posted on Jun, 3 2018 @ 07:23 AM
As a firearms instructor, my first question to you would be, what are you looking to do with the pistol you are contemplating buying? Personal
protection at home? Concealed carry? Sport shooting?
The second thing I would recommend is not buying anything until you have tried several different types in the niche you are looking to fill. Firearms
are like shoes, one size doesn't fit all, and every firearm fits its user differently. I'd suggest going to a shooting range which rents pistols for
use (there are many...usually most indoor ranges do).
To illustrate what I'm talking about in the points above, several posters here have made recommendations to you. Here would be some of my comments to
Beretta 92FS - Probably one of the best pistols ever designed (2nd only to the 1911A1). However, it is a very large pistol and probably one of the
heaviest semi-auto's out there. A 92FS would not be suitable for concealed carry at all, and may even be too large for your hand (it is for many).
Glock (any) - Glock is also a fine pistol. However, Glock's have a very unusual grip angle. People either love them, or hate them. Glocks also have
a unusual trigger safety system which some are not fond of (I happen to be one of them). That said, Glocks can be extremely accurate. My first real
experience shooting a Glock was during a very intense Air Marshal test course (we had to switch to an unfamiliar pistol and continue). I shot it
astonishingly well, considering the intense environment (but again, I'm an instructor so your mileage may vary). Some of the smaller Glocks (we call
them "Baby Glocks") are some of the best concealed carry pistols out there.
S&W M&P/Shield - Another fine pistol. Depending on model, probably one of the best values out there. Reliable, accurate and well suited for
concealed carry (again, depending on model).
Springfield XD - (hmmmmm, how to be nice) The Springfield name is known for making fantastic firearms. In my humble opinion, the XD is not one
of them. I own several Springfield pistols and rifles, but not the XD. I'd still try one if I were you, but that's just my take. I could go into
more detail on why I'm not fond of them, but it's probably more detail than required here.
Kahr CM9 - A brilliant pistol when it first came out, probably the best out there for truly concealed carry. Then they "fixed" it (meaning they
screwed it up). They've realized the error of their ways and are 'un-fixing' it now, but it may take a couple models to work out the kinks. None of
the issues Kahr experienced would affect a beginning shooter, but for the price (Kahr's aren't cheap) you can get more pistol.
Most of the discussion above is related to 9mm, but the above pistols (except for the Beretta and the Kahr) come in many other calibers besides 9mm
(i.e. .380, .40, .45 and even 10mm).
Now to the .45's. The same notes above apply, but you also have some other options in .45.
If you're not necessarily looking for a concealed carry pistol (although some do carry them) probably the finest pistol ever developed is the John
Moses Browning 1911A1 pistol. As pistols go, the 1911 has no rival. They are, hands down, the best firearm on the planet. There are too many
derivatives of the 1911 to go into all of them here, but some superior manufacturers are Springfield, Colt, Wilson Combat among many others. There
are also some crap 1911's out there, so know what you're doing before buying one.
There is a long list of other .45's out there, but unless you're laser focused on concealed carry the 1911 should fill the top 20 slots for candidates
(that's how far superior the 1911 is to any other model).
Some other quick thoughts... Don't be afraid to take a look at some used pistols. If a pistol has been taken care of they will last for nearly a
lifetime of most shooters. This is especially true for the 1911 because you can rebuild them. Have I ever worn out a pistol? Sure, but it takes
hundreds of thousands of rounds to do (more than most people will shoot in 3 lifetimes). Many times you can get a better quality pistol in the used
market than you can in the new market (for the same price).
Lastly, your priorities (in order) should be...
...in that order. (remember, #1 though #5 = quality)
Hope this helps.
Oh, and if you have questions please feel free to post them, or you can PM me as well. Always glad to help a fellow shooter!