Flyboy514

Operator
Right! I'm a Big Man at 6'4" 240lbs and healthy as a horse at 62. My hands are too big for compacts, so I carry my Rugar 9mm comfortably and it's the main piece I use at the range, both target and tactical training. I have both a XD .45 and .40 but the Rugar for me is the most accurate and easy to use of all my pieces.
Everyone needs to find their comfort with what they need to carry as a CCW and get to the range at least twice a month!
Also, I picked up a Taurus TX 22 full frame to use for training to keep the ammo cost down! And love it!
Did the same as you and picked up a TX22 for my daughter... but as you said, cheap training tool and not too rough on my little one's hands.
 

Flyboy514

Operator
There are plenty of other places to live and the job market is wide open everywhere it seems. Might sound flippant but sincerely if you are unsatisfied with where you live there is a huge country out there...
I hear you loud and clear Sid... just waiting on my youngest to "launch" after she finishes school then it's "adios, I'm a ghost!"
 

Sol-Invictus

Operator
I would also recommend a small frame 38 special. In particular a Ruger LCR. The trigger is not really that hard to learn. I have had many women do just fine out to 10 yards in a very short period of time. Most will rarely shoot it and will want to carry in a purse. It can shoot from a purse or coat pocket.

While it is not tactical it has served 100,000s of women well for over 100 years. If they show more interest they can move up to a larger revolver. Usually a K frame with 6 rounds for home defense.

Most of the women shooters in my family love their revolvers and have absolutely no interest in semi autos.

My wife once said if you think I need more than 5 shots, would you want to even be shot once. Remember this is purely for self defense. Even if their is more than one attacker they will likely retreat after the first shot because they were searching for a soft target.

If a woman were to be interested in a semi auto, it is hard to go wrong with a 365, 365x, or 365xl, Shield, New SW Equalizer also looks nice, or the Hellcat variations. if they will carry in a holster on the body.
 

southtex

Custom
Founding Member
The people that ask for my input are folks I know and are curious on my choices. I usually respond with depends on the day and mood but a sub compact/compact is the predominate choice. If I know the individual I will usually ask them to go to the range with me and have them shoot different guns. I bring subs, compacts and full size guns to let them shoot. Majority of the folks I've taken enjoy the experience and will get an idea of what they like.
 
Good discussion for the first time buyer. I'm disappointed there wasn't any discussion about pocket carry holsters. Come summer time heat wearing a t-shirt and shorts, a pocket holster provides excellent concealed carry. I'm old school when I can wear a wind breaker or jacket. A strong belt which supports my firearm carried in the neutral position, allows for straight forward presentation from my strong right side. I'm not a fan of cross draw holsters. Stressful shooting at a target, drawing straight forward, allows for early or late trigger pull hits from head to toe. Cross draw only presents the width of the target to hit. Situational awareness is the key to not having to unholster your firearm in the first place. People fight and shoot how they train. A person never wants to go cheap when it comes to their personal safety. In the unlikely event you have to use your firearm and all the legal drama that will befall you, you better, Be Ready.
 

macmanjim

Alpha
How things change over the years. I remember when revolvers were derigueur as autos weren't seen as reliable as revolvers. No one really complained about capacity all that much. Today we have so many more choices in terms of just about everything with CC. Holsters, the guns themselves, calibers as well as ammo selection.
My only advice for someone new is, get training and not just the 4 hour class to get a license and not from me, but from a certified instructor that has good reviews. Understand the law regarding CCW too and it might be a good idea to get some sort of insurance. Beyond that, situational awareness is probably the most important skill. The best weapon is between the ears. A gun is a poor substitute for bad or incompetent thinking. As far as the gun goes, outside of choosing a particular system(auto vs revolver), carry the most gun you can shoot well and confidently whatever that happens to be. Other than that, really, find out what works well for you, which is a big factor in life in general. One size doesn't fit all and don't do what's necessarily popular. Collective wisdom can be an oxymoron.
 

Bassbob

SAINT
How things change over the years. I remember when revolvers were derigueur as autos weren't seen as reliable as revolvers. No one really complained about capacity all that much. Today we have so many more choices in terms of just about everything with CC. Holsters, the guns themselves, calibers as well as ammo selection.
My only advice for someone new is, get training and not just the 4 hour class to get a license and not from me, but from a certified instructor that has good reviews. Understand the law regarding CCW too and it might be a good idea to get some sort of insurance. Beyond that, situational awareness is probably the most important skill. The best weapon is between the ears. A gun is a poor substitute for bad or incompetent thinking. As far as the gun goes, outside of choosing a particular system(auto vs revolver), carry the most gun you can shoot well and confidently whatever that happens to be. Other than that, really, find out what works well for you, which is a big factor in life in general. One size doesn't fit all and don't do what's necessarily popular. Collective wisdom can be an oxymoron.
That was before strikers, and Glock in particular, became widely available.
 
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