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Life is grand!
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Discussion Starter #1
I've just spent the last hour reading many of the posts in this forum and am impressed with the topics and discussions I've read. Hats off to you all.

The events of 911 moved me to consider owning my first handgun. Knowing absolutely NOTHING about them I went to a used gun store and looked at a few different styles and sizes, and shot a few of them in their firing range. I ended up purchasing a SW .357 mag.

Since the purchase I have taken the gun out a number of times to practice my shot. However, as I'm a smaller guy, I find that the .357 is pretty heavy and has a tiring kick after a few rounds. So I'm out in the market again looking to sell my .357 and buy something smaller. And I'm leaning away from a revolver and more to a pistol. I've read a lot about the Springfield XD9 (9mm) and went and checked one out yesterday, and it looks like a good reliable gun. Any thoughts on that gun?? The shop owner also showed me the Springfield 1911 which I really am impressed with. The problem is that the 1911 is a .45 which is a step UP from what I have, so unfortunately it will kick harder and I probably won't get that one even though I'd like to. I like the look of the chrome (imagine that!!) over the black plastic style gun.

I really like the 'feel' of a Springfield. I had a Glock and a Springfield side-by-side and the Glock felt like a brick in comparison. Not comfortable in my hand at all. With my smaller hands the Springfield just felt good.

So what are your recommendations? Cost isn't a huge issue (but I don't want to go overboard), but accuracy, dependability and size/weight/kick are. Any feedback would be appreciated. Like I said at the start of this message, I really don't know much about guns, and I think this is a good place to get some really constructive comments. Thanks in advance. This forum rocks!
 

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Premium Member
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YoDa,

Well first, are you shooting 357 magnum rounds when you practice? If so, switch to regular .38 special ammunition and the recoil should be very manageable. By that, I mean that you should be able to shoot 200 rounds in a session without pain, soreness or blisters.

Before you spend money on another gun, I'd suggest spending it on training. A good class can cost as little as $150.00 a day for level I handgun training. Trainers can also be a good source to help select a weapon.

Whatever caliber you select, learning gun safety and practicing shot placement should be your first concern.
 

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Knower of Stuff
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If you like the .357 try shooting 38spl +P loads through it. A lot less kick and still a good defense round. You can also target practice with just .38 spl rounds. They are a lot cheaper than .357 rounds. I would change ammo and give that a try before you invest in a new gun.
If you still want to change guns, if you have a range that rents the guns, go try a few out. My indoor range here rents just abount anything up to .50 cal.
I shoot a 1911 .45 and do not think they kick as bad as a .357 but that is me.
Dito on the gun training suggested by OldMic.
 

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Soar like an Eagle
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How are you going to use this weapon, concealed carry or leave it at the house? Makes a difference on which to suggest.

Go to the next gun show in your area and handle alot and ask alot of questions. You can find what fits your hand and feels good to you.

Basically a revolver is the most simple easy to operate without a jam when you are under pressure of the situtation at hand. The semi autos are great but take some time getting used to to handle when the under pressure of the situation at hand.

For a small rig for concealed carry I have a .380 Colt Mustang in stainless. Sights are night sites and it has enough power to do the job if the round is properly placed in the target. Design of the gun is flat is fairly comfortable to carry.

Otherwise I like the 40 S&W and prefer the quality and feel of the Sig pistols. Go check out a 229 and see how it feels to your hand.

If you want to stick with the revolver, and there are good reasons to for a beginner, go to the 38 S&W, check out a S&W M632 or M642. Both have hidden hammers and could work as a concealed carry or night stand defense arm.

Hope this helps.
 

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Premium Member
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To agree with others -- try 38 Specials in your Smith. Recoil will be much, much less. And, I do think that a 1911 in 45 ACP has less felt recoil than a 357 Magnum. In fact, the 1911 is my favorite firearm platform. But - you should be comfortable around single-action automatics to use one, and that brings up training. As you gain experience and training, and as you see and shoot various handguns, you'll work toward what is best for you.
And, you'll end up as opinionated as the rest of us gun "experts." (Well, at least I think I am.......)
 

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David III said:
To agree with others -- try 38 Specials in your Smith. Recoil will be much, much less. And, I do think that a 1911 in 45 ACP has less felt recoil than a 357 Magnum. In fact, the 1911 is my favorite firearm platform. But - you should be comfortable around single-action automatics to use one, and that brings up training. As you gain experience and training, and as you see and shoot various handguns, you'll work toward what is best for you.
And, you'll end up as opinionated as the rest of us gun "experts." (Well, at least I think I am.......)
Gun folks opinionated? Say it ain't so! :hystria:
 

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XLIII
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Absolute best thing you can do for yourself is buy a .22, like a Ruger Mk II or a Browning Buckmark and a couple thousand rounds of ammo. Learn and cure any bad habits cheaply, then progress to a centerfire pistol.
I'm fairly opinionated, but also a civilian and former LE firearm instructor w/ over 25 years under my belt at it.
 

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@gree: .. with all the above. What ever you do - since money is not an issue - I'd advise you not to sell the .357... You'll probably become more comfortable shooting in general, but regardless -- later you'll regret it. Especially if you ever try your hand at any 3-gun competitions. For those, most folks use .357 for .38s, .45 for big bore pistol, and .22 for rimfire.

Shooting .38s in a .357 is downright enjoyable and as a close-range defense round - I've felt very comfortable with full wadcutters. Those are pure target rounds usually loaded to around 600 fps. Minimal recoil, accurate and that flat nose doesn't need to rely on expansion. Plus - they're inexpensive and so you can practice a lot. The more you practice, the better you get -- and the less you feel recoil.

As for felt recoil - IMO - the recoil of full-house .357 has more of a sharpness to it as opposed to a .45, which is "slower" and is more of a "push." That's especially so if you're shooting 158 grain, full-power loads in the .357. I find the .45 to be not-at-all unpleasant. If you could try them side-by-side, you'll see what I mean.

Grips can also make a HUGE difference in felt recoil - especially in the newer S&Ws that use a Hogue grip with the rear of the frame exposed. Pachymar makes a variety of quality, rubber grips that cover that rear strap and tone down the sharpness on recoil quite a bit.
 

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Life is grand!
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hey thanks everyone for the good advice. :thumbsup: I think I'll sit on the .357 for a while and get registered for a course. Then take things from there.

See how cool this forum is! I'm sitting here in Utah, and I get great advice from people all over the US--Ohio, Texas, MO., Indiana, and Michigan.

Ride safe!
 

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N.R.A.
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If you are not going to regularly and "seriously" practice, stick with a REVOLVER. As I am a police officer we are required to regularly qualify and you would not believe the malfunctions youll see when you get a group of shooters together. As stated just add a nice .22 and shoot the hell out of it.
 

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I actually own both a Full Size Springfield Loaded 1911 and a Glock 19 (9mm). Guns in general are very subjective and what works for me may not work for you.

But in general, I prefer my Glock over the 1911. Sure the 1911 is tops in looks, but my Glock has softer recoil (of course being 9mm vs 45) which makes it easier to shoot and be accurate. Both of my guns have been very reliable. I did have the dreaded last round nosedive problem on my Glock but that has since been fixed. The 9mm is also cheaper for practice. Try different guns and buy what works for you. Some knock the Glock for looks (I could care less how it looks...I care how it functions) and "lack of safety" although the Glock is no less safe than any double action revolver IMO.

If I had to choose, I'd have to go hi-cap nine over the 45 although luckily I can afford to have both. Springfield does make good 1911's, too. Again, buy what you are comfortable with. Try shooting a Glock 19 before deciding though.
 

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Like most said, the .38 is a great round for practice, don't bother with the +p stuff yet, and if you get hollowpoints, you can always carry it.

The 1911 fits my hand like a glove, but would I ever dream it was more reliable than a revolver? No. I think you've got a great start with what you have, stay with it.
 

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N.R.A.
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Top_Notch said:
I actually own both a Full Size Springfield Loaded 1911 and a Glock 19 (9mm). Guns in general are very subjective and what works for me may not work for you.

But in general, I prefer my Glock over the 1911. Sure the 1911 is tops in looks, but my Glock has softer recoil (of course being 9mm vs 45) which makes it easier to shoot and be accurate. Both of my guns have been very reliable. I did have the dreaded last round nosedive problem on my Glock but that has since been fixed. The 9mm is also cheaper for practice. Try different guns and buy what works for you. Some knock the Glock for looks (I could care less how it looks...I care how it functions) and "lack of safety" although the Glock is no less safe than any double action revolver IMO.
If I had to choose, I'd have to go hi-cap nine over the 45 although luckily I can afford to have both. Springfield does make good 1911's, too. Again, buy what you are comfortable with. Try shooting a Glock 19 before deciding though.
Agreed....
As a police officer (detective) my life depends on my sidearm. For this reason I have been carrying Glocks since I switched over from S&W back in 1994. I carried the Glock 17 until we transitioned to .40. Now I carry the Glock 23 and 26 (concealed and off duty). I am fully confident in these tools and the .40 round. I have also read some amazing stories about the Glock from Iraq. I also have the lasermax sight and that can not be beat. If a officer/soldier buys a gun just because of the way it looks they might be in the wrong profession.
 

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Vettely said:
Agreed....
As a police officer (detective) my life depends on my sidearm. For this reason I have been carrying Glocks since I switched over from S&W back in 1994. I carried the Glock 17 until we transitioned to .40. Now I carry the Glock 23 and 26 (concealed and off duty). I am fully confident in these tools and the .40 round. I have also read some amazing stories about the Glock from Iraq. I also have the lasermax sight and that can not be beat. If a officer/soldier buys a gun just because of the way it looks they might be in the wrong profession.
@gree: I have shot many pistols and revolvers and still like my Glock 23 .40 cal over the others. Large enough to shoot comfortable but small enough to conceal.
 

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Infidel
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MegaGlide said:
Absolute best thing you can do for yourself is buy a .22, like a Ruger Mk II or a Browning Buckmark and a couple thousand rounds of ammo. Learn and cure any bad habits cheaply, then progress to a centerfire pistol.
I'm fairly opinionated, but also a civilian and former LE firearm instructor w/ over 25 years under my belt at it.
Great post :)

I recently bought a S&W model 617, which is a .22 cal full size revolver (6 in barrel).

Walmart sells 550 rounds for less than $10.

Tons of fun!
 

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The 26 is a 9mm. The 27 a .40. Is there a reason you CC a 9mm vs. your service weapon, the .40?

I am struggling between the 27 and an XD. Either of which I would recommend for YoDA. The .40 is a show stopper for sure.

Vettely said:
Agreed....
As a police officer (detective) my life depends on my sidearm. For this reason I have been carrying Glocks since I switched over from S&W back in 1994. I carried the Glock 17 until we transitioned to .40. Now I carry the Glock 23 and 26 (concealed and off duty). I am fully confident in these tools and the .40 round. I have also read some amazing stories about the Glock from Iraq. I also have the lasermax sight and that can not be beat. If a officer/soldier buys a gun just because of the way it looks they might be in the wrong profession.
 

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N.R.A.
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toddlerp said:
The 26 is a 9mm. The 27 a .40. Is there a reason you CC a 9mm vs. your service weapon, the .40?

I am struggling between the 27 and an XD. Either of which I would recommend for YoDA. The .40 is a show stopper for sure.
Ooops, you are correct, it is a 27. That was a typo on my part. We have to qualify with both on duty and off duty weapons. I like the fact I can use the large capacity magzines in my "little" 27.
 

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Free agent
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personal protection

YoDA said:
I've just spent the last hour reading many of the posts in this forum and am impressed with the topics and discussions I've read. Hats off to you all.

The events of 911 moved me to consider owning my first handgun. Knowing absolutely NOTHING about them I went to a used gun store and looked at a few different styles and sizes, and shot a few of them in their firing range. I ended up purchasing a SW .357 mag.

Since the purchase I have taken the gun out a number of times to practice my shot. However, as I'm a smaller guy, I find that the .357 is pretty heavy and has a tiring kick after a few rounds. So I'm out in the market again looking to sell my .357 and buy something smaller. And I'm leaning away from a revolver and more to a pistol. I've read a lot about the Springfield XD9 (9mm) and went and checked one out yesterday, and it looks like a good reliable gun. Any thoughts on that gun?? The shop owner also showed me the Springfield 1911 which I really am impressed with. The problem is that the 1911 is a .45 which is a step UP from what I have, so unfortunately it will kick harder and I probably won't get that one even though I'd like to. I like the look of the chrome (imagine that!!) over the black plastic style gun.

I really like the 'feel' of a Springfield. I had a Glock and a Springfield side-by-side and the Glock felt like a brick in comparison. Not comfortable in my hand at all. With my smaller hands the Springfield just felt good.

So what are your recommendations? Cost isn't a huge issue (but I don't want to go overboard), but accuracy, dependability and size/weight/kick are. Any feedback would be appreciated. Like I said at the start of this message, I really don't know much about guns, and I think this is a good place to get some really constructive comments. Thanks in advance. This forum rocks!
I personally love the feel of my AK 47 strapped to my belt and leg
 
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