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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, first off let me state that I know absolutely nothing about guns and I'll probably need alot of help and guidance over the next few weeks as I plan to purchase my first gun.



Last week I was robbed at home after taking money out of the bank. After this happened and speaking with my wife we both agreed that it would be in our best intrests to have a firearm at the house. I went to my local range in Arizona and tried out a variety of 9mm handguns and the one that the range master suggested and the one I liked the most was the M&P. He told me I was better off staying with the 9mm because of the less recoil and with the proper ammunition it will have plenty of stopping power. He also suggested that I take the concealed weapons class because I will be better informed on the laws and what I can and cannot do if I'm ever faced with a situation like this again.



Right now I'm pretty sure that I will be purchasing the 9mm compact. Is this the correct choice? Is there a major difference in the 2 guns or is it more aesthetic thing? I was reading the forums and noticed alot of people talking about various types of ammunition and grains and that type of stuff. Whats the best ammo for home FMJ, which I assume is fullmetal jacket and some other type was talked about. Are there any other classes I should take? How often should I clean the weapon and oil it? What's the best place in the house to store the weapon? I know thats alot of questions but maybe someone can point me in the general direction of the steps I should be taking after purchasing my weapon.



Thanks in advance!



Larry
 

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Welcome!!! You've made a good start. Next up would be a basic handgun safety class before you buy your pistol so you know what questions to ask and feel confident in bringing it home safely.



I think your choice of firearms is an excellent one for any level. After buying it your next step is getting some professional instruction for both you and your wife. Why learn bad habits from buddies when you can learn to do things right. Eventually you may both want to get your own pistols and concealed carry permits. Finally, you two are not going to carry then you'll want a safe and secure place to lock it up while you're gone.
 

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Depending on where you live you should be able to take a variety of classes ask the people at the store where you decide to purchase. I think a 9mm is a great caliber and with the proper training and range time you can be VERY effective with it. FMJ IMO is a bad defense round I would go with the JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) the new defense ammo I am using is the winchester ranger t-series ammo very reliable and not as expensive as other Hollow Points, check with G&R tactical on this site they have great prices especially. I suggest if you dont use it often cleaning it once a month (army talking) I like to know that there is not any problems on my part which would hinder the firearm unreliable, after my range trip I always clean it on the spot. Do you have any children? That is the big one I have a 3 1/2 year old girl and when she is around I ALWAYS keep it at a distance where she cannot get to it. I have a fireproof safe that when we leave that goes in there locked up Wal Mart has them for like $30-$50. I hope this helps firearms can be a scary subject but if you know what you are getting involved in it is an easy transition. Good Luck-Jason
 

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+1 on taking a class!! Well worth the money spent to learn the right way up front! Sorry to hear about your encounter, but be thankful that you can protect yourself.
 

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Mossy -- I'm very sorry to hear about the robbery. It sounds like no one was hurt, which is the most important thing. We have insurance for the rest. You certainly aren't the first person who's decided to become a gun owner after something like that.



That range master sounds like a pretty bright guy. The suggestion to take a the concealed weapons class was very important. At most of those classes, they'll teach you about firearms safety, fundamental marksmanship, shooting under stress, and your state laws. As sholling said, you will be so much better off getting proper professional instruction from the start as opposed to trying to figure it out on your own.



As for choosing ammo, there are a lot of differing opinions even among the "experts" in the firearms community. Two things are fairly straight forward, though. First, you want a JHP (as opposed to a FMJ) because it is less likely to overpenetrate. Second, any ammunition that will be effective against a bad guy is also going to be powerful enough to go through any modern interior building materials. Interior walls, doors, furniture, etc. won't stop a bullet reliably. Neither will a lot of exterior building materials these days. So you just need to be cognizant of that fact and remember that every shot you fire is going somewhere.



To help get you started, the very first thing you should learn are the four Cardinal Rules of Gun Safety. While the exact wording differs from person to person and school to school, the fundamental concepts are always the same.



1. All guns are always loaded. This means that you should always treat a gun as if it had ammunition in it, even if it doesn't. In particular, you absolutely assume that every single gun on the planet is loaded unless you personally check it. The next time you go to the gun shop, think about this. You need to treat all those guns on the shelves and display cases as if they were loaded.



2. Never let the muzzle point at anything you are not willing to destroy. This is often called the laser rule ... pretend there is a laser beam projecting from the muzzle of the gun. Never let that beam touch anything you're not willing to lose, whether it's a person, your television, your car, etc.



3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you have made the decision to fire. This is going to be particularly important for a first-time gun owner choosing a pistol like the M&P which does not have any kind of manual safety. Guns are designed to fit your hand just right and lead your index finger onto the trigger naturally. But unless you're aimed at a target and planning to shoot it right now you have to keep your finger off the trigger. It's much easier to pull the trigger accidentally than most people realize. When you're holding the gun, reloading the gun, talking to your shooting partner or instructor or range officer ... your finger should be off the trigger.



4. Identify your target and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not positively identified.



It may sound daunting, but you'll quickly find that folks in this community take safety very seriously. After all, there is no point in buying a gun for personal protection and then hurting yourself or a loved one with it, right? The rules are easy to learn and easy to follow, and soon they'll be second nature to you. Along with some good training and regular practice you'll be a safe, responsible, skilled shooter in no time.
 

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Mossy, sorry to hear about the mishap. Nothing wrong with wanting a weapon to defend yourself with...just make sure you get some good training in. That training should re-enforce the fact that a gun isn't the solution to MANY problems, including strong arm robbery. I dunno what you state laws are out there, but you should take a course on carrying out there, specific to your area.



Anyway, nothing wrong with a 9mm, or the M&P platform. 9mm will let your practice more, as the ammo is cheaper, and it'll be easier to master as it's less intimidating to shoot than .40 or .45.



Learn how to shoot that gun on a range, then learn how to fight with it. Master that shot placement and weapons safety first though.
 

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I concur with Synergy in that a gun is not the solution for many issues. This is not to say it would have or have not helped in your situation. Hind sight is 20/20. There are many dangers of new untrained gun owners. Injury to yourself and love ones is very high on the list. Following the 4 Cardinal rules Todd wrote is a huge step in preventing these problems. You can never replace training under a certified instructor. I myself am studying under a very proficient instructor. Good luck and congrats on your first weapon. Be careful it can be very addicting and soon you will have a free standing safe with lots of toys in it. Stay safe and shot straight!
 

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Welcome mossy, as for the M&P 9c (compact) vs. the fullsize, well that all depends on if you plan to only keep it at the house or carry it on your person in public as you are out and about doing life things? Some can accomidate the full size frame with an IWB (inside the wastebelt) holster while others arent willing to, or find it difficult.



I find it difficult to easily conceal my M&P 45 full size unless I am wearing a coat or baggy hoodie, but I still carry it if the mood strikes me right. It is much easier to conceal my Springfield XD 40 SubCompact in my IWB and even easier with the S&W 642 airweight revolver.



If you plan to keep it at home for a predominately home defense weapon then I say go with the Full Size for the added velocity and energy produced by a longer barrel. If you are going to attempt to conceal it daily and carry it religously on your person than consider the compact.



I think the number one thing to learn when first beginning to carry a firearm is what is termed "Situational Awareness" by this it means that you should be vigiliant of who is around you, what area you are in, who may be following you in your neighborhood. Many of my friends call it paranoia but I call it an absolute safety measure!! If its not to traumatic think back on how the situation occured, and what you can do in the future to prevent that or you from being brought into that situation. Take a little time to look around when approaching ATM's, take a look around when you get out of your car to go to your house, look at areas that you be enticing if you were a criminal. Just a few suggestions, and welcome to the boards.
 

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mossy...



like everyone here, I'm sorry to hear about the robbery... and am thankful you're ok.



everyone's advice here is good, so i wont rehash anything that's already been said.



one word of advice... once you buy the gun, you and the wife need to go to the range and shoot the hell out of it.



I say this, so you can unravel the "weirdness and mystery" of this "dangerous device" you just brought home. get comfortable with it, get to know it... get your nerves out of the way.



I've seen many people get guns after a robbery, and then they where absolutely freaked out that "there's a gun in the house". (especially women). you and her go to the range and get a proper introduction to your new tool... so it will seem less scary.
 

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+1 on what has already been said.



Now a handgun is not the ideal weapon for defense. They are a compromise because we are not able to carry rifles or shotguns around the town. If you are going to carry, then a pistol is what you need. for home defense, a shotgun would not be a bad idea. If you do get a handgun, I'd get the full size. It will be easier to shoot due to the added weight, and longer sight radius.



I like 9mm myself because you can practice more for the same price. That is the same reason that I have a .22 pistol as well.



big things though, be safe, and practice! You may find that you really enjoy shooting, but even if you don't, you should be familiar with the weapon so that in the event that you have to use it, you won't be fumbling around as much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the info guys, I plan on taking a bunch of classes at the Scottsdale Gun Club to get better acquainted with the weapon and all the safety issues and what not. I'll update this thread as time goes on. Thanks again!



Larry
 

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I agree with all the others. From personal experience take the basic pistol class with your wife. She will need to know how to safely handle the firearm in the event your at work or not home. Plus it will give you both an idea as to which gun style you prefer...like revolver or semiauto...etc.
 

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Some additional advise from experience: My wife found the operation (or "manual of arms") for an automatic handgun to be too overwhelming for one thing, and secondly, she was prone to limp-wristing it, which can (and did) result in jams. Thirdly, she lacks the strength to rack the slide on any of my automatics except for my recently purchased Glock 19, and even then, only if there is no loaded magazine in it. Put in a loaded mag and she is unable to chamber a round. I have to watch her carefully when she shoots an auto as well because she tends to wrap her thumb around the back - right in the path of the slide.




So, simple solution (for home defense) was to get her her own .357 Magnum revolver loaded with .38 Special +P hollow-point ammo, which is a little more powerful than a plain .38 Special, but not as brutal as a full .357. She has no trouble shooting this and is actually decently accurate as well.
 

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snscott said:
Some additional advise from experience: My wife found the operation (or "manual of arms") for an automatic handgun to be too overwhelming for one thing, and secondly, she was prone to limp-wristing it, which can (and did) result in jams. Thirdly, she lacks the strength to rack the slide on any of my automatics except for my recently purchased Glock 19, and even then, only if there is no loaded magazine in it. Put in a loaded mag and she is unable to chamber a round. I have to watch her carefully when she shoots an auto as well because she tends to wrap her thumb around the back - right in the path of the slide.




So, simple solution (for home defense) was to get her her own .357 Magnum revolver loaded with .38 Special +P hollow-point ammo, which is a little more powerful than a plain .38 Special, but not as brutal as a full .357. She has no trouble shooting this and is actually decently accurate as well.


I did the same for my girlfriend except that its the 642 38+p. She shoots it well and it doesnt require any advanced procedures to make it shoot.

Also, as MachGt stated above, if its strictly for home defense that I would consider a shotgun and some 00 buckshot. Its cheaper and packs ALOT more punch than any pistol ever could.
 

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Mossy...I would suggest that you find a range that rents a variety of handguns and shoot as many as you can. I would also suggest shooting a few revolvers because they are easier to use and seldom malfunction due to user error. Also tune into the various gun programs that are showing on the Outdoor Channel, like Shooting USA, Guns and Ammo, and Personal Defense TV. If you don't get the Outdoor Channel you can still visit their websites to get some useful information. Also keep in mind that besides a good quality handgun you will also need other items such as a good holster, a good gun belt, a high powered flashlight, etc.



Here are a few websites to browse through:



http://www.dps.state.az.us/ccw/default.asp



http://gunsandammomag.com/



http://www.shootingusa.com/



http://www.nra.org/



http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/basictraining.asp



http://www.basfaz.com/



http://www.azshootersworld.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've spent alot of time at the Scottsdale gun club trying a variety of weapons. I've found that I really like the CZ 75b, and the MP 9mm full size....i like the compact but it doesn't really fit my hand well. One of the salesmen there is a mp fanatic and says that doing CC with the fullsize is not a problem for him and we're about the same size.



Does anyone here do their CC w/ the full size 9mm? How does that work out for you, I think its called "imprinting" where the gun shows in the pants and i really didn't have that problem but it was very uncomfortable to sit with. Is that something a different holster can take care of? I suppose I could go with the compact if I ever do plan to carry, but it seemed to me that the full size was better balanced.
 

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Mossy...Merry Christmas! I have two weapons that I use for Concealed Carry. The one I used to carry the most was a S&W 642 with Crimson Trace laser grips. I also used to carry a full size M&P 9, but mostly in the winter when I could carry it in an inside pocket in my leather jacket. I would carry it on occasion in a OWB holster. After my wife got her M&P 9 Compact I started shooting her gun more and more every time we went to the range. I really grew to love the Compact! I ended up trading my full size for a Compact. I find it much easier to carry concealed, and as a result it has become my #1 carry gun. I have averaged size hands, but I don't find the smaller grip of the Compact to be a problem. I can now carry the Compact in the summer as well as in the winter.



I didn't find the full size to be a problem as far as "Printing" is concerned. It was just bigger and for the type of clothes I usually wear it didn't lend itself to be a good all round carry gun for me. I still like to carry my 642 because I can just slip it in a pocket and I hardly know it's there. I just like the idea of having more rounds available in the Compact.



Whichever you chose, just plan to practice, practice, practice. Have fun.........
 

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Full size hides quite well in a Comptac CTAC inside-the-waistband holster. It holds the gun up tight against your side and so there is not much in the way of printing. I just wear a typical button-down shirt untucked and you can't tell the gun is there.



I like the CTAC so much that I just nearly automatically order one whenever I get a new handgun.
 

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did the compact M&P have the pinky extension on the mag that makes a lot of difference for my wife as far as comfort? i carry both a fullsiz M&P 40 with crimson trace laser grips and a compact M&P 40c i like the compact better for summer the barrel length doesnt seem to be a problem but the grip lenght seems to print more in light clothing
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well I opened my gifts today, and my father bought me the M&P 9mm compact and 2k rounds of winchester for it. We went out to the desert and shot off 500 rounds. I'm amazed how accurate this gun is. The only thing I didn't like was that the first 20 rounds or so came straight back at my face. I suppose the next step is to take a bunch of classes and learn as much as I can. Thanks for everyones input.
 
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