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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting married in January. After that I plan on seriously looking into buying my first pistol. Right now I'm thinking of either something in a .40 or 9mm. Just trying to get more information on what people think of the pros and cons of either calibers. Thanks.
 

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Both are great calibers. I am a 1911 person which you can get in either caliber. If you are looking for a simply pistol, I would go with a glock 23 gen 4. I own one and very happy with it.
 

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At this point in time the caliber is not the question, the question is how many clips/rounds are you going to buy.

9mm is very rare on the common market so maybe .45 or .357 would be better as you would want several hundred rounds to make it a viable weapons platform.

My first question would be why not a .12 gauge shotgun?

The gun is very cheap, the rounds are readily available, and the shotgun is also very inexpensive compared to a pistol.

OOOOO and I forgot, a shot gun with ANY available round will stop a "bad guy" on the first shot where a pistol will take several rounds for the same effect.

plus you have a lot better chance of hitting your target, oh and the mechanical sound of racking a round into the chamber will make most potential bandits pee their pants and run away!

Do the math and buy a shotgun
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part of the reason for the pistol is because I'd also probably be looking into getting a concealed carry permit. Pistols of course are a lot easier to conceal than a 12 gauge. I've got nothing against a 12 gauge but right now I'd rather have something I carry around with me.
 

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For a first pistol, I would recommend a .22 long rifle. Ruger make a very fine single action, the single six which is a great starter pistol. If you prefer autos, a Ruger mark III is also a great handgun. Smith and Wesson is another quality firearm maker I have had great luck with. You can practice much cheaper with a .22 and avoid developing some bad habits that some people acquire when first learning to shoot a more powerful handgun. If this doesn't interest you, I would get a .40 over a 9mm personally. Like one of the above posters stated, ammunition availability is certainly something to consider also. For mid-sized calibers, I prefer either a .357 or a .45 auto. Whichever you choose, find a competent instructor to teach you safe firearm handling and how to properly shoot it. It is not something that is instinctive, but must be taught.
 

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Part of the reason for the pistol is because I'd also probably be looking into getting a concealed carry permit. Pistols of course are a lot easier to conceal than a 12 gauge. I've got nothing against a 12 gauge but right now I'd rather have something I carry around with me.
I hate to be conspiratorial but..

So you would rather have a less effective weapon...

That takes a LOT of government red tape to get...

And puts you on their watch list....

And costs a lot more, not only for the pistol but for the ammo...

........

just doing the math

.........

processing

.........
 

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You're going to have tons of different viewpoints. It's the way it always it. You have to try different pistols out as much as possible down to firing them if you can at a rental range after you've handled them and like the features, than make an informed decision. I would suggest you go with 9mm seeing as it is the most popular pistol round currently on the market with excellent loads these days. Rounds are definitely available if you don't mind buying online. I also suggest you seriously consider a pistol with a manual safety. It's safer and being it's your first should make you more comfortable keeping it loaded, loading it, and handling it. Save the non manual safety pistols for down the road once you've got some experience under your belt and know what you prefer. Getting something compact will let you better conceal it should you want to and for shtf that's an important aspect.
 

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I would recommend avoiding a 9mm as your primary. When paranoia sets in the ammo becomes impossible to find (at a decent price), and 9mms are known for lack of stopping power. My first was a 9mm but it wasn't long before I shelved it for a .45

.40 would be a great choice. .357 sig as well

I agree, deciding calibre is first priority
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There's a really good rental range in town. Last time I was there I was able to try out a Glock .40. Next time around I'm thinking I'll try out a 9mm just to see the difference between the two.
 

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Opinions on which caliber or which pistol to buy is just that, an opinion. IMHO, I'd suggest you try to find some who has a bunch of different firearms in different calibers that you could try out and find one that you like. I personally like .45 ACP. It was the military staple for a ton of years because it was capable of stopping a man. Friends who attended the Afgan or Iraqi school of thought didn't like the 9mm. They said it seemed to punch right through the bad guys without stopping them. 5 or 6 of them said the carried their own .45ACP instead of the issued 9mm. My own training in service was with the 1911, a wonderful firearm but I didn't like the small cap. mag and went with a new, light weight, hi-cap semi-auto. As far as the .22LR, I remember a mafia guy shot in the back of the head twice with .22LR and they didn't penetrate and he lived and rolled over on the mob. So, listen to everybody and then choose what does it for you.
 

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I always hated the aspect of being stuck with only FMJ in the military. It's retarded honestly to not use the more effective hollow point ammunition available. Soldiers still shoot to kill and those they shoot at still end up dead. It just takes a lot more ammunition to do it when you can only carry so much and resupply can be just a daydream. Thankfully none of us in the civilian world are stuck with that lousy choice. There are excellent 9mm hollow points out there and you can carry more of them per mag compared to other rounds.
 

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Just a note,

9mm is much cheaper for practice rounds than 40 cal is.

If you get a 9mm you can get +P ammo that is as hot as a 40 cal.

So with cost effective rounds you can practice and then get a box of +p rounds for defence.
 

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There is an argument long boiling in this country over what is better: 9mm, 40, or 45. Some people even tend to try and finagle 380 ACP, 10mm, and 357Sig into that argument too. Truth is that all six calibers are lethal at personal threat distances. The longest stretch in my house (front door to back door) is 30 feet. So all I worry about is stopping power at 30 feet, and they all have it in spades. No burglar is going to get shot at your house at 2:34 in the morning with a 380 and say, "You little pussy. Couldn't shoot me with a man's gun could you?" No. He is going to bleed and scream.

Here is another tidbit to consider. According to the FBI Uniform Code of Reporting, 80% of all handgun injuries are survivable. This includes suicides, accidental discharge, and officer involved shootings. Those three subsets of the greater data are responsible for the majority of handgun fatalities because they are at a very close range or are made up of multiple shots. That means that somewhere close to 95% or greater of handgun injuries sustained by midnight home invaders, burglars and intruders are not life threatening.

I say that to set up for you the very real expectation that what ever pistol you buy, it may not be a lethal tool. Stopping power and lethality, while inter-related, are not the same thing. Stopping power stops the aggression on you. Lethality is the pistols ability to critically injure. Some people that die from a handgun injury were shot by a cheap-ass Jennings-Bryco in .25. The person was attacked. Shot the attacker, continued to get their ass beat, and then the attacker stumbled off into the night to be found dead two days later. Lethal, but no stopping power. Got it?

Once you pick a caliber, the performance of that caliber is going to be largely dependent on the rounds you buy to put into it. A 380 (weakest of the 6 I mentioned) with a defensive round in it will have more stopping power than a .45 with ball ammo.

So here is the break down on what you asked for:
380 ACP: Same caliber as the 9mm. As a matter of fact in Europe it is the 9mm Kurtz (Short). It is pricey and weak, but also allows you to have a small concealable pistol.

9mm Parabellum: This has been a standard issue round for militarys around the world for the better part of 100 years now. Parabellum means Para-Bellum or latin for "To prepare for war." There is an ass-load of good reliable cheap 9mm ammo out there and it is so popular that it will never ever ever fall out of production. Much of the bad rap that 9mm received as a weak or insufficient round comes from the older 9mm rounds and tales from WWII when people were shooting bad ammo at each other while wearing layers and layers of thick insulation. Modern 9mm defensive ammo will outperform anything that was made before 1985.

40S&W: The 40 was developed in the 1980s to address shortcomings with the 9mm. At the time women were entering the police forces more and more and struggled with the larger .45 and .357 rounds. As well a number of men were less than proficient with those calibers too. The 40 was supposed to put 45 performance in the size and control-ability of the 9mm. It did neither. Is it a more powerful round than the 9mm? Sure. No argument there. Does that make it more effective? Not necessarily. The 40 needs to be supersonic to expand and out of anything smaller than a full service sized gun it is sub sonic. Short Barrel 40's are a liability for the shooter. You are not getting what you pay for and you are leaving performance on the table. The 40 is also a high pressure round and after prolonged use will wear a barrel and springs out faster than a 9mm will.

10mm: Same caliber as the 40 but just a heavier hitting round. Hard to find and expensive as hell. Performance wise it is the most man stoppingist round in this comparison but just not practical. Nuff Said

357 Sig: Gucci round. Special round using a 9mm projectile and a 40 cal bras case necked down. Was supposed to put the performance of a 357 magnum in an auto loader but only really does so in full service sized weapons just like with the 40. This is also a super high pressure round and will wear a barrel out faster than a 9mm or 45.

45ACP: The mother round. Old fashioned and hard hitting. No one argues with a 45. Price is reasonable, Performance is reasonable, size is large. It is the gold standard base line by which all comparisons are drawn. This is a good reliable round with plenty of surplus ammo around. Not the fastest bullet or highest capacity but a proven performer.

I will caution you when asking for advice on the internet before I give you this next piece of advice. A lot of what you read in opinions are people trying to justify their last purchase. Guy buys a 10mm and then tells everyone they need a 10mm too. Such is life.

What would I get in your shoes? I would get a 9mm in a full sized Glock, Beretta 92, Springfield XDm, Smith and Wesson M&P. If you are a first time pistol owner these will fit your hand (unless you or your bride to be is teeny tiny), they will be manageable as far as recoil, they hold between 15 and 25 rounds and give a good sight radius to build skill off of. I do not own, nor have I ever owned any of these pistols. I am not recommending them to you to make myself feel better. On the contrary, I bought a small 40 and have regretted it. I WISH I had bought what I'm recommending to you. I have handled and shot all of these and compared them to my purchase and they are far and above better. They also hold their resale value extremely well if you change your mind later.
 

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I own all 3 calibers myself. I have my 9mm for the capacity factor. Four 20rd magazines is a nice thing to be able to carry around!:) my .45 is a beast for knockdown power and it has four 13rd mags. The wife decided it was time to step up from the 9mm so she opted for the 40:)
 

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I would go with a Sig P226 in 9mm.

Second choice would be a Glock 19.
 

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My beretta M9 is a fun gun. While it isn't my first, I would recommend it as first. Little recoil, ease of breakdown, and 9mm is for now, readily available and cheap to practice on. Then once you get comfortable with a handgun, you can get something bigger :)
 

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look into the smith and wesson m&p i have it in full size and compact, both sizes in 9mm and 40 cal. i like guns. it like ammo. very shiney :) they work for you all day long. don't be shy about buying factory reload. i have no problem getting ammo for my 9s. but southern California has many many reload factories! reload is very easy and cheap here. one thing i will say about ammo is tip your range kids often, remember them with a 20-100 spot at xmas (depends on yer budget). ill tell you why... they determine the ammo that's available to you and the price yer gonna pay. i never run short,never get scared and always get a super haul at a super price. like 1k rounds of 9 for 175 bucks out the door.

my beretta fs92 was first 9 i do like it, but prefer the single action of the m&p. don't be shy to put Hogue grips on yer beretta, you can thank me later. i didn't do the grips on my Inox 92, not the American made one. i prefer the one with the grips!
 
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