Hi Nancy, this is [friend]. I figured the “9mm shopping” would get your attention! I’ve been wanting to get my own 9mm for years, but until now have just lived vicariously through my brother’s handgun collection. We’re thinking of getting a gun before it gets too difficult or expensive to purchase one. I’ve talked to 4 different friends and family members and gotten about 50 different opinions on models, but here’s what we’re looking for… A common make/model with readily available accessories; reliability & ease of use more important than pinpoint accuracy; will use for plinking, range firing (cheaper rounds) and home defense (with burglar-killer rounds); hoping for the $500-650 range; expandable for later laser/light accessories; mid-range size (not really interested in concealing); something that [significant other] would be comfortable firing.Okay, so we know the parameters:
I’d be the primary user, but it can’t be so big & bulky that [significant other] can’t work the action when needed or that recoils so much that she’d never want to go to the range. Price rules out HK and probably other fancier offerings. Glock comes to mind given their reputation – maybe the Glock 19 if it fits [significant other]’s hand. The Glock 17 I’m sure is too big, and the 26 is too small for me. Other than getting 50 suggestions to look at Browning, Sig, Taurus, Ruger, Smithfield, etc. etc., all I’ve done is visit the new KG gun shop to see their offerings. (While I was there, they sold their only Glock and can’t keep them in stock.)
Anywho, do you have any specific recommendations on make/model to consider or avoid given the wish list above? Also, any suggestions on where to purchase? Local shop, Greentop, Bass Pro, mail order, etc.? I don’t want to spend 2 months shopping around for the best price, but I don’t want to be taken advantage of as a “newbie” buy either. I HATE negotiating, but is the price advertised at gun shops the price only newbies pay, or are you expected to barter (groan!) as with a car purchase? So many questions….
- Common make/model
- Reliability more important than supreme accuracy
- Used for plinking, home defense, not so much concealed carry.
- Price range $500 - $600
If the Glock 17 is too big and the 26 too small, the answer seems pretty obvious: Glock 19. The Smith & Wesson M&P9 might work; it's not quite as large as the Glock 17; the Ruger SR9 is about the same size; I wouldn't rule out the compact versions of either the M&P or the SR series. If they can find a used model, the SIG SAUER P229 might be worth looking into as well. The good thing about the mid-sized guns is that you can back them up with the full sized gun's magazine.
Beyond the Glock/SIG/S&W/Ruger offerings, the 9mm offerings become a bit more, well, specialized. Kahr offers a few medium-framed guns - like the TP9 - but they're on the pricier side and have fewer aftermarket accessories. Taurus has come miles beyond where they used to be, but have focused more on the concealed carry models than full size. Beretta has the PX4, which might be worth looking into, but again, there are going to be far fewer holsters/accessories when compared to the Glock or M&P.
As for the question of where to buy, I am a HUGE fan of supporting the local gun store. Box stores tend to sell firearms as part of a larger overall business; there are excellent employees to be found, but quite often are spread much thinner than at a dedicated local gun store. That said, there's also small local shops that seem determined to stay in business only through the model of never sell anything, that way we don't ever have to order anything. Talk to someone in the area (like Nancy's friend has with Nancy) and find out the good local shops.
Generally, and I speak only for myself and the local shops here, new gun prices are not negotiable. Where you can find deals, though, are on the consignment firearms - often, an offer close to the asking price but ~ 10% less will be taken, especially if the gun has been sitting in the shelf for any length of time. Granted, this is not applicable right now, as it's a seller's market, but in general I have found this to be true. Another place to look is in a local gun forum's classified section - I've purchased a number of firearms from local enthusiasts here in MA and found a number of great deals.
Anyone have any other suggestions for Nancy's friend?
That is all.