Recomend a first pistol

amm5061

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I say, drink what you like... shoot what feels good.

This. Go to someplace like MFS where they let you try before you buy. Pick a half dozen that catch your eye and shoot a few magazines/cylinders out of each. Buy the one that feels the best to you.

Use everyone else's opinions to narrow your choices as best you can, but ultimately the gun you pick is yours and has to be right for you.
 
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I always recommend a G19 now. It will save you a lot of time, effort and money in the long run. The trigger is easy to learn. There are a zillion holster, sight, and accessory options. Prebans are available - if you get 1 or 2 you’re all set for carrying. If you end up disliking it enough to sell it you’ll get a higher proportion of your money back than most pistols in MA. The rail gives it some versatility and it’s just small enough to carry and large enough to shoot easily.

Any plastic striker pistol will do though. I bought a shield for my first pistol and I like it, but it lacked some features that I wanted all along.
 
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You really have the right idea about renting some guns, but looking for advice about which ones to try first. This approach will serve you well.

Once you begin looking at guns, there are a variety of different sizes and action types to consider. And I want to add one more factor which I think is important. You should consider whether the pistol is acceptable in its stock configuration, or whether it requires modification. This question particularly applies to the trigger pull.

I like the Smith & Wesson M&P pistols, and for a while they were the best choice in Massachusetts. But the Massachusetts triggers for M&P pistols are terrible, and most people who shoot one much have an Apex trigger kit installed. This is not a bad thing, but it adds time and expense. Also, picking a pistol which is good out of the box avoids any discussion about "Is it OK to carry a modified pistol?" There are extended threads about this question, but the easiest answer is just to avoid the whole issue.

With that said, here are some suggestions for Massachusetts pistols that are acceptable out of the box. For a full size pistol, I like the H&K VP9. The VP9 is well made, and the grips are very configurable, so it fits most hands. The Springfield XD pistols are another good choice. Springfield now has 9mm striker fired pistols in a range of sizes on the Massachusetts approved list. If you want a single stack pistol that is about the size of a Shield, you should try the Springfield before you make your decision. The FN509 and Sig P320 are also reasonable. And Glocks are also a fine choice if you can find the one you want without paying an excessive premium.
 
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Supermoto

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I would buy a used M&P fullsize, a bunch of ammo and find a good instructor. You have the perfect opportunity to learn how to shoot correctly and save a huge a mount of time, energy and frustration. Get a smaller carry gun come warm weather in 8 months. You'll be way ahead of the game by then.

The instructor is more important than the gun
 

DarthRevan

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I forgot about the FN pistols, they seem to be very well built, but their downside as a MA resident is the lack of preban standard capacity (hi-caps to the moonbats) magazines put a damper on them for me. But the ones that I handled seemed well built and had decent triggers for the money.
 

Mesatchornug

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Another option that's highly regarded is the 3rd-gen S&W pistols. (e.g. 5903, 5904, 5906)

They have metal frames, so they're a bit heavier than the modern, plastic-fantastic, wonder-nines. This has pros and cons: heavy means you'll notice it more when carried; it also means it potentially absorbs recoil better, which can make it easier for newer shooters to build consistency. When you can find them, their preban mags seem to be cheaper than the ones for Glocks. And because they're not the newest, they are often less expensive, as there's less demand/competition.

Of course, this means shopping on the used market, so you can't just walk into your favorite local gun shop, hand them some $$, and walk out with a shiny new gun from inventory. But you can get a pistol with a 14+1 capacity for ~$400. The money you saved on the MA-premium can be spent instead on ammo, training, and more ammo.
 

enbloc

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You really have the right idea about renting some guns, but looking for advice about which ones to try first. This approach will serve you well.

Once you begin looking at guns, there are a variety of different sizes and action types to consider. And I want to add one more factor which I think is important. You should consider whether the pistol is acceptable in its stock configuration, or whether it requires modification. This question particularly applies to the trigger pull.

I like the Smith & Wesson M&P pistols, and for a while they were the best choice in Massachusetts. But the Massachusetts triggers for M&P pistols are terrible, and most people who shoot one much have an Apex trigger kit installed. This is not a bad thing, but it adds time and expense. Also, picking a pistol which is good out of the box avoids any discussion about "Is it OK to carry a modified pistol?" There are extended threads about this question, but the easiest answer is just to avoid the whole issue.

With that said, here are some suggestions for Massachusetts pistols that are acceptable out of the box. For a full size pistol, I like the H&K VP9. The VP9 is well made, and the grips are very configurable, so it fits most hands. The Springfield XD pistols are another good choice. Springfield now has 9mm striker fired pistols in a range of sizes on the Massachusetts approved list. If you want a single stack pistol that is about the size of a Shield, you should try the Springfield before you make your decision. The FN509 and Sig P320 are also reasonable. And Glocks are also a fine choice if you can find the one you want without paying an excessive premium.
This. Go to someplace like MFS where they let you try before you buy. Pick a half dozen that catch your eye and shoot a few magazines/cylinders out of each. Buy the one that feels the best to you.

Use everyone else's opinions to narrow your choices as best you can, but ultimately the gun you pick is yours and has to be right for you.

I always recommend a G19 now. It will save you a lot of time, effort and money in the long run. The trigger is easy to learn. There are a zillion holster, sight, and accessory options. Prebans are available - if you get 1 or 2 you’re all set for carrying. If you end up disliking it enough to sell it you’ll get a higher proportion of your money back than most pistols in MA. The rail gives it some versatility and it’s just small enough to carry and large enough to shoot easily.

Any plastic striker pistol will do though. I bought a shield for my first pistol and I like it, but it lacked some features that I wanted all along.

Granite State will let you rent all their guns in one caliber for a single fee. Try a bunch, see what feels good in hand.

I would buy a used M&P fullsize, a bunch of ammo and find a good instructor. You have the perfect opportunity to learn how to shoot correctly and save a huge a mount of time, energy and frustration. Get a smaller carry gun come warm weather in 8 months. You'll be way ahead of the game by then.

The instructor is more important than the gun

Another option that's highly regarded is the 3rd-gen S&W pistols. (e.g. 5903, 5904, 5906)

They have metal frames, so they're a bit heavier than the modern, plastic-fantastic, wonder-nines. This has pros and cons: heavy means you'll notice it more when carried; it also means it potentially absorbs recoil better, which can make it easier for newer shooters to build consistency. When you can find them, their preban mags seem to be cheaper than the ones for Glocks. And because they're not the newest, they are often less expensive, as there's less demand/competition.

Of course, this means shopping on the used market, so you can't just walk into your favorite local gun shop, hand them some $$, and walk out with a shiny new gun from inventory. But you can get a pistol with a 14+1 capacity for ~$400. The money you saved on the MA-premium can be spent instead on ammo, training, and more ammo.

All great ideas for a first pistol and how to choose one. Great posts guys.
~Matt
 

FiremanBob

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I'm surprised that everyone so far has given a recommendation without asking the first, most fundamental questions: What handguns have you shot before? Which ones did you like the feel of, which ones did you shoot most accurately with, and which ones had recoil that you didn't like? Is this a gun to practice/plink with, or a carry pistol? If carry, how concealable do you need it to be?

I don't know what your shooting experience is, so I can't give you a specific recommendation without some more info.
 

gerrycaruso

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I know what works for me but everyone's different. I like a full size all steel 1911 but many think it's too big and heavy. There's a trade off between carry comfort/concealability and shooting comfort. For this reason you should try different sizes and calibers before you spend your money.
 

Supermoto

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The problem with a glock for a first gun is the grip is different than almost every other gun out there. Start with a more common grip angle will allow you to compare guns more easily. Try a glock, if the sights don't line up naturally, then look at gun with a common grip angle
 
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Get the M&P Shield 2.0.
It has a better trigger and much better grip texture than the first iteration.

Or go with my personal favorite...

The Colt Dragoon.

Colt_Dragoon_Mod_1848.JPG

...and learn to whistle Dixie.
That is a beauty!!! If that is an original Colt Dragoon, your sitting on some $$$.
 

daekken

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For 9mm "all around" choice it's hard to beat a Glock 19.

Kudos to you for renting. You'll see many here tout the Shield, I've tried a few of them and absolutely hated all of them. That's why you should rent, like you said.

CZ makes great pistols, too. I started with a Sig P226 and did carry it for a while, and it's a great pistol, but not ideal for "all around" since it's pretty large and heavy.

As someone else said, I'd look a compact maybe, not subcompact. Or, start with a full size and see how it goes.

A lot of it's a matter of taste, and one size does not fit all.
 
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The problem with a glock for a first gun is the grip is different than almost every other gun out there. Start with a more common grip angle will allow you to compare guns more easily. Try a glock, if the sights don't line up naturally, then look at gun with a common grip angle

You can train yourself to grip angle pretty easily. I shot a sig for 4+ years, took a little while but I get the glock on target nice and quick now. All that said when the P365 is all ironed out that may replace the G19 as my primary carry. Been using my wife's shield more and more, and I don't love it.

Mike
 
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Just got my class a unrestricted ltc in ma. Im looking to buy a first gun one that would be good for practicing and carry. I was thinking of a 9mil semiautomatic. Like m&p shield. What's your thoughts. I have a gun shop and indoor range close i can go to try out any guns but i like to have recommendations on which to rent first..
What part of Ma are you in? I am in springfield and got restricted :(
 
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Go with what's comfortable in your hand, that you can shoot accurately, and causes little or no discomfort to conceal. Believe it or not, that's actually a lifetime of trial and error/success. Shoot other peoples guns...there's a plethora of folks here that will allow you to do so. Base your decision on that.
 

Cuthbert Allgood

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I would buy a used M&P fullsize, a bunch of ammo and find a good instructor. You have the perfect opportunity to learn how to shoot correctly and save a huge a mount of time, energy and frustration. Get a smaller carry gun come warm weather in 8 months. You'll be way ahead of the game by then.

The instructor is more important than the gun

This. This is good advice.
 

Mtn_Guy

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OP: I’m a member at MFS. If you’re close to Holliston, you’re welcome to meet me there sometime. As a member I can bring one guest, and their armory is free to use - you will, of course, have to supply your own ammo (but conveniently they sell that there too ;))

They have most readily available pistols that you can buy in MA. If you remind me, I can bring my 9MM Shield with an Apex spring kit installed and Talon grip to compare to a MA-“compliant” stock configuration.

Remember: they say opinions are like A-holes, everybody’s got one...

Ultimately, it’s what is gonna fit your hand and carry style best (dare I introduce a new conversation topic to this thread... where/how do you plan to carry? Ankle? Appendix? 4 o’clock?, etc.)

Welcome to the addiction...
 
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Just got my class a unrestricted ltc in ma. Im looking to buy a first gun one that would be good for practicing and carry. I was thinking of a 9mil semiautomatic. Like m&p shield. What's your thoughts. I have a gun shop and indoor range close i can go to try out any guns but i like to have recommendations on which to rent first..
anything that's wood, leather, steel;no plastic guns or holsters
 
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I went with a m&p shield 1.0 for my first conceal carry gun when I got my license and I’ve put plenty of rounds through it. Love it and I think I only spent around $300 brand new for it.
 

StonerAndSullivan

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I think the best first gun is a general purpose gun that has good utility as a home defense gun, carry, and range.
I tend to think that a compact 9mm fits this bill perfectly and there are plenty of options, most come down to personal preferences. I think a full size weapon is also an excellent choice, but has diminishing returns as a carry option.
I think that subcompacts are a great second gun, but I would actually steer clear of guns that are too small at the beginning.
Personally I think that a first gun should be more geared toward building good fundamentals and gun handling skills.
Subcompacts require significantly more skill to shoot well and tend not to be as pleasant to shoot as a compact/full option.
That might discourage regular practice and range sessions are nearly as satisfying when you are shanking shots out of a snappy mouse gun.
The more you like shooting, the more you will shoot.
The more you shoot, the better you will get and then you will want to get more guns (which is the true secret to happiness in life).

I was going tupperware you cant go wrong with a Glock 19/17, if I was going metal gun a Sig P229/226.
My first gun was P229 and it's still one of my favorites.
 
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