GLOCK 19 enjoying the afterglow (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Over at the typographically sophisticated nrasharp.com Colion Noir reveals that he broke his ballistic cherry with a Ruger SR40. “When I finally got my gun in my hands, I felt empowered,’ Colion writes. “Yes, empowered. I know a lot of people like to shy away from acknowledging the feeling of empowerment your first gun gives you. Society has so widely attributed that feeling to the “I wish a mother**ker would” complex, which perverts the feeling of empowerment and turns it into something to be ashamed of. It’s like teaching a young teen . . .

who is discovering his sexuality for the first time that the feelings he’s having are wrong and he should feel guilty about having them, instead of teaching him about those feelings and the consequences that may come from making the wrong decisions based on them.” 

My first was a girl named Cathy from Sharon, Massachusetts that I met at a bus stop. Wait. What? Oh right. A GLOCK 19. No regrets there. How about you? What was your first handgun?

306 Responses to Question of the Day: What Was Your First Handgun?

    • Depends on how you define first gun.
      My grandfather died in 1956 he was born in 1876. The guns he left me would be my first including my colt SAA in .45 colt built in 1876 (August ) and us marked and wood stamped. It an arsenal conversion to 5 1/2″ in the 1890s and he bought it from Bannermans before 1910… It qualifies as my favorite gun as well. But if you mean the first pistol I put cash on the counter… Well that would be my Dan Wesson .357 kit with 3 different barrel lengths and 3 different grips all bought from the man himself the year that he opened his factory in an old building in Wales, MA. It is from the first 100 sold. And of course it is of the first design without the recessed barrel nut. It is still a very sweet shooter and I have never had it misfire

      • The Python Killer. Dan Wesson 4″ .357 with the vented rib and bull barrel and walnut grip I carved myself. Duty gun for 6 years. Loved that gun. Still kicking myself for ever selling it.

        • You can pick up lightly used 15-2s for good prices still, especially if it’s an incomplete or incorrect Pistol Pak.

  1. Sig P229 in .40S&W, plus the 357 Sig barrel. Love the 357 Sig, but can’t afford to shoot it much. Seems to meet/exceed the performance of the .40S&W 135 grain loadings, so not sure why it didn’t catch on, since it should feed better.

      • +1, being the first handgun I purchased. Although I don’t name it. And two weekends ago, I bought my second, a 9mm S&W Shield, since the full-size is a bit too large for EDC. First firearm I ever owned as my own was a 30/30 Marlin 336, when I was 16 (early 80’s).

        The first pistol I ever fired (well, not counting cap guns) was a .38 revolver of unknown background when I was 9 or 10, fishing with my great-grandfather. My great-uncle’s .22 revolver while squirrel hunting a few years later and another great uncle’s 1911 pattern .45 around the same time (again, knowledge of brand is lost to the ages, but it wasn’t a Colt).

    • Also a Bearcat. Walked into a hardware store, paid $39, walked out with the revolver, and they threw in a Hunter holster. I was 16 back in 1967. My niece has it now. And the holster too.

    • Has the Gen 4 been out that long? Wow! Time flies! My first and only handgun is the G19 gen 3. I have had it for a year and a half. Wow! Seems like just yesterday! I did not particularly want a Glock even though Hickok45 and James Yeager said “if you only have one handgun, it needs to be the Glock 19”. I wanted the FNX45 or the M&P9-40-45…I didn’t care what caliber as long as itwas 9mm and up. I came across the G19 when I was at a local range to test an M&P. It was bought in CA or MA (two ten round mags) and never shot then sold to the gun shop. He had to sell it used so I picked it up for $429. I am glad I bought it and never regretted not getting the FN or S&W or any other gun. If I ever get another handgun, I would like a .357 or 44 revolver. I am intriqued by the 10mm auto however. Would love to have a hand gun, carbine combo in 10mm. Why not? Pump shotgun is on my Christmas list first followed by key mod accessories for my AR. So much to buy…so little funds.

  2. Us marked 1911a1 that my grandpa carried in wwii. Given to me when I was 16 it made an excellent start to the collection.

      • Thanks, at the end of the war, they were turning them in and had a pile as tall as a person stacked up on an aircraft carrier. When my grandpa got to the front the guy at the table said he didn’t show a record of my grandpa having one. He said he didn’t need to collect one from him and suggested my grandpa keep his.

        The pile was going to be taken out to sea and pushed over the side : /

        For pretty much anyone in the world, there is no amount of money in the world that can get them a piece of family history like I have.

        • That is an awesome story! Thanks for sharing! My first handgun was a 1911 100th anniversary with the parkerized finish partly because it has that little reminder of its history.

  3. My first handgun was a Smith&Wesson Model 67. .38 Special, matte nickel finish, polymer grips and adjustable rear sights. I kinda regret selling it.

    • The FS was my second auto I’ve owned, third handgun. Kind of a revolver guy but after owning several autos, I don’t think you could do any better than the 92.

  4. Glock 17 was the first gun I purchased as soon as I was able to afford to buy one by myself. Before that I had used rifles, revolvers and pistols from my dad or friends when at the range or hunting.

    Still have that Glock, and bought a 22LR conversion for it so the younlings in my family can use it when we go to the plinking range.

  5. Jennings J22 lol. I put some pimp wood grips on it immediately.

    It was just a cheap novelty, really. I never had any intentions of carrying it. IL didn’t even have concealed carry back then.

    My first proper handgun was an XD Compact in .45 ACP. Hell of a 21st birthday present.

  6. My first handgun was a Stevens Gould Model single-shot .22 target pistol. It was given to me when I was 10, by an elderly neighbor who assured my parents that it could not shoot because the firing pin had been removed. With a nail and several days of careful file work, I put it back in operating condition. It had a 10″ barrel, which was not conducive to concealed carry.

  7. Ruger P89 is the first one I ever purchased. No way to really research at the time but was happy with it’s durability. Over 20 years later, still not a single failure. Amazing handgun, wish the trigger didn’t suck.

    First handgun I ever fired was a Colt Govt. Model 70. Never did understand what the big deal was about .45 recoil.

  8. RG .45 Colt. A truly terrible revolver in almost every respect (other than accuracy), very poor quality, poor materials. Gunsmiths refused to work on it. Only firearm I ever turned into the police since it was a safety hazard. I would have felt guilty giving it away, much less selling it.

    Now my second handgun is still with me today, S&W .357 model 66, 6″ barrel. over 3 decades later just as accurate and reliable as it ever was, and I still have the original packaging.

  9. First handgun shot, S&W 637, .357, 6 inch barrel. Age 10 years old.

    First handgun owned, SR9c (although owned many shotguns prior).

  10. Glock 21, Gen 2.

    I credit the trigger safety with instilling an OCD-level reflexive awareness of where my finger is relative to the trigger, which I believe is the reason my negligent discharge count (after 20 years of firearms ownership) remains 0.

    Some people say the lack of a manual safety makes the Glock unsuitable for new shooters, I respectfully disagree.

  11. Mine was a Bersa 380. I carried it until I could afford something better. Now I have a few that I can use as situationally appropriate.
    Speaking of firsts, I just received my first suppressor after a mere 9 months and 2 weeks! Hooray! Now I might just get to keep some of what’s left of my hearing if I have to engage an intruder in my home.

    • Same for me. I traded it a couple of months later for a Walther PPKS. That started a long list of buying and trading over the last 27 years.

    • Todd that is so cool. This is the same for me and I always used to think I must be one of the only guys to be so lucky!

      • I also have the 1911 from my other grandfather (Remington-Rand). He was in N. Africa and Europe, while the first was just in Europe.

        We’re both lucky that our grandpappys kept these for us.

        • I’ll keep my Glock 22. Shooting a .45 is like operating a jackhammer by the end of the day you are worn out. The .40 S&W has almost the same ballistics as the .45 APC with a manageable bump to it. To me the 1911 is like a Harley, most people are buying it for the name, and like a Harley it is noisy, heavy, and doesn’t handle all that great. I have seen very few 1911 pistols that have impressed me. I’ll stick with the Glock 22 and know that it will more than likely not stove pipe or jam on me just like I’ll ride a Gold Wing and not have to worry about having to stop every 90 miles get off and tighten up all the screws and bolts. That way I can ride wit the confidence that my bike isn’t going to fail me while passing the Harley rider standing on the side of the road trying to clear the round from his 1911 so he can put one through the block of his bike with 60,000 road miles out of its misery. Don’t start, I have already heard how Harley has improved their bikes, I believe that fairy tale just about as much as I believe that the 1911 has been improved. 🙂

  12. First gun I ever shot? That would have been one of my dad’s shotguns when I was a kid. Couldn’t tell you any more specifically than that.

    First gun I ever purchased/owned? My Ruger SR9c, which remains my carry gun.

  13. The first one I bought was a Springfield XD9, 4″. I passed up Glocks because I liked the grip safety on the XD and I didn’t like the way the Glocks shot (for me). Taught both of my kids to shoot with it. Finally gave it to my son a few months back as I’d moved onto other guns and never shot it any more.

  14. Dad’s Army issued M1911A1. Recently he passed it on to me and if I have a heir to the throne he or she will hopefully say Grandpa’s Army issued M1911A1.

  15. First one I bought for myself was an S&W Model 34 .22LR “Kit Gun” – a .22 on a .32 frame, blued, 4″ bbl.

    Bought it in California in 1970, when they only had a 3-day waiting period, way back before it became the PRCa. New, it cost me $125 at that time – about half a month’s rent.

    Still have it, of course.

  16. The first one I owned was given to me as a graduation present from college by my father: S&W 686 4″. Beutiful gun. I still own it even though it is a safequeen now.

    The first handgun I bought was for my ex-wife, Taurus PT-58S .380. She couldn’t operate any other semi slide. I believe that she still has it but I haven’t spoken to her since 1997.

      • The Colt Python reigns supreme. And that’s coming from this site’s definitive Smith weenie.

        If you can find an original, NRA-Excellent Python in Royal Blue, spend the two grand. It is possibly the greatest revolver of all time.

        • Hah! I paid $160 for mine, in 1972. Essentially never fired it after sighting in, since I had another! Shot hell out of that one, eventually enlarging the cylinder gap til blast was excessive, and sold it in the late ’90s for $600. Gave the perfect one to eldest son on his 21st birthday, 19 years ago. And all Pythons not stainless were Royal blue, that was standard. And gorgeous.

        • @LarryinTX, Pythons came in bright stainless steel, satin stainless steel, Royal Blue and bright nickel. I have also seen Pythons in just plain blue, which could be a factory color or a reblue (I don’t know which).

          The non-Royal Pythons are very nice but lack the glorious and desirable Royal color.

        • I’m working a trade with my older brother for his 4″ royal blue python he bought new in 1970. I haven’t seen it in over 30 years. I’m ecstatic!

    • Funny, my son graduates this year and a 686 with a shorter barrel was one gun I was thinking about. Must be the right choice!

  17. XD .45 service. I knew jack squat about handguns and was just so overjoyed to finally be done with CT’s ridiculous permit process (6 month wait, $200 inane 8 hour class, $70 permit fee, $35 eligibility fee, fingerprinting, passport photos, made to produce references of “good character”) that I walked into a shop and bought the most prominently displayed eye-catching pistol in front of me.

    Was a real pleasure to shoot. Soft and accurate.

    Imagine once I left that state I could just walk into a shop and buy any handgun with just a DL and cash. I wish I could sue CT for decades of theft and emotional turmoil.

  18. HK USP in 40s&w.
    My friend bought it new for $750. The next day his chocolate lab chewed the grip and he sold it to me for $300. I put a pacmayr grip on it and since put over 10,000 rounds through it. 🙂

  19. 1911A1 I bought after I got my first full time job.

    I wouldn’t trade it to anyone, its been customized and is a natural fit to my hand.

  20. a ’54 S&W 15 with a set of target grips. I got it from a fellow that was on the Marine Shooting Team. He sold it to me at a steal and I promised i’d never sell it.

  21. I don’t remember. I was 13, it was black, a .22LR semi auto something or other. It burned my hands with sparks after every round fired so I don’t think it was working right.

    I stayed away from handguns for 20 years after that. Shot a S&W 5906 in 9mm a few weeks ago, liked it. I still don’t own one but am shopping now. Step 1 is getting CCW permits for my wife and me.

  22. The first handgun that was officially MINE was a used Colt 1911 Mk IV series 80 straw purchased for me when I was about 12 years old. I’m amazed it never told me to shoot up my school!

  23. 1911a1 U.S. shot still have
    S&W model 10 & 19 carried regularly still have them
    S&W 39 &659 first I bought myself
    4506 after .45acp o.k. for carry. still have the 39, 4506 & 4506-1. Ex-wife got the 659 & a Colt snub in divorce.
    Anyone with a 659 they wanna sell or trade LMK.

  24. M&P 40FS. I got a deal because it was a CA model with magazine disconnect thingy. I bought some 15 round mags for it though. I kind of want to trade it in for a newer, non-CA model, with the improved trigger. On the other hand it was my first gun so it has sentimental value, and it doesn’t get used much other than sitting in a closet as a HD gun.

  25. In 1971 I bought a Colt Peacemaker .22LR./.22 Mag at the Marine Exchange in San Diego Ca. Ah! the good old days. Don’t remember why I sold it, but replaced it last year. For a lot more money than 1971. The power of nostalgia.

  26. XD40 4″ and a Taurus 617. (Both the same day, but the XD was an hour before the Taurus.)

    Hated the Taurus. Could not hit anything with it, the action locked up from time to time, and the cylinders would not eject hot brass. Got rid of it pretty quick. Loved the XD.

  27. Colt 1991a1 stainless government model; must have been around 1998? that I bought it.

    two regrets

    #1 – Hardly ever shot it. Put MAYBE 500 rounds through it from 1998 – up until 2013 (400 of which would have been in 2013).

    Which brings us to #2 – you guys all saw this one coming – SOLD IT. …. and now I want it back!

    Fortunately, was sold to my brother – so when he decides it’s time to switch it up I’ll be retrieving it. He already knows when He’s tired of it I wish to buy it back.

  28. A buddy brought me out to the range to introduce me to handguns, we shot a Glock 17 and neither of us could keep it in the 8″ bullseye at 10 yards…

    Shortly after turning 21 I bought an FNX-9 and started renting all sorts of different handguns. At 23 I feel qualified to say I can be a fairly good shot with whatever autoloader handgun I pick up.

    Except for revolvers, I still kinda suck at double action…

  29. I’m really surprised no one has mentioned the hand gun that I first owned. It was the original short barreled Ruger 22, that sold new for (you better sit down) $37.50!

    • Well, I was going to say the Ruger Single-Six, around 4″ barrel with cylinders for .22 and .22 Mag. Is that what you’re talking about? I could never hit squat with it either normal or Mag. Switched to a 4″ Colt Python and was in love. Could hit a 12 oz can at 100 yards two times out of three from prone.

  30. First handgun? Lol.

    High Standard Sport King (22LR). Made in New Haven, CT.

    Went from so-so reliability to OMG, this thing is a disaster waiting to happen.

    I’m talking endless stovepipes. Then to bullets getting stuck in the chamber.

    Sold it a gun store. Who probably sold it to the first unlucky bastard that would hold it.

    Blech!

  31. Walther P1 – Couldnt hit shit with it. Sold it a year later and bought a tristar 9mm. Love the Tristar. Also fixed my shooting stance.

  32. A zip gun made from galvanized pipe. And no, I’m not kidding.

    Fortunately, I never shot at anyone with it. After all, who has mortal enemies at the age of ten?

  33. I bought a Glock 20 10mm the day I turned 21. First day at the range I hit every target except the one was aiming at. It was way more gun than my experience level could handle. The Glock was traded for a Ruger P89. It took another 21 years before I bought another Glock.

  34. NEF R92, a 9 round .22LR revolver, purchased a little after my first rifle, a Marlin 60. Still have both. My first carry pistol was a Taurus PT-111.

  35. Ruger P89 9mm. I bought it when I lived in the People’s Republic of California, so it only had 10 round magazines. My collection had since expanded, so I gave it to my brother and it became his first gun too.

  36. S&W SW40F, more widely known as the Sigma (1 Gen). Bought it when they first came out. Except for the trigger, it’s a great gun despite what the Sigma-haters say. I also bought a S&W 586 .357 revolver, 4″ bbl. at the same time.

      • My sw9ve sigma has never jammed. Never. Trigger ain’t half bad for a service pistol with no after market work done to it.

        • Unfortunately, unlike the M&P, there’s really nothing you can do to fix the Sigma trigger. I never really thought it was that bad until I shot 700 rounds of .40 through it one weekend. 😀

          Now I really hate it. 🙁

  37. FIE .38 derringer with Bianchi holster I found hidden in the washing machine of a mobile home we moved into. Total POS, dangerous to keep both chambers loaded.

    it was quite a while, with poverty and all, before I had a handgun worth keeping.

  38. I don’t remember for sure the first pistol I shot, probably a .22 Match Target. The first one I bought was a .40 S&W Sigma. I’d better not say my opinion of that pistol or I’ll have a “comment moderated”.

  39. First ever fired? Ruger 10/22 and a Ruger Mark III.
    First big-boy fired? Glock 17
    First owned? CZ SP-01 Tactical.

  40. First handgun was given to me by my grandfather shortly after his house burned down and he lost about 120K worth of firearms. 10mm Auto Wilson Combat-ized Delta Elite 1911. Was helping him salvage whatever wasn’t melted or burnt to a crisp. Found it under a bed in a pristine blue Wilson Combat soft case. Only found one more of his high end 1911’s which was a Caspian custom competition gun in .45. That went to my brother and the WC went to me. Great way to start my collection, although nothing I’ve bought since is worth nearly as much.

  41. Oh yeah, first pistol I’d ever shot was a Ruger 9mm something.

    I remember being 10 or 11 years old and thinking “wow this is easy shooting”.

  42. Ruger Super Single Six convertible 6 1/2″ stainless .22LR/.22WMR revolver. I was 15. I still love that gun.

  43. S&W 15-3, 4″ .38spl. The barrel is NOT stamped +p, but was verified “good to go” via an email to/from S&W HQ. I cowboy’d it by adding real elk grips. Now, its just too purdy to shoot….arghhh why did I do that?

  44. Browning Hi-Power. Bought it after my wife was assaulted while I was deployed. Yep. I used to think I would never need a gun in my gated community but one must exit that community daily if they are to earn a living.

  45. GLOCK 29 SF. And no, I didn’t jump feet first into the deep end because I fell for the 10mm hype and buy too much gun for a new gun owner. The first handgun I fired was a S&W Model 10 at around nine or ten years old, and a Model 28 that same day.

    Oh, and to date, the only thing I’ve changed about it was installing the extended slide stop lever.

    • My dad bought me a Rosi 5 shot. I found that it made a great paper weight. As a self defence weapon I would be safer if I handed it to the agressor and I could gather up a hand full of rocks. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad but it was not the best gun I have ever owned. The worst I have ever owned is the FIE Model E28 .25 cal. I kept it forever thinking some day it would be worth something.

  46. My first handgun was a graduation present from my father: his Colt 1860 Army cap and ball (black powder) revolver. I oil and cherish it often, but of course have only fired it a very few times (awesome times though… fun gun to shoot, big hit at the range line). My first modern handgun (which I shoot ALL the time) is a Kahr CW40 I got shortly after that. Its my EDC to this day.

  47. My first? A Davis Industries P380 that I never fired for twenty years. My first modern firearm? A Ruger SR40 as well.

  48. XD 40 Service. Bought it back in 2009. Learned to shoot handguns with that piece and qualified for my Ohio carry permit with it. It still have it but I’m looking to replace it with something. If I don’t sell it then it’ll get relegated to moth-ball status.

  49. First handgun shot was a Beretta 92FS. I didn’t care for it at the time in any way, shape, or form…but I was accurate as hell with it despite never having shot a handgun. First owned was a Star model BM. Go ahead, get the chuckles out. It shoots well, has a very sweet trigger at around 4.5 pounds and a slide that feels like it’s on ball bearings, can feed an empty case, and has never jammed. It’s also at least as heavy as my fiance’s CZ75 Pre-B while only carrying 8+1. It has a vestigial beavertail that should either be bigger or non-existent, a hump where the mainspring housing would be on a 1911 (I prefer a straight backstrap here), and a tendency to field strip itself if you index your finger on the slide stop protruding from the right side while racking. I still have it as a future project gun, but it’s not a part of the carry lineup.

  50. Bulgarian Makarov, a PW Arms import with a three digit serial number back when Makarovs were under $200. Came with three mags. All I did to it was replace the recoil springs and mag springs with Wolff xtra-power ones and shot it. A lot. Also my first CCW. And nightstand gun. It was my only pistol and I used it for everything. I was a poor college student! Back when there just was no HP ammo for it.

    I wish I had kept it. It was simple and solid, but the recoil was pretty snappy and the webbing of my strong hand would HURT after a few mags were put through it. I traded it towards a S&W model 36, which went on to be my CCW, (short range) range toy, nightstand gun…until I traded it towards a brand new CZ-40P. I wish I’d kept it.

    I’m sensing a pattern…

    • My first handguns were a pair of Bulgarian Makarovs I bought at the same time. IIRC one was $125, the other was $135. The difference was the cheaper had a new serial as the original serial had Cyrillic characters. I love them and still have them. They were my only pistols for a few years and what I did my CCW with. They are snappy, but I’ve never hurt from shooting them, even after running 1600 rounds through one one afternoon (sore thumbs from loading my 2 mags over and over don’t count).

  51. First pistol was a Glock 22, I’ve moved on through several other handguns since then but I keep coming back to the beautiful simplicity of the Glock. I will always own at least one. I agree 100% with Mr. Colion, it was an amazing feeling plunking my cold hard cash down on the counter and walking out with it. I still get goosebumps when I buy a new gun many years later. Each one has a reason and a purpose and is special in its own unique way.

  52. Second gun show … two purchases the same day: Norinco SKS and a Ruger SR9. This October will be the first year anniversary! (purchased four other firearms since then)

  53. As a kid, I carried an old Rohm .22 revolver (cheap copy gun) in the woods. When I was 17, I picked out a Ruger P90 (my Dad had one and I liked it). That P90 was bulky, but it outperformed my Colt and my Sig.

  54. A Ruger Single Six that was in my bedroom closet growing up.

    My dad still won’t give it up.

    At least I got the S&W 422 and the Ruger MkII.

  55. First one I ever shot was dad’s Ruger Security Six, First one I ever owned was a 1942 Colt Commando revolver that turned out to be out of time, the first one I ever purchased was a Ruger Standard Mark I 2 years ago that has since been joined by several others.

  56. H&R 732 2″ in .32 Long Colt. I was 21, working nights and my trip was through some lonely country roads and not so great areas when I hit town. At the time Texas didn’t have concealed carry and I didn’t fit the”traveler” car carry exemption so I wanted something I could afford to lose. I reloaded friend made up some wad cutter loads just below the max recommended in the reloading manuals.

    I finally lost it in a home burglary a few years ago.

  57. I remember going through a library book as a middle-schooler – I think it was a “Guns Illustrated” from the mid-1970s – and falling in love with the Ruger Mark I.

    Promptly after graduating from college and getting a “real” job, I bought a Ruger Mark II Target in stainless.

    Yes, that one’s a keeper…

  58. First handgun I shot was a Ruger single six. I got great powder burn all over my hand. Lots of fun as an 8 year old. My first handgun that was mine was a Springfield 1911 GI model that my dad gave me when I earned my Eagle Scout. The first handgun I purchased was my S&W M&P 9c. I love them all equally.

  59. H&K P30 v3 9mm.
    Because I’m a lefty and at the time I didn’t think I’d own more than 1 gun.
    It now has 6 more H&K friends along with a buddy named Ruger. 😀

  60. Colt M1991A1 Government model. Not really a good gun to start with, but what can I say… I like 1911 style handguns.

    • So they say and I partially agree. It’s easy for a newbie to make a mistake but one think a 1911 teaches you is trigger discipline. I find that 1911 users generally have better trigger discipline than people who own Glock style safety triggers and DA/SA pistols like the Beretta or Sig. And one the things that every man should now how to do is to field strip a 1911 pistol.

  61. Shot- ruger single six. Was my grandfathers and he always promised he would give it to me when he died. He’s still alive and well but gave it to me when he moved to Florida. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Owned was a Ruger p95. Kept it for a few years and ended up selling it to a friend and using the proceeds to buy a Gen 4 17.

  62. Glock 17 Gen4 for me. But it didn’t make me feel empowered. It came with an enormous burden of responsibility.

    I need to keep this locked up when not in use, inaccessible to children or burglars. I’m not accustomed to maintaining that level of security so it took some getting used to.

    • Glock 17 Gen4…I need to keep this locked up when not in use

      Since you only have/had one handgun, when would it never not be in use?

      • Yup I had a friend that bought a gun nice little thing, Browning BDA-380. He kept the gun locked up in a safe, the ammo in the top of the closet and the magazine in the top of the closet in the guest bedroom. So if he had a break in he would have to tell the perp to wait while he got the safe open dug out the ammo, loaded the mag and armed the gun. I told him he probably needed money for better locks on his doors and windows and to sell the gun.

      • Danny,

        Since I work in a “prohibited area” here in the great blue state of Illinois, I can’t carry at work. It’s a royal pain.

  63. I see there are a few other Ruger Bearcat owners here. Bought mine for 41 bucks tax and all at age 14. They gave me a free brick of shells with it. I’m 66 now and wish I still had it..

  64. Colt 1991A1- essentially, an inexpensive Series 80. My thirteenth birthday present- and I still have it handy, in case I have to roll off the bed away from my nightstand.

  65. An old S&W K-frame .38 special. I’ve never been able to figure out exactly what model it is. In single action fire, it has the best trigger I have ever pulled on any firearm. It’s also uncannily accurate.

    • Well, it may or may not have one, depending on its age. The first place to look is on the crane after you open the cylinder. If its not there, you can shoot S&W an email with the serial number. They may help and even tell you the date of manufacture if you ask.

  66. Desert Eagle Baby Eagle in .45ACP. It’s a nice gun and I still own it. I finally got a holster for it after all of these years.

  67. S&W 629. Bad ass gun, loud as hell but very impressive at the local strip pit where everyone in my hometown would go shoot. Like a dumbass, I later sold it for far, far less than it was worth and have regretted that decision ever since.

  68. it was 1983 I was 16 years old my father gave me a brand new Colt 1911 Combat Commander in stainless steel I still have it it still shoots great!

  69. Ruger Blackhawk in .357 made in the early 60’s, my dad got it for me for my 14th birthday. It is one of four guns I will never sell, along with the ’53 M44 I got from a family friend as my HS graduation present. It had some holster wear on it, little bit of surface rust, but was functionally just fine. I spent the ride home cocking and uncocking it, as he instructed, then cleaned it and took it shooting. I’ve put thousands of rounds through it, and though it will never be an EDC firearm, it will always have a place in my heart and my nightstand.

  70. First handgun? Ruger SR22. So both my wife and son could learn to shoot pistol. Goes well with the family 10/22. 🙂 It’s fun watching them argue over who goes to the range with me. Neither wants to share shooting time…

    Now I’m in the market for “Daddy’s gun.” That’s going to be either a Beretta 92FS or a FN FNX45. At this point I”m leaning strongly towards the latter.

  71. The first gun I personally owned was/is a Beretta Px4 subcompact 9mm.

    Why?

    • I wanted something “forgiving” While I had handled and shot plenty of firearms before, it was always under the supervision of qualified persons, i.e. people that wouldn’t allow me to mess up and harm myself or someone else. This would be my first firearm I personally owned and carried. The big honking safety lever/decocker appealed to me. Right now it’s instinct to just flip the thing when I’m ready to fire. No real delay.

    • I’ll fess up, I didn’t want a GLOCK like everyone else. GLOCKs are great and I will buy one, but my first outing, I chose the Px4 subcompact because it was different and none of my other gun-friends had one. They all had GLOCKs or Rugers or Walther.

    • For a subcompact, it’s actually quite heavy and fat. This does help a little with controllability. And despite the “fat”, it is concealable.

    • The fatness accommodates 13 +1. I don’t have monster hands so it’s about as fat as I’d like a pistol grip to be, personally. I wanted capacity since I’m fairly new at this and having more rounds on hand would be an advantage in a real-world DGU.

    • Cost. $500 at an LGS with 2 mags, case, and speedloader. I know sub-$500 guns work and work well, but inborn caution prevented me from wavering away from major brands on my first outing.

    Overall, it’s a great beginner gun in my opinion. The big safety/decocker puts novice shooters at ease, especially the ladies. My S/O’s biggest fear, despite everything, is the gun will “go off”. The authoritative action of the lever calms people down. It’s either safe or unsafe, no “well…” at all. The weight also helps with the recoil a bit. Takedown is easy. In a pinch you could throw it at someone and knock them out cold.

    If you are like Noir and don’t want a GLOCK on your first outing, consider the Beretta. Beretta USA has also put their money where their mouth is and actively supports the Second Amendment, despite being an Italian company.

    • Smart choice to get the subcompact; The compact has only a quarter inch more of barrel length. It’s not worth it for the extra bulk.

      • That’s what the clerk at the store said. The price was the same regardless of size (sub, compact, or full in 9mm) so the only real decision was to purchase the one that fit me the best. It’s a great all-around pistol. And yeah, it definitely has that “Italian” look to it.

        3000 rounds in and no issues, either.

        • Beretta makes great firearms. I would own one but have been raised with John Moses Browning designed guns so the safety goes the “wrong way.”

  72. Mary Ellen Moffat. She broke my heart.

    Oh, wait. I thought the question was “What Was Your First Handj. . . . Never mind.

  73. Taurus PT92AF purchased OTC in a Wal-Mart more than two decades ago (pre-Clinton). It was about a $100 cheaper than the Beretta at the time and now I prefer the Taurus safety over the Beretta. Only mod was to add a Pachmayr grip when the wood became too slick to handle on hot range days.

  74. My 1st gun was Taurus 85 snubbie used from Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale Illinois( the site of the Brady protest tomorrow). It worked great but I decided semiautomatic was for me. I wish I still had it-my wife wants a revolver now. I have NO idea what happened to my dad’s guns I shot as a kid.

  75. Won’t be buying any handguns ’til I’m out of NJ and away from its obscenely ridiculous permit-to-purchase system for good. That said, the first handgun I ever fired was a Colt Gold Cup National Match 1911 manufactured in the 70’s. I was 13 at the time and knew absolutely nothing about guns, not even that the 1911 had thorough military history. I didn’t know how to lock my arms properly, so I let the recoil of each shot gracefully carry my hands upward and then took my time realigning the sights. Somehow I still hit the X ring a couple of times at 7 yards. Since then I’ve promised myself that the first handgun I buy will be a 1911 of some kind; preferably a no-frills GI model.

  76. My first handgun was a S&W 4506-1, enjoyed the heck out of that one and acquired a few more S&W’s over the years with the most recent being a M&P9.

  77. The first handgun I bought was a Walther P99 QA in 40S&W with the OD green frame that I bought from a buddy. It was the first gun that I ever handled and I got it for a good price when my friend needed cash to move across country. It is just the right size to be a great bed side gun or a good IWB gun. I just wish it didn`t have Walther`s proprietary rail system.

  78. as a 19 year old sailor in Key West , Florida, I ordered a Webley .455 converted to .45acp from Hi Hunter out in California,
    ad was in a 1957 American Rifleman, for $9.95.
    was shipped to me to the ship by reaiload express,
    thank goodness we were in port at the time..
    how times have changed.
    next one was a ruger standard .22rf, cost $28.50 wholesale.

  79. First one I shot was a West German Sig Sauer P6. First I bought was a Sig Mosquito, though that’s gone and I’ve replaced it with a much nicer Ruger SR22.

  80. Llama .380 and I still have it. Never had a jam or stovepipe. Picked it up right after my discharge from the Corps in 81.

  81. Got my first handgun when I moved from N.Y. to Fla. in 1987. A Taurus PT-99 9mm. Blue, with wood grips; two 15 rd. mags. A bit over $300; no background check, just the 4473; and I took it home from the store with me. It was the start of a beautiful romance.

  82. Sig Pro in 357 Sig. Waaaay back in 2003 when 357 Sig was crazy expensive and hard to find. Sold it a year later but couldn’t find another pistol that felt so good. Finally bought another in .40 s&w. Sadly it was in a gun safe when my house caught fire. Also in the safe were some legally owned demolition material that caught and turned the inside into an raging inferno. End of the story: no more sig
    Moral of the story: fire proof only means outside lol

  83. Smith & Wesson Sigma SW40VE, bought it in 2004 or so. No matter what I did, it always felt like there was gravel in the trigger. I don’t miss it.

  84. Glock 21 (Gen 4)…Learned to shoot using my Dad’s M1911. Decided to stick with .45 ACP when buying my first handgun, but wanted the added capacity offered by Glock.

  85. A Taurus 24/7 OSS in .40 S&W. Easily the most frustrating gun I’ve ever fired. Barely shoots minute of bad guy. Grouped so poorly I thought I’d never be a decent shooter. Selling once I shoot the remaining ammo (don’t have any other .40s).

    My second is a Glock 19 Gen 4 and it restored my faith in handguns. All the effort and pratice put into shooting the Taurus well paid dividends once I got it. THAT’S the gun I’m never selling.

  86. First shot… Hi-Point 9mm. MY first handgun… of all things a EAA Witness 10mm. Fell in love with the round even before I could legally buy a handgun. Shotgun News ran a good article on them back in the early 00s so I went and ordered one new as soon as I legally could.

    To this day I still regretting selling her. But I did what I had to do. And eventually I purchased another one that I own to this day.

  87. Navy issue Remington-Rand M1911A1. I got it from my brother-in-law by trading a Remington 700BDL in 6mm with a Redfield receiver sight. The 45 was my dad’s gun, and I shot and cared for it for years; I put in a new barrel and an National Match link pin. With Markwell 185gr gas-check semi-wadcutters sitting on top of 3.5 grains of Bullseye, the old girl would put five rounds into 2″ at 25 yards.

    I traded it off after I shot a rabid (?) racoon with a 185 gr Silvertip and he ran off. (He was facing me at about 10 feet and I put one just under his chin; found the bullet undeformed in a board the coon was standing on, hollow point full of meat). Traded even for a new Ruger Stainless Redhawk 44 magnum with the 7.5″ barrel. Miss the old 45 but still have the Ruger, 30 years on…

  88. First pistol I shot was a Ruger Mk 1 back in about 1966 – my cousin still owns the pistol. The first major caliber pistol I shot was a 1911 owned by Uncle Sam in 1970.

    The first pistol I owned was a Smith and Wesson model 60. I wish I still had that one.

  89. Colt Trooper Mark III.

    Sold it. No regrets, either. I wasn’t really a gun guy at the time and knew less than nothing about shooting a pistol.

    (yeah, I go back a ways)

  90. A used Llama .32 ACP, model unknown, and it’s long gone. It would almost, but not quite, get through a whole 8 rd mag before it jammed.

    The second handgun that I bought for myself was a B-new S&W M27 8 3/8 nickel with “3 T’s) in an oak presentation box (I wised up considerably between purchase 1 and 2). Still got that one. 🙂

  91. Colt 1911 (issued by Uncle Sam) at the age of 18, shortly afterwards I purchased a Ruger Super Black in .44Mag, of course with a 10.5″ bbl because Dirty Harry’s was a baby gun in comparison. Fast forward 30 years, and she’s still getting exercised with some frequency.

  92. 25 yrs. ago, my mother gave me her dad’s 1903 Colt pocket auto .32acp. My grandfather bought it shortly after returning home from France after WWI. I still shoot it once or twice a year.

  93. First gun I shot was a Mossberg Maverick 88, when I was in college. First handgun I purchased was a two-tone Ruger SR22, early last year. Other than a heavy trigger in double-action mode, it’s a nice and reliable plinker.

  94. First one I ever held? Browning Hi power
    First one I ever fired? Beretta 92
    First one I bought? Sig P226, .40 S&W (before all the rails and MIM parts)

    Funny how you can date the people in this thread by their “firsts”!

    • Empowered? Well, I suppose. It empowered me to keep my job. I bought it for work P-89 Ruger. Shot good, never had a stove pipe or a jam, kind of heavy at the end of the day, but it was reliable and I never failed to qualify with it. I use a Glock 22 now. Lost confidence in the 9mm after I saw more than one round bounce off the glass of a car window when I was working at FLETC, I have never had to pull my weapon on anyone. Now that is empowering. Knowing that my best weapon is not the one I carry on my belt but the one that is between my ears

  95. First handgun I bought for my own was a break top 5 shot hammerless S&W .38. Chrome plated with big rust holes in the chrome. I was not quite 13 and bought it at a yard sale. The trigger was worse than a Sigma’s and those short .38’s were overpriced and under powered.

    After I got rid of that my next pistol was an H&R 999 break top .22. Much better gun for a kid.

    • mine too. three screw super blackhawk for $150. it had had the transfer bar upgrade and was magnaported. shot a nice “V” of flame out either side of the front sight. the cheap non- jacketed re- loads at the range lead fouled the ports pretty well.

  96. Ruger 44 Blackhawk, this was in the late 70’s. I wanted a S&W Model 29, never could find one. Almost bought an Automag in 44. It was too expensive at the time.

  97. Ruger p89 traded a pitbull puppy and $50 cash for it in college. Still have it and have never had a fail of any kind. I do want to sell it though because of that horrible trigger.

  98. My memory is a bit hazy about my first handgun as they were purchased within four months of each other in 2008 and I no longer remember which one was the “first”. One of them was a Ruger GP-100, six-inch blued model with the half-lug barrel shroud (which is no longer made). This is probably the single most accurate handgun I have in my collection today, and the one my dad constantly asks me to sell to him (the answer is always NO). I recall a small tree sapling with a trunk roughly the width of my forearm being used as a target on my departed grandfather’s property one afternoon. At roughly twenty yards off, I managed to cut the thing down with six rounds of .357 semi-jacketed hollowpoints. Couldn’t duplicate that feat today, sadly. 🙁

    The other was a Beretta Px4 Storm, 9mm, F-type model, as my first semi-automatic pistol. I had researched it out beforehand and felt it would be a decent choice for a “first”, as the way the gun is designed it’s impossible to re-assemble it incorrectly. The only malfunctions I’ve experienced with the gun were all related to my dad’s “target buster” handloads (his words, not mine). They worked fine in his EAA Witness 9mm that he’d bought used, but simply didn’t cycle the slide of the Beretta at all and required me to hand-cycle the empty casing from the weapon after every shot. We assume that it was due to the Beretta’s recoil spring being essentially brand-new and very stiff compared to the softer spring in his EAA 9mm.

    I still have both pistols, though I’ve since replaced the Beretta’s sights with Trijicon night sights after the original “glow-in-the-dark” paint of the factory sights either fell out or eroded out from contact with cleaning solvents (for reference purposes, Beretta no longer uses the Superluminova sights on the Storm pistols and just goes with simple white 3-dot sights). At the time, the Storm was only available in a blued version, and I find myself wanting the stainless version every time I see it in a gun store.

  99. S&W 5906. High cap nines were all the rage. When I figured out 8 hits with a .45 is better than 16 misses with the nine (I couldn’t shoot it for sh!t) I bought a Kimber 1911.

  100. Ruger SP101 .357 when I was 18. At the time NJ law allowed a handgun to be purchased from a private owner at 18. Loved that thing. Had to sell it when I stayed with anti gun in laws. I’m on the hunt for a replacement.

  101. Little late, but
    – First gun ever fired: Beretta U22 Neos
    – First gun owned (technically my dad’s): Browning BDA .380
    – First gun purchased by self: Nothing yet, so many choices, not sure where to start.

  102. My first handgun is a Colt Commander M1911A1 my Dad purchased about 50 years ago. Still shoots sweet! My first purchase is a Sig Saeur P238 Sportster I use for cc.

  103. AS a kid I inherited several pistols but the first i actually purchased/worked for was a High Standard Sport King small accurate and the best camp/carry gun I ever owned why did I trade it away; still looking for another many years later.

  104. Gen 2 Glock 23 (1994). Picked it up while on a first date in college (she is now my wife). Still own and still love it!

  105. Already had a couple of .22 rifles and a shotgun as a kid I also had an old Iver Johnson top break in .32 S&W as a gift. The first real pistol as a kid was a HIgh Standard sportking one of the best .22’s ever made swapped a bicycle and some labor too a guy for it not fancy (fixed sights, plastic grips). Sorry I ever sold it. Shot for many years and it never let me down; the next couple of High Standard’s cost me a LOT more than that pistol. The rifles were a winchester pump and a Remington model 550 Damn I had a lot of fun

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