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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pistol bleg

#1 Son surprised me by asking for a pistol for Christmas.  He's not so much my shooting buddy - #2 Son is usually the one who wants to come shooting with me.  #1 Son's interest is sparked perhaps from Call Of Duty (I know, I know), but this is what folks call a "teachable moment".  Ideally, this will pry him away from the game console.

We had the discussion on what he'd do with the pistol.  After some talk about different sizes and uses, he thought something mid-sized is the "Goldilocks size" - not too big (Beretta 92) or too small (the plethora of pocket pistols).  Just right seems to be S&W M&P-ish or so.  And nothing with strange or unusual ammo (like a Makarov).

So here's my question for you, dear reader: what would you recommend for a present that meets the following:

1. 9mm caliber.

2. Rails (for flashlight, bayonet, etc).

3. Mid-sized form factor.

4. Not too expensive.

Yes, this is pretty open ended, but all opinions would be appreciated.

34 comments:

Walter Zoomie said...

Glock 19...no question.

Meets all of your requirement.

Easy to use, reliable as the sunrise.

Shepherd K said...

I was going to say Glock 19 as well, but Walter beat me to it. Besides, the G19 may not fit him well depending on hand size. An alternative would be the Ruger SR9 which is less expensive than Glock by about $100 depending in what the market has done to prices sine the election. The SR has a slimmer grip than the Glock, it's a Ruger which means its built like a tank, and its prettier than the Glock. Downsides are the magazine disconnect safety which comes out in under five minutes with a punch and a little know how, the frame mounted "thumb safety" (seriously, either put a real safety there or leave the damn tiny piece of metal off the gun) which is Ruger's homage to lawyers everywhere and it's more full size than mid size but then that's the same issue with the M&P.

ASM826 said...

If you can let go of the rail, which I never use on a handgun, consider the Browning Hi-Power. It's got all the other qualifications, it's reliable, accurate, and it was designed by JMB. There's a modern version called the Hi-Power Practical that would be the one I would choose. Here's the link to the one in the Browning catalog:

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail-historic.asp?fid=007B&cid=051&tid=005&bg=x

You see them used around $600.

Old NFO said...

Either of the above, I have both, and they both work! (And I bought both my daughters G-19s...) :-)

George said...

M&P? Glock 19? XD-M? Ruger Sr-9c? There are no bad choices here.

Anonymous said...

1st pistol ? Gotta be a .22lr. He needs practice, LOTS of practice and a .22lr is one way to build up skills without racking up major bills. Very little recoil and report - to me, makes sense. A used Ruger Mark II or Browning Buck Mark makes sense to me for this.

Just my .02.

velcro8ball said...

Star BM, steel frame, of BKM, alloy frame. 8rnds with one up the pipe. Very similar to the 1911. Everything but the rail.

doubletrouble said...

++ on the .22 factor, but otherwise Glock 17/19 or M&P9.

greg said...

I was going to through my hat in the ring for the Ruger SR9...fits in to what I would call that 'goldilocks' size.

Of course, the gentleman above has a good point on the advantages of a .22. Not what you were asking for, but a person could do MUCH worse than picking up a used 22/45 to get used to a full size grip.

Dave H said...

A .22's not a bad idea, maybe even as a family gun that anyone can shoot when the feel the need. But I think any of the pistols listed would be a fine first handgun.

Ajdshootist said...

Just my 2p worth but as a one time club and county instucker he needs to learn to shoot so i would go with a .22 first then move on to a .38 before moving on to a semi auto,learn to group and make his shots count not just putting rounds all over the target.If he wants fun try bowling pin shoots or droping falling plates.

The Czar of Muscovy said...

I'd definitely get him to a range and have him try a Glock. If he loves it, he'll hit targets right away--then you know for sure he's a Glock jock.

Glock love is something you're born with: if you weren't born with it, you don't like 'em that much. Me? I don't like 'em that much: I find the grips uncomfortable.

Love the recommendation on the Browning HP. Not very expensive and easy and fun to shoot.

He might consider the XD in 9mm. I'm an XD nut, though, so take that with a grain of salt. Ruger is a good bet.

So is a Smith, but look at an SD9 as well as an M&P. I like the M&Ps, but those may not be his thing.

ZerCool said...

S&W 3913, if you can find one for a good price.

Anonymous said...

CZ SP-01. Big and heavy, but sits smaller in the hand then a 92FS. Points well, has inexpensive magazines, and with just use the trigger polishes up very nicely. If it wasn't so hard on belts, I would carry it all the time.

Boat Guy said...

I'm with the Czar of Muscovy; I think, based on your criteria that the XD or XD-M are the best choices. YMMV...
I will also dogpile on the idea of a .22, though.

Sport Pilot said...

I’ve owned or shot pretty much all of the commonly available pistol’s and revolver’s, to include a lot of the one’s that have been dropped from production over the last thirty or so years. I’m certain that you know the drill about letting the shooter pick out the pistol that they want; of course most of us don’t do that. I carry an issued Glock for my service pistol but purchased a Ruger SR9 a few months ago to test out. It has a better OTB trigger pull and sights than any of the Glock pistol’s I’ve owned or handled. Mine has had no reliability problems and shoots to point of aim. It does have a magazine disconnect safety and frame mounted safeties but these are non-issues to me. Both are easily removable if desire. The SR9 is also quite a bit less expensive than a Glock, H&K, SiG, CZ and some other pistols. Galloway Precision offers an excellent spring and trigger kit if desire. The SR9c is also a perfect size range, play and carry pistol. And FWIW I’ve never been a fan of Ruger center fire pistol’s but the LCP and SR9 are good gear.

Murphy's Law said...

Glock 19 if you must, but I'd also follow ASM's advice and go with a Browning Hi-Power. That's a real classic that'll never go out of style, and seriously, who really needs a rail anyway?

JD said...

I like my M&P full size 9. Good gun, easy to use and clean. . .

instinct said...

My choice (which hasn't been mentioned yet) would be a Sig 2022.

Aaron said...

Glock 19 and an Advantage Arms .22LR conversion kit for it - best of both worlds.

I'd also recommend taking him to a gun store and have him try the grip feel on a variety of 9mms that fit his size requirements and perhaps shoot a few if possible first.

Geodkyt said...

What George said, but I'll add the Sig P250 as a contender. The Sig has teh advantage of being able to be easily and inexpensively adapted into one of three sizes and multiple calibers, all using the same serialized "receiver" (the trigger group is the "receiver", not the grip frame). So compact, mid size, full size service pistol, from 9x19mm to .45ACP. AND, can be found under $400.

Have him see which pistol feels best (both trigger and grip) in his hands.

Yes, a .22LR is probably the best all-round choice for a first gun, but 9x19mm ball is pretty cheap, fairly low recoil, and modern US made 9x19mm JHPs (frankly, I'd advise sticking with pretty conventional designs in the 115 - 125gr range, although some whose opinions I respect swear by the 147gr loadings) are plenty useful for serious social purposes "if and when".

freddyboomboom said...

Instead of the full sized CZ SP-01, I would recommend the smaller P-01.

Another contender that I like a lot is the Beretta PX-4 Storm. I really like mine.

BenC said...

S&W M&P 9mm

James Nelson said...

This requires the same response as the "what gun should I get for my wife?" question. Let him pick one out while you give him a budget. Not that any of the above suggestions won't work and may be what he chooses in the end.
I own several of the above mentioned guns, though my SR-9 was hijacked by my girlfriend and she decided it was her Christmas present.
I don't own any Glocks, they don't feel good in my hand. Your mileage my vary.

Linoge said...

I am a big fan of my Baby Eagle, and the newer ones meet all of your requirements, but finding accessories for them is something of a pain in the arse. Magazines at least are standard CZ75 units.

Archer said...

Springfield XD if he can handle a double-stack. Kahr CW9 if he needs a single-stack (less costly version of the P9, but still good quality).

+1 on Aaron's suggestion to have him pick up and hold a bunch. It's how I decided against a Glock (begin flame war in 3, 2, 1, ...); it just didn't fit in my hand nearly as comfortably as the XD did. The Kahr feels small to me but still comfortable to hold, but it fits the wife's smaller hands perfectly.

As was said, there's no really bad choices. Good luck! ;)

Anonymous said...

Glock 19 third Generation. Pass on 4th gen., it's reliability is merely good, vs. outstanding on 3rd gen and earlier. Everything else is just adequate by comparison. Not only my opinion, but opinions of multiple firearm instructors who see which guns keep running, and which ones fail, during multi-day classes. Be sure to replace factory sights with decent night sights; Truglo or trijjicon are two great choices. Only caveat - have him confirm grip size works for him; Glocks don't fit everyone. 22LR should be SECOND pistol. Anonymous's points are all very valid - but you can't defend yourself very well with a 22, and having the right tool for the job is in my opinion the #1 priority. Best of luck

Casey M. said...

I will echo everyone else's sentiments for the Browning Hi Power. Easily my favorite handgun out of everything I've ever owned or used, and it might just be my favorite gun, period. Points like a dream.

kx59 said...

I don't know what the glocks are going for, but I just picked up a Ruger SR9c for under $400.
With the extended mag, it has a very nice grip. I shot very nice groups right out of the box even with the short mags.
I did fondle a Glock 17 on the way out the range door. It felt good in my hand. I think I heard it whisper sweet nothings. I purposely did not look at the price though.

Cormac said...

You could go with the 9mm if there's an available (and not horribly expensive) .22 conversion...that would make it much cheaper to take it out plinking.

Farmee said...

Given that you're not looking at a .22, the best choice...

1. CZ-75 or variant.
2. XD or M&P or Smith 908 or 915

Kevin said...

I am not a fan of polymer pistols in general, and Glocks just don't fit me properly, period. I will say, however, I am VERY pleased with my M&P9 full size. It fits me perfectly, and the factory trigger is far from bad, though I understand the Apex replacement triggers are a major step up. I would unhesitatingly recommend one.

But it does need night sights.

Anonymous said...

keltec makes very affordable 9's in florida. I like mine.

TOTWTYTR said...

I second what Zercool said. A 3913TSW, if you can find one with a rail at a reasonable price is a great 9mm semi.

S&W stopped making them a few years ago because they cost a lot more than polymer framed guns, but they are accurate, reliable, and there are still a lot of accessories out there for them.

3rd generation Smith semis are just now starting to catch the attention of the collectors, so if you want one start scouring the used gun cases of gun shops and pawn shops.