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What's the best first gun to own?

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by RussianJoo, Sep 5, 2011.

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  1. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member

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    I've decided to take advantage of the loose gun laws in my state and buy my first gun. I've gone shooting a few times mostly shot 9mm and last time I shot a .357 revolver sig and 9mm sig. I wouldn't mind getting something that will retain it's value maybe a limited edition gun if those exist, so i can have it for fun and as an investment.

    My budget is pretty liberal I think, at $1,000. And I eventually would love to buy an AK74U, I just think it's a cool rifle.

    So what do you guys recommend?
  2. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? Moderator

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    I think a person's first gun ought to be handgun.

    Indoor ranges abound; outdoor ranges for rifles are harder to come by, then there's that weather thing. If you have just one gun, you'll probably get to shoot the handgun more often. Especially if you live in a city.

    With a handgun you can get a carry permit and at least have the option of carrying it with you at some unspecified point in the future. Even if you don't forsee a need or desire to ever carry it, things change.


    Go to a range that has rentals, and shoot a bunch of them. Pick one you like, buy it, and shoot it a bunch.

    Get some formal instruction, too. It's money well spent, whatever your skill level is.
  3. trinityalumnus

    trinityalumnus Cruising the autobahn Gold Donor

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    Before thinking about a particular brand or model, decide whether you want a revolver ("cowboy gun") or a semi-automatic (bullets are in a clip in the grip).
    A primary consideration of that overall decision is whether a woman will be handling the gun at any point. No gender disrespect intended.

    The revolver is much lower maintenance, and is generally easier for women to grasp the operating concepts. Insert bullets, close cylinder, point, pull trigger.

    The semi-automatic is a bit more involved. Load clip, insert clip, chamber the first round via slide action, disengage safety (some models), etc.

    Each has pros and cons.

    Are you getting this for self-protection in the house and auto? For great stress-reduction occasionally at the range? Will you be carrying concealed? Those answers also affect your decision.

    Under my side of the bed is a 20g pump shotgun. Under my wife's side of the bed is a Ruger Police Service Six revolver.

    In my car (and sometimes carried concealed) is a Glock 27 (.40 cal subcompact).

    My oldest son is a police officer in a large city. Their issued duty weapon is the Glock 22 (full-sized .40 cal). Their back up and off-duty weapon is the Glock 27.



    .
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  4. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member

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    I am buying this gun for fun. I don't need protection, I've just always wanted to have a gun, (I think all guys do), now I am finally living on my own, have extra cash and it's pretty easy to get a CCW license, so I figured why not? I would probably like a semi-auto before a revolver, but like I said I'd also like something that could be worth some money in 20 or 30 years.

    I've shot 4 different guns and they all felt the same to me. So I don't think I'll find that one gun that just feels better than others in my hand.


    What's really the difference between Glock's and lets say a Sig Sauer or a Smith and Wesson guns that fire similar caliber bullets? Does the brand really matter?

    Just looking for some reliable pistol recommendations. If you could only buy one pistol what would you buy? I like the silver colored gun with a wooden handle look.

    thanks guys.
  5. W222

    W222 2K Member

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    My suggestion would be to get a gun that is cheap and easy to shoot for your first gun. As others have said, its easier to shoot a handgun because of the number of indoor ranges vs. outdoor rifle ranges and because ammo tends to be a little cheaper. I just recently got a handgun after thinking it over a while, previously had just owned shotguns and rifles. I had shot several handguns/calibers before and knew a 9mm would be a good starting point for me; BUT I was seriously debating on buying a nice little .22 to plink with because its so cheap. A box of decent 9mm cost about $10 bucks for 50 rounds, while a box of 500 rounds for a .22 costs about $15-20. You can go through a box of 9mm in about 3-4 clips, while you can shoot the .22 for an entire day. Also, you usually can't shoot a 9mm in your backyard but if you live in a fairly rural area you can shoot a .22 in your backyard all day. Also, don't go out and spend a ton of money a limited edition for your first gun. You should get something that is dependable and fun to shoot. Sure you can go out and buy a limited edition .357 but shooting it will leave you broke and with tired hands.
  6. Gaseous Clay

    Gaseous Clay

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    You're certainly asking a very complex set of questions in a small paragraph! Yes the brand matters. A lot of brands have their own style, quality in parts, safety mechanisms (or lack thereof), reliability, etc ... I am a fan of the 1911 style of gun. Currently these guns are maintaining a solid value, especially if you take good care of the gun. If your budget is $1000, you can find a lot of very nice guns in that price range.

    With that said, if you're just getting started, I'd recommend a full sized 9 mm. These are easier to shoot, the bullets are a little cheaper, and they can provide decent self defense if you needed it. Brands I would consider: Sig, H&K, Smith and Wesson (especially M&P), FN, CZ, Ruger, and Beretta. Certainly others will chime in with glock, colts, kahr, etc ... but looking at guns can get very overwhelming.
  7. W222

    W222 2K Member

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    There is a world of difference between guns. Some guns have a long/tough trigger pull, while others are soft and short. Some are heavy and clunky, while others a light. You just have to find one that fits your hand and that is fun to shoot. Again, you can find a gun that looks really slick but is really just a deadly paperweight that is going to leave your arms exhausted after a few clips. There really is more to shooting that just which end to point where.

    PS- Glocks aren't collector items so don't buy one for that, the market is flooded.
  8. Jeff05

    Jeff05 Senior Member

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  9. willen101383

    willen101383

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    I own 11 firearms haha. My first year of med school I met another guy who is an avid shooter and we feed off of each other big time!

    I own 4 Pistols and I would recommend all 4 (as you gain experience/ want to purchase more).

    My usual "deep cover" CCW pistol: Springfield Armory XD40 subcompact which is .40 SW.

    Standard CCW: Glock 29 in 10mm

    First/Favorite Pistol: Sig Sauer P245 in .45ACP

    Most Insane Pistol: Smith and Wesson 500 in .500 S&W Magnum

    I would recommend something in 9mm for a guy just starting out. Glocks are good all around pistols but I am not really into the trigger on em..although that can be changed if need be with relative ease. But they make great pistols. My 10 is a great firearm. I love how easy it is to break it down for cleaning/maintenance. I installed an aftermarket lone wolf barrel on this pistol because I handload all my ammo. Small variations in powder measure can be a huge problem in 10mm/40sw since the chamber pressures are so close to max already. The LW barrel has a more supported chamber and is better able to withstand pressure changes. Hard to goof in handloading but id rather be safe than sorry...plus the LW is more accurate than the stock glock barrel.

    The XD is also a great pistol. Its also a polymer pistol. It is also pretty easy to break down and clean. I installed a crimson trace grip laser on this gun which is pretty cool..since this was my primary carry gun for a long long time. Would recommend this line of pistol as well...esp the XDMs. This gun feels great in my hand and is so incredibly small it is so easy to carry in situations where other people may not approve (like hanging around with ur liberal friends).

    If you are looking in the 1000 dollar range, Sig makes a whole bunch of pistols in 9mm. It is a great firearm, always fires without fail. Ive probably put 3000 rounds through it with the same barrel over the 6 years ive had it.



    You need to go out there and shop around. Pick up some pistols and see how the trigger pull is. Some are great...and some suck. Whole continuum out there. 9mm .45 .40 are all good beginner calibers. You can shoot fairly cheaply and every walmart stocks these calibers for SUPER cheap. .22LR if you have no real defense need is also a great beginner caliber. 500 rounds for sub $20 is pretty sick, when you consider the fact that my .500 SW rounds cost me about .30 cents a shot to load up! Anyways good luck! Feel free to send me a PM if you want my opinion on anything. Nice to see lots of gun enthusiasts on here!
  10. Tired

    Tired Boned. Again.

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    My first weapon was a Beretta 92FS. Solid, if a little heavy, shoots straight, have never had a misfire. My second was a Walter P22, which is somewhat less reliable, but ammo is cheap and it's fun to play with. Currently waiting on a Kimber ProCarry II that's on order.

    Personally, I think the important things in a first weapon are:

    (1) A gun that a lot of people own. Guns like that have a heavy body of literature on the web that you can refer to, instructional videos on YouTube, books, etc. It just makes it easier to get a handle on the gun when you're still getting used to it.

    (2) Something cheap. Don't go pick up a Kimber or Sig as your first gun. A lot of people get a gun, shoot it a few times, then stick it in a safe and never use it again. Why spend $1,000 on that, when you could have spent $200-300 instead?

    (3) Something with cheap ammo, meaning a .22 or 9mm. Don't go get a .40 or .45 as your first gun.

    (4) Something with simple mechanics. Agree with the revolver discussion above, but there are also plenty of basic semiautos out there. The 92FS is really nice that way.

    I'd take a close look at the common Glocks, maybe the Berettas, maybe the XD. S&W has some reasonably priced guns in both revolver and their MP line. Skip the Sigs until you're sure it's worth your money.
  11. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? Moderator

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    Also, consider a used gun as your first. If you don't like it, you can sell it for the price of a used gun. My favorite handgun is also my carry gun - a used Sig P220 Carry that I found at a gun show.


    Seriously, go to a range that rents guns and try some out. If nothing else, it's fun. I had all but convinced myself I needed a 1911 until I went out and shot a couple, and just didn't like them. (Heresy, I know.)


    There's no money to be made by buying a common gun and keeping it for many years. Buy it, shoot it, enjoy it, don't fear dings and scratches.
  12. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? Moderator

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    Nice gun, had a loaner courtesy of the USMC for a couple of 7-month periods (as I'm sure you did too ...).

    A Stoeger Cougar is a good alternative, and far cheaper. As I understand it, Beretta shipped the equipment and tooling to Turkey for the cheaper labor costs, but the end product really is comparable. My brother has one and it's well made. When my 92FS itch gets unbearable, I might get one of these.
  13. Tired

    Tired Boned. Again.

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    I recall hearing something about that, though I never really understood the reason since I only paid like $500 for mine. How much cheaper does it need to get for a full-size 9mm semiauto?

    The stock military weapons are not bad, but my personal weapon is light years better. I swapped out the grips, and the springs too to lighten trigger pull. Thought about putting on one of those laser sights too, but decided at the last second that I would just look like a tool.

    Last deployment I tried to get authorization to bring it instead of the one issued to me, but all that got me was a stupid look from my CO... :laugh:
  14. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    I think you mean Stainless Steel with a nice wood grip. Asking me which ONE guy I'd want to keep out of my collection is a tough one. I like Revolvers and Semi Automatics. I have many outstanding handguns in the $600-$800 price range. My $1,000 plus guns don't necessarily shoot any better than my $600 guns.

    I recommend the .357/.38 in a revolver (bullets are plentiful and reasonable) and a 9mm in a semi-auto (bullets are plentiful and cheap). I own most calibers and as you know like the .45 for its proven stopping power. But, for the range, plinking and decent home defense the 9mm fits the bill.

    My favorite 9mm guns in the $600-$700 range are the CZ 75B and Glock 19.
    I like Sig but the CZ and Glock are cheaper. I like HK but again the CZ and Glock are less money and shoot just as well.

    In a revolver I like Smith and Wesson or Ruger. Both are made in the USA and are great guns. I recommend the 4" or 6" version in Stainless. The .357 caliber is the way to go because you can shoot .38's at the range and keep .357/.38 plus P for home defense. These revolvers are readily available for less than $700.
  15. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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  16. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    I own an Italian made, all Stainless, Wood Custom Beretta Grips 92FS. Beautiful gun but there are better shooting guns.
  17. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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  18. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member

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    thanks for all the help everyone.

    I really like the idea of 500 rounds of 22cal for $20... It would allow me to shoot a ton of rounds. Any recommendations on a 22cal gun?

    I'll probably get either a 22 cal gun or a 9mm like you guys said. I could definitely shoot a 9mm more accurately than the 357 because of the kickback.

    I am going to go to a gun show this saturday and will handle a bunch of guns before making a decision.

    Where do you guys find to be the cheapest place to buy a gun? a gun show? Walmart? a local gun shop? the places I went to a few times to shoot, seemed to only carry 2 to 3 different brands.
  19. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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  20. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    Whoa there Slim. A good .22 caliber gun ain't cheap. My SW .22 revolver will set you back $650. The SW Model 41 costs $1,000. Be careful about buying a POS .22 Cal. There are many out there. A decent .22 is a Ruger Mark 2. Rugers are a BIT@# to clean and re-assemble. They can be purchased for under $500.

    Since you are buying only ONE gun I recommend the 9mm or .38/357. These are real guns which can be used for self defense. I love my fancy .22's at the range but they ain't no .45 or .357. I use good .22 caliber ammo for my .22 semi-automatic but the revolver will shoot the cheap stuff.
  21. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering Gold Donor

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    check out the HK p30, i love mine
  22. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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  23. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    Fine choice for a 9mm. I am a huge HK fan. That said, I have come to like Glock and Sig not to mention CZ. Hk's are expensive though and the 9mm P30 is around $850.
  24. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    ou are here: Home >> Products >> Product Lines >> Firearms >> Buck Mark Pistols >> Buck Mark Plus Stainless Black Laminated UDX

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  25. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member

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    that's a beauty... how much does it go for?
  26. Groove

    Groove Member

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    [​IMG]

    Russ, big gun owner and I'll second the Sig P226. Excellent 9mm starting handgun, double action, good accuracy, cheap rounds, easy to maintain and attractive. Good enough for the Navy Seals in the 80s and 90s and standard sidearm of the FBI in the late 80s also. It was one of my first and still my one of my fav handguns to take the range.

    The "Elite" that Blade posted in #19 is the most attractive version IMO. Mine is all black.

    The one in the pic is actually the Navy Commemorative that was released to the public in the early 2000s.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  27. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    I too started out buying ONE gun. Well, you can just imagine how many I now own. Back to Russian (OP)'s question:

    BUY A 9mm Semi_automatic or a .357 Revolver (which shoots .38 caliber ammo). The more I shoot the more I come to appreciate a good "wheel gun."

    As for a .22 caliber gun. Yes. Buy one or two. They are a blast to shoot and you can shoot all day for minimal dollars. No recoil. But, I can't recommend a .22 as your ONLY gun.

    Here are the .22's I like:

    1. SW .22 revolver- 6"
    2. SW Model 41- Great gun. $1,000
    3. Buckmark- Great for under $500
    4. Ruger- MarkIII is good but MARK II is better.

    I only listed .22s under $1,000. There are many more out there.
  28. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member

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    thanks Blade, it sounds like a 9mm is a perfect caliber first handgun. I can always get hollow points if i want to protect myself and cause more damage.
  29. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    I like yours. Very nice gun. Since I own so many pistols I tend to buy the "pretty ones." But, I recommend the black rubber grips/Hogue style for actual shooting at the range. The Sig P226 will set you back some dollars but can be had for under $1K.
  30. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    Agree.

    You can get a brand new Beretta 92FS in Stainless for under $700.00

    A Glock 19 with Glock night sights should be around $700.

    A CZ 75-B with Mepro night sights should be under $700.

    Or, buy the fancy Sig P226 but it will cost you over $800, maybe $900.

    I like "all of the above" and of course the HK P30. I am a huge fan of HK and own many of them.
  31. Groove

    Groove Member

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    Blade, did the Elite cost you that much? Mine was around $600 from what I remember but it's been so long.
  32. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member

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    Thanks Groove always great to hear from. You should almost done with residency right? must feel good.
  33. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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  34. BobBarker

    BobBarker Member

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    You can get a Buckmark for less than $300, and a M&P9 or Glock for $500 new. You have $200 left over to go towards a revolver or 12 gauge. Of course, you could get all 3 for $1000 if you bought smartly used.
  35. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    No. 4th Generation Glock 19 with Glock Night Sights can't be purchased NEW for under $600.00 unless you a police officer. Dealer cost is $475 for the gun. Glock 19 without night sights can be purchased for $500 or so.
  36. Groove

    Groove Member

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  37. Groove

    Groove Member

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    You too buddy, nah... 4 yr program here, so got another one left, but it's all good. Need to get done and pay these damn loans off...that's for sure. Joining Reserves next year, so we'll see how that goes. Hope all is well.
  38. BobBarker

    BobBarker Member

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    Yes, without night sights. If you are a police officer, retired/current military, emt, court judge, pilot, etc you can get a Glock or M&P for $400 with 3 mags. If you are military, you can get an additional $50 mail in rebate currently from S&W. New M&P with 3 mags for $350! Hard to beat that value for your money.
  39. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me

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    First gun, get whatever you can shoot the most and work on your technique. You will get addicted and buy more after that anyway. For basic technique, a solid .22 is always great. It is also a lot of fun to plop a few bucks down and shoot for a couple of hours.

    There are such a large amount of guns out in the 1000 dollar and under range that really, you just need to try a bunch and see what you like. My first handgun was a Beretta Storm 9mm. It is the "rookie cop special" as my buddy put it because they screwed up and gave me the wrong model, but it has worked extremely well for me. Very long trigger pull that forces me to focus on my trigger control. I found I shoot much better with all other guns, but especially 1911s because of it. (I also have a soft spot for 1911s )
  40. W222

    W222 2K Member

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    Sig makes the .22 cal mosquito and it retails around me for about 270-300 bucks with extra clips and ammo thrown in. Its a great plinking gun.
  41. jetproppilot

    jetproppilot Turboprop Driver

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    GLOCK 9mm

    The GUN STUDS will tell you it doesn't

    BUSTA PUNCH.

    Fire it, then

    YOU TELL ME.
  42. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? Moderator

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  43. tehdude

    tehdude

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    I have a G26 and XD sub-compact. Both are 9mm, which is probably a pretty good caliber to start with. I haven't shot enough handguns to make a real recommendation, but I know the two I have are pretty popular, especially for conceal carry.
  44. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    Yes. Congrads. Very nice guns. The G26 shoots extremely well for a subcompact. I prefer the XDM line from Springfield. They now make a sweet range gun with extra light trigger.
  45. FiremedicMike

    FiremedicMike

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    That pretty much sums it up, I can't come up with logic any more sound than that.
  46. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    Range guns are abused a lot. A range Sig isn't a new or lightly used Sig. Range guns can have more jams (FTF/FTE) than a new, properly lubed gun.

    You can't go wrong renting a Glock or HK or a Beretta. Those guns can take a lot of abuse. Other brands need a bit more care for 100 percent proper function.
  47. FiremedicMike

    FiremedicMike

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    Honestly EVERYONE qualifies for that damn discount.. Ex military, firefighter/emt, police officer, I think there's a few more.. I'd be willing to bet if you sweet talked your local blue label dealer (remember only certain dealers can sell at LE price) and explained to them you were a doctor, you could probably get the "first responder" price also, which is $399.99 for the gun + 80-100 for the night sights depending on the dealer.

    A lot to reflect upon on this thread, some random thoughts as they come to me.

    1. HK's are decent, but I personally HATE the trigger of the standard variant (to be fair I've never tried the LEM, would love to). I know the P30 feels very nice in my hands. I think the double action pull is unnecessarily long and heavy, and it takes a significant amount of practice to be able to adjust to the single action pull of your follow up shots. YMMV of course, many shoot the HK pistols just fine. Keep in mind that for some reason they are ~$300 more than other brands.

    2. Night sights - I have them on my primary duty weapon (currently a gen4 glock 19, but as soon as I can offload this LCP I'm getting a glock 17) and that's it. I'm on the fence on night sights. For a police officer, who has a legal duty to act, and may be forced to into a 0 visibility shot (which I think can still be argued against) they may be a necessity. For anyone else, my thought is this. If visibility is so poor that you cannot see a single feature of your regular sights, chances are very good that you probably have an unusable target picture in front of you, and it makes me wonder what you're going to hit if you fire (this could be argued for police officers also, mind you). I feel at that point you have a moral obligation to readjust your position to where you can see what you're shooting at before anything.. Of course this discussion is slightly moot because the OP is looking for a range gun.

    3. Revolvers, I don't like 'em.. lol

    4. 22 ammo is cheap, and you can pick up used 22 pistols at the gun shop, pawn shop, or online for ~$200. These aren't going to be high end match grade target shooters, but going out to the back acre and shooting pop cans (and old TV sets.. just saying..) with a 22 is a lot more fun than doing so with a bb gun :)

    5. Most people can't just own one gun, so welcome to the start of an expensive hobby. I fully expect to see a thread by the OP next year titled "getting colder, looking to start reloading, what to buy?"
  48. FiremedicMike

    FiremedicMike

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    Yep, and on that note I forgot to address the poster who suggested a 1911. While I'm not against 1911s, I think they are beautiful weapons, they are FAR to finicky for a first time gun. 1911s take a lot of constant care and adjustment to run properly, and don't think for a second that the $200 used 1911 at the pawn shop is going to work properly..
  49. willen101383

    willen101383

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    +1 on hthe Mk2/3. Great 22...actually probably my favorite 22 pistol.

    As for recoil OP. I shoot my 500 sw mag the most accurately out of any of my pistols. I load 440gn rounds to around 1700 fps and 330s to around 2100 fps. But yeah for the most part a 9mm can be shot VERY VERY accurately due to the low perceived recoil. A 9 is going to really be your best bet for your "only" (in quotes bc if you are like most guys you wont stop) gun.
  50. BLADEMDA

    BLADEMDA SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    I own several HKs with the match grade trigger. Very nice in single action. I also own an HK with LEM trigger and match. Nice trigger.

    HKs are nice guns. Sorry you don't like them. I agree they are way over priced for what you get.

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