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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'm looking to buy my very first gun within a couple months' time as soon as I have made my decision on which gun to get.

Some background info:
I have shot with a Glock 17, a Browning Hi Power, a Walther P99, and a couple of .22's. I have not, however, gotten any regular shooting under my belt.

What I want:
A pistol. I like the idea of having a few more rounds than the 6 a revolver can hold. I'm pretty much decided on getting a 9mm although I haven't completely ruled out a .45 either. I'm going for full-size in any case.

The top contenders at the moment:
CZ 75 SA
Glock 17
Browning Hi Power
Springfield Armory Full Size

Qualities I'm looking for:
-reliability
-simplicity
-"ambidextrocity"

Being a student affordability is also an issue. The best thing would be to find a gun which would be pretty much ready to shoot stock save for a bit of trigger tweaking and sight adjustments, little stuff like that.

The function of the gun will be home defense, target practice, possibly practical shooting (9mm is still fine though).

I have shot the Glock only once but if my memory serves me right the gun didn't fit my hand anywhere near as well as the Hi Power did. The Walther didn't fit my hand too well either. I have dry fired a friend's Norinco 1911 and that felt pretty nice. Hence I'm guessing I'd also like the CZ's grip although the Browning was very nice as well.

I'm also thinking about upgrading the soon-to-be-gun's sights. What would you recommend for self defense purposes? Tritium night sights? A Ghost ring?

Any and all suggestions/opinions/recommendations are more than welcome.

-Chris
 

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Qualities I'm looking for:
-reliability
-simplicity
-"ambidextrocity"

Being a student affordability is also an issue.
I would consider the Ruger P series. A lot of bang for the buck and meets everything you listed. poppy
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you can, try out a Glock 19. You might find it fits your hand much better than the Glock 17, and you really don't lose much in terms of barrel length (1/2 inch), or magazine capacity (two rounds, but you can load full size magazines if you choose). Glocks are relatively inexpensive, low maintenance, reliable, and simple to operate. Plus, they come ready to go right out of the box.
 

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As a student I face a similar problem as you. A pistol you can use, carry, shoot with, and afford. It's a tough compromise out there.

A 1911 or HP can be easily fitted with an Ambi safety if you're left handed. If you're considering a CZ, I would look at the 85 instead of the 75. The 85 is fully ambi. The CZ and BHP are two different pistols though. Handle both, because the BHP feels all right in my hand, but the CZ feels like a brick.

The best thing you can do is handle all the pistols on your list and then choose. If I could only own one gun, it would be a 1911 in .45 ACP. I think that would best serve everything you need, except for being really affordable to shoot, without reloading. Alternatively, I would choose a BHP in 9mm.

-Rob
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions thus far.

fortyofforty, the thing I didn't like about the Glock's grip (and the Walther's) was that my index finger felt too long for it. It felt awkward because the trigger touched too far up my finger. I suspect the same problem would be present with the Glock 19. Besides, doesn't the 19 require a small guns permit? Atleast here in Finland it does as far as I know (I was told this by a gun store clerk last summer).

RandomMan, the CZ 75 SA is the same as the CZ 75B in all respects except that it DOES have ambidextrous safety and it's a single action. I think I need to go to range and try out both side by side; the CZ and the HP.

What things should I look for when shooting the guns? I don't know much about good/bad trigger pull or other things. Any particular things I should try to concentrate on?
 

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I second the P-35. Mark lll's come with ambi safety's. Although I'm first and foremost a 1911 fan, I have never seen a box stock pistol that is more reliable, less tempermental than a Hi-Power. The triggers clean up with use and removing the mag disconnect is no big deal.
 

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What things should I look for when shooting the guns? I don't know much about good/bad trigger pull or other things. Any particular things I should try to concentrate on?
The front sight and figuring out which pistol shoots best for you.

Good/bad trigger pull is purely a personal thing. Some feel that the 1911s trigger unmodified is gritty and stiff. Personally, I can't tell the difference between an unmodified 1911 and a modified one. So, trying to decide which trigger is good or bad is academic at best.

Figure out which gun points, shoots, and handles best for you. Once you decide, that's the piece for you.

-Rob
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hate these kind of questions.
The only fighting hand gun I ever would advise anyone to purchase is a good quality 1911 in any caliber EXCEPT 9mm. That leaves 40 short and weak, 10mm, 38 Super, and of course, 45 ACP. I also like 400 Cor Bon if you are an experienced re-loader.
Nite sites are a fad and I have never heard of anyone using them at night. They are cute, though, and I am leaning toward a fiber optic front sight due to age and diabetes. They are also real cute! I have a Commander size 1911 set up with a diamond adjustable Ghost Ring with a Red fiber optic front sight.
Please talk to some real people about what you should choose for your pistol. If you want a 9mm, get a smaller platform like a Star BM.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Please talk to some real people about what you should choose for your pistol. If you want a 9mm, get a smaller platform like a Star BM.
I am talking to several people irl as well (most active shooters, a few LEO's). I just want as many suggestions/opinions as possible since most usually have atleast a little value, many have more.

Anyway, what's wrong with the CZ and the HP?

I just couldn't help but think of the Miami Shootout when I read your post. Is that the reason you wouldn't get a 9mm?
 

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We do NOT make remarks about others in this manner. Not everyone will agree with everyone else nor are they expected to, but this type remark is not tolerated. It is not important whether or not you agree. They are the rules. Go by them or leave. This site is not going to become one for pissing matches and rude behavior.

This reminder is for those who have not yet crossed the line.
The previous post clearly did and its author has been banned.
 

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hi, christian,
seeing your reasons for a pistol, here's my suggestion..

a 1911 .45acp in a model like a Springfield Mil-Spec. Runs about $400 for a good one. You don't need one of the $1000 models.

Since you didn't say for carry but home defense, this is the best caliber to choose for that.

Target shooting is very good with a standard length barrel, 5", 1911 .45acp. Mine is a Springfield and it is more accurate than my Glock 19 was. The Glock was very accurate too, but the 1911 was better for target shooting.

Shop around a bit. Try holding what you see that you might like. See how it feels and how the sights line up for you.

Just plain 45acp ammo, Winchester, Remington, in 230gr FMJ is not very expensive. Sure 9mm is cheaper, but for home defense you want a big bullet. And you can get hollow points for the 45 that do an excellent job.

Let us know what you decide.

I forgot to add, for a little more money you can buy a Springfield 1911 with tritium night sights already on it.

og

BTW, Stephen is right. For now, just ignore any silly remarks from some folks.
 

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Hi there,

My first semi-auto pistol was the Taurus PT-92 and I really enjoyed it quite a bit. It had everything that I was looking for in a 9mm pistol.

My second semi-automatic pistol was a SA Mil Spec with stock sights and I enjoyed it even more. That began my long journey into the world of the 1911.

These days, I seem to be fixated on the Browning HP.

If I had to do it all over again, I would probably go down that same path. I haven't owned a CZ pistol in the CZ 75 configuration, but that would probably be a top contender as well. I owned a CZ-100 for awhile.

My major consideraton would be that I would want something that would need little or no customizing out of the box.

Chris
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think you are on the right track! The trouble with opinions from guys like me are the fact that we can't deny is that I view the 1911 as the best fighting handgun ever made by man. I am a 1911 Bigot!
Having said that, you are right about the Dade County failure of the accountants/lawers turned gunfighters. It was a bad combination of tactics and bady armed , but very brave men, that lost the day for all of them who suffered in that fiasco. I was a deputy sheriff then, and saw the tapes that came from Dade County and I will never forget them. Very few civilians saw what I saw. I wish they had run away and came back to play another day. If I had been following that car, saw a man with a Mini 14 loading two taped together magazines into it, and I was armed with a 9mm or .38 Special, I would have never tried a high risk traffic stop without a 12 gauge and a Carbine in 45 ACP! Those two were very bad dudes! And they were trained killers. The FBI knew that and made the stop anyway!
I like the 45 ACP and know many men and women who shoot it well. It is not for the faint hearted and you need to be serious about it, but once you master it, you are safer than you have ever been. It is a very easy cartridge to reload and factory amo for it is cheap. I estimate that I have run about 500,000 rounds though them in my 50 + years that I have had one on my right hip, behind my back, and under an armpit.
I would be looking out for a .38 Super Commander if I were you, also. Thiis is a wonderful weapon for the LA Annex (Phoenix) Gangsta's they have down yonder. 10 rounds of hot stuff with a 9 round reload will take care of most social problems en countered down there! It is also a very pleasant round to fire, except for the muzzle blast from really hot rounds. I have over-loaded it several times during load development, and blew the grips of off a couple of nice 1911's. Picked out a few splinters out of my hand and reduced the load! My Red Eye Special .38 Super Comp Game Gun has stainless steel shims under the grips for just such a problem. It will save the grips and the hand!
Take your time and get all the input you can. In 1983 I was at a Street Survival Seminar in Wyoming and saw a perp with 31 9mm hloles in him and he lived to sue the cops for excessive force. As I recall, he won!
Be careful out there!
 

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Hi Chris,

IMO you are taking the correct approach in selecting your first pistol. First make a needs assessment, find several choices that fit this assessment, read and research everything you can find about your choices, ask people for their opinions, test your choices if possible, be practical money wise, and then make your choice. You seem to be doing this.

Now here is my opinion. The Browning Hi Power in 9mm fits my needs. A few months ago I purchased one, and I love everything about that baby. Will I recommend this pistol for you? NO! It may fail to satisfy for you one or more of the things outlined above. Only you can determine this. The bottom line is that you have to make your own choice. I think you fully realize this.

Having said all of this I would highly recommend that you put a lot of weight on the advice given in the above posts. Those people have many years experience and they know what they are talking about.

Good luck, and let us know on what you select.

Bert Kellar
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Having said that, you are right about the Dade County failure of the accountants/lawers turned gunfighters. It was a bad combination of tactics and bady armed , but very brave men, that lost the day for all of them who suffered in that fiasco. I was a deputy sheriff then, and saw the tapes that came from Dade County and I will never forget them. Very few civilians saw what I saw.
Those videos wouldn't be available for the public, would they? I mean, the Dinkheller video I posted in the CCQ forum was very shocking and I'd rather not watch it again but it sure tought me a valuable lesson or two as well. Same thing with quite a few other videos that were very difficult to watch.

Anyway, thanks again, everybody, for the excellent advice. I'd like to make one more clarification:
Carrying a firearm here in Finland is strictly prohibited from everybody else except LEO's/military/specialized guards who are ON DUTY. Nobody else can carry a firearm anywhere at any time (except unloaded to a firing range or gunsmith etc).

That being said, I would like the gun I'll be buying to be suitable for concealed carry as well. As our law is what it is all this is purely and 100% hypothetical. "Concealability" is a nice quality in a gun. Still, I wouldn't go for a compact gun. Even a 1911 would probably conceal well enough if need be.

I guess what I should do now is to hit a range and try out a 1911 in .45 ACP, the FN HP, and the CZ75B, both in 9mm. Too bad the prices at the local gun-renting ranges are so high.
 

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That being said, I would like the gun I'll be buying to be suitable for concealed carry as well. As our law is what it is all this is purely and 100% hypothetical. "Concealability" is a nice quality in a gun. Still, I wouldn't go for a compact gun. Even a 1911 would probably conceal well enough if need be.
I believe you will be pleasantly surprised by how easy a 1911 conceals. Being a thin pistol I find it conceals better than physically lighter and shorter pistol. I have yet to find a 9mm handgun that concealed well for me. The CZ, Ruger P95, and BHP are all WONDERFUL firearms, but with my short stature the bulky grips are harder to hide. My full size 1911 by contrast disappears under a t-shirt. It is really quite remarkable.

I do agree, rent/borrow/beg to shoot as many of them as you can and then decide.

-Rob
 

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Christian,

You will probably find as many opinions as there are contributors to the site. I personally favor the BHP, as do others here, but I realize that it is not the right choice for everybody. For most of us, when we finally get the gun we can live with, it is wisdom born of pain (and a lot of money, buying and selling and/or trading); at the same time, that is part of the fun. You can't go wrong with any of the choices you listed.

PGM
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Christian,

Any of the pistols on your list has the potential to more than meet your needs. Each is a high quality firearm. You've got great taste, dude!

If I were you, I'd rent one of each and spend some time at the range. One of those guns will feel better to you. Maybe it'll be the trigger pull or the balance or the way it recoils or all of the above and more thay makes one stand out over the other.

Another consideration -- tie breaker maybe -- is cost of ammunition. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that in Finland 9 mm is much cheaper than .45 acp. (Of course, I guess S&B is readily available there too.) Anyway, it's good to shoot a lot. In fact, the more you shoot the better you'll get and the more fun you'll have.

The Springfield could be more finicky than the others and could be more maintenance intensive. (Notice I said "could" not would, so hold all the fiery emails please.) 1911s are almost infinitely customizable. Whether that's more an advantage or a temptation for a college student on a tight budget is for you to decide.

The Glock and CZ will be good-to-go out of the box and won't need or offer that much in the way of custom options.

Have fun and lert us know how it goes.

Max
 
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