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  1. #1
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    Default What do you recommend for best all-around pistol?

    I'm new to shooting and looking to make my first purchase of a firearm. I want to purchase a best overall firearm that I can use for general shooting applications as well as something that does well in competition. Any suggestions as to what to try and at what calibers?
    JMJ

  2. #2

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    Depending on where you live there are a lot of great guns. If you are looking for an all around gun for competition you can get a Glock. They work great for self defense, competition, and target shooting. Another great option if you don't live in MA is the S&W M&P pistol. This is a winning combination. Has the same features as a Glock yet has a better grip angle and some other great features. I would recommend a .40S&W if you are using for all applications. 9mm doesn't work for some shooting disciplines. I would also recommend getting a full size gun not a compact or subcompact.

    Another option would be a 1911. They are the best platform IMO out there. Only problem is most are .45 which can be a little much for new shooters (although they recoil about the same as a .40 and sometimes even less) and the ammo costs more.

    Pete

  3. #3
    Appleseed Instructor dwarven1's Avatar
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    My first handgun was a S&W Model 19 - a .357 Magnum revolver. You can shoot either .38 Special or .357 ammo in it; .38 target loads have pretty light recoil which is a good thing for beginning shooters.

    Some good models to look for are the S&W Model 19/66 (the 19 is blued steel; the 66 is stainless) or the 686 (which is still in production) or the Ruger GP100 or Security Six. I personally do not like Colts, but that's because the handgrip is too large for my hands. But they are an excellent gun. Taurus revolvers are available cheap, but I do not like their triggers - most of the ones I've handled have a gritty feel.

  4. #4
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    The best "all around" handgun and the best first-purchase handgun for a handgun newbie who wants to acquire some skills aren't the same gun.

    In my opinion (and I know others with differ), all newbies should start with a .22 and burn up a lot of bricks before taking on the centerfires. If you want to be a bullseye shooter, the best newbie pistol is the S&W Model 41. If you want to be a generalist, the best newbie pistol is the S&W Model 17.

    I haven't the courage to suggest what is the "best" "all around" handgun, assuming such a thing exists.

  5. #5
    NES Member Executive's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. Do a search on this topic. It has been covered many many times, just about whenever someone new joins up. I think many of the regulars actually enjoy dispensing advice, but do the search anyway. My recommendation, a S&W 686 4". Good to start with, good to grow with, good for a long, long time.


    Chris
    "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are , while your reputation is merely what others think you are."
    John Wooden

  6. #6

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    A 4 inch S&W 357 revolver. Any one of these models are good, 19, 66 or 686...

  7. #7

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    JmasterJ- What type of guns do you prefer? Autos or revolvers? I personally wouldn't start with a .22 pistol but that is just me. The problem with the .22 is you are VERY limited to what competitions you can shoot with it and it will get boring quickly. The plus side to a .22 is that it is VERY cheap to shoot and to buy, and doesn't recoil much so it may be easier to shoot. However, if you want to shoot IPSC or IDPA you are out of luck. Plus, a .22 is NOT a good defensive pistol.

  8. #8
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    Thanks all for the warm welcome and advice. To answer one's question, pistol/action pistol competition. To answer another's, semi-autos. It seems that many prefer S/W's. I have been renting the P226 in the 9 and have found that my groupings are tighter at 25 feet than with the glock 19 or the S/W 908 that I've shot. I've only gone through 1000 rounds or so and I'm still evaluating my techniques (which need lots of work at this early stage) and different handgun types.

    From everyone's experiences:
    Where and WHO is recommended to learn from and get instruction from to better my technique?
    Thanks
    JMJ

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JmasterJ View Post
    From everyone's experiences:
    Where and WHO is recommended to learn from and get instruction from to better my technique?
    Thanks
    JMJ
    Come join us at Harvard Sportsmans Club any Wed. night around 5pm. You'll get a ton of help.

    If you plan on shooting Action Shooting (USPSA/IPSC) the Glock would be a better choice than the Sig. The Sig P226 is a good gun but isn't the best for competition. My first gun was a Sig P226 and the gun worked great, never jammed or anything. But because it has a double action first pull many people find it harder to shoot esp. on the first shot which is drawn from a holster. (myself included) Where the Glock benefits is that the trigger pull is the same every time you pull it weather it is your first pull or your 20th. Plus, the Glock has a much larger aftermarket than the Sig so if there is anything you don't like about the gun you can for the most part change it out.

    Believe it or not I'm not a huge Glock fan. I only have one and don't shoot it all that often. I'm a 1911 guy. However, the Glock is such a great platform.

    Do you live in MA??? When are you going to be making a purchase?

    If it won't be for another month or two and you live in MA it would be worthwhile to check out the SW M&P.

    Pete

  10. #10

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    I love Glocks and Sigs. I was going to recommend a G19 but since you shoot the P226 better then by all means go with that... as long as you shoot it better in DA/SA at reasonable speeds. A 229 might be more comparable in size to the G19 but if you have big hands go for the 226. Fit it the most important IMO.

    Lot's of great classes around. Sig, S&W, many IDPA/IPSC folks are a great source of help.

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