Hammer vs striker fired
Courtesy Langdon Tactical Technologies
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“What’s the best handgun for a new shooter?” How many times have you heard that asked? Some of the worst answers you’ll hear to that question get tossed over the sales counter at your local gun store.

The answer, of course, is there is no “best” gun for a new shooter. Instead, there’s the “right” gun for each new gun owner…which is dependent on on a range of criteria specific to each person. The most important consideration, of course, is how the prospective gun owner intends to use the firearm they want to buy.

Once that question is answered, you can then start to narrow the field of possibilities based on a number of factors.

Aimee and Ernest Langdon of Langdon Tactical Technology have produced this easy-to-digest, common sense guide for noobs and first-time gun buyers who are looking for their first handgun.

In short, it’s a really good idea to think about what it is you want before heading to the store. What they suggest researching and thinking about in the buying process include . . .

  • Caliber
  • Size of the gun
  • How it feels in the hand
  • Reach to the trigger (length of pull)
  • Iron sights or red dot
  • Striker fired or hammer fired

Watch their video above. Is there anything you think should be changed or added to what they advise?

 

 

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60 COMMENTS

  1. Avoid burdening them with the unnatural grip angle of a glock.

    And glocks are over-priced, that helps new buyers too.

    Plus glocks have cheap plastic sights not “Iron sights”.

    • H, Pure unadulterated horse puckey. A GLOCK is an excellent firearm. The grip in spite of your and others’ protestations is NOT an unnatural grip. Over prices? Not hardly. $695 for a quality semi-automatic pistol is hardly “overpriced”.
      The sights work on the GLOCK the very same way as your “iron sights”.
      I’ve owned GLOCKs since 2003 and am very satisfied. I’ve also won competitions with my GLOCKs.

      • I always laugh at the grip angle complaint from people who have in reality just conditioned themselves to the 1911. They’re both fine in practice.

      • “Horse Puckey”?

        Why do you Walther sound just like dacian?

        You know someone calling a glock a poor firearm (which considering the competition it is) is not a personal slight?

        Sorry you are so butt hurt maybe you need some preparation “H”?

        • Excuse me, Calvin, but Telling someone that their opinion is HORSE PUCKY is not a “personal slight”. It is commenting on their OPINION. Maybe you should take your own advice and smear some Preparation all over your your poor butt?
          For your information, I have won competitions with a GLOCK firearm. Maybe you should find out the real skinny on GLOCKs before you make comments.

      • $695 IS overpriced when there are literally dozens of functionally equivalent (just as reliable, accurate and well-made) firearms from numerous well-known brands (S&W, Ruger, etc) for under $500, sometimes WELL under that, and often times with better triggers and sights right out of the box.
        I don’t have any bones to pick with GLOCK but of all their positive traits, ‘value’ does not rank very high. 700 bucks can be a REAL sticker shock to a new shooter and an insurmountable barrier to ‘less well-off’ folks.

        • VicrRattlehead, How much is a Glock on average?
          Seriously, typically, your most competitive gun stores are averaging around 10-15% mark-up…for a standard Glock, that comes to around $425-450.
          Clearly, Glocks hold their value well because they were designed for lifelong use. If you suspect that your gun is due for an upgrade, here’s why you shouldn’t be too hasty to trade in your old Glock. Additionally, the newest Glocks are strikingly similar to the older models.
          Ruger makes a good firearm, but it is rarely used by law enforcement. S&W has some place in the market but it maybe 10-20% of it in the law enforcement market. That has to tell you something. SOME places do charge as much as $695 for a GLOCK. The median price is about $200 lower.

    • I must have an unnatural hands because I had no issues with the ‘unnatural’ grip angle of a Glock. Took private instruction this past May, first time I have ever shot a gun. Used the instructors Glock 48. True they were single shots with plenty of time between them, and true I was shooting from only 3 yards away. I put twenty two shots in a 2-1/4 circle.

      • Well congrats on your first time shooting, Ben.

        Ben, it has nothing to do with unnatural hands. The glock was designed by a curtain rod manufacture that had no experience designing firearms, and had an inside line on a fat Government contract. He cut a number of corners, including the grip angle.

        Many years ago glocks used to be the only game in town that offered
        a striker fired pistol. Since that time however glocks flawed design has been surpassed by most of the established manufactures.

        A number of smaller manufactures have refined the glock design (making a better glock than glock) and almost all have corrected the grip angle that is ergonomically compromised.

        The more pistols you try and the more you shoot, is when you will see how the grip angle forces your closed hand to point down, rather than straight ahead.

        • Just because you don’t know how to exploit the grip angle of a Glock to shoot at a high level doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong.

          It was deliberate from the start and there is a reason.

        • Calvin, so what if Gaston Glock originally designed curtain rods? The guy who designed the AR-15 was a space engineer. Tell me what is Glock’s “flawed design”? It seems that most of this nation’s police disagree with you. In this county along every PD and Sheriff’s Office uses GLOCKs in one form or another.
          If you don’t like GLOCK because of the grip, that is your preference and more power to you, but for some reason the market tends toward GLOCK.

    • If you think the Glock grip angle is a burden . . . . you just don’t know how to maximize the shooting capabilities of the Glock platform.

      You shouldn’t let your training deficiencies affect new shooters.

      • And furthermore the Pinto is a great car. Just because it catches fire now and then just means you don’t know how to maximize a fire suppression system.

        You shouldn’t let your 2nd and 3rd degree burns affect new drivers.

  2. I would also advise that new shooters should also definitely strongly consider anything from Hi-Point. Low price, good looks and a lifetime warranty. It’s America’s favorite problem solver!

    • Yep, that’s a good starting point for new gun owners most of whom tend to be over come by “sticker shock”. Not a deep investment and they can always buy another gun later if they like.

      I’ve got a few Hi-Points, C9 HC’s, nothing wrong with them and never had a problem with them.

      The bullet cares not for the looks, firearm looks don’t stop bad guys. I can pretty much guarantee you that the bad guy is not going to say “Wait! I’d like to be shot at with a better looking gun please. I’ll wait while you go get one .”

      A Hi-Point is a good beginner gun, and also for those who are not beginners. The heck with what the gun snobs think.

    • Not sure if joking or not, but … yeah actually. I’ve never shot one but the C9 actually feels pretty good in the hand and reviews say they’re durable. So if somebody wants a one and done deal for not too much money then why not.

  3. Jack, you’re kidding, right? Especially the good good looks part. Hi-Points look like shit in a sack. Even if it’s in a sack I don’t want to touch it. As for the rest; if I have to go to a gunfight, please let the other guy have a Hi-Point.

  4. “Some of the worst answers you’ll hear to that question get tossed over the sales counter at your local gun store.”

    Not always.

    I send everyone to see Jack. No, Jack is not a guy with guns in his car trunk at the back of the library. Jack is short for Jackie who is a nice lady at one of our local gun stores who seems to have an obi-wan kenobi kind of zen thing going on for helping a person select the gun that’s right for them. Have never seen any new gun owner helped by her that did not get a gun that suited them perfectly. Shes been selling guns and shooting for almost 50 years with her husband, in that same business location. Its expanded over the years, has a nice indoor range too.

  5. His points about the shootability of lighter, smaller guns have some validity, but WTF is “They’re not always easier to conceal, necessarily, just because some of the lighter, smaller guns that you know, yes they feel good and they may seem like they’re going to be easier to conceal. Sometimes they’re actually harder because they are lighter and more flimsy and the way that they fit in the holster doesn’t allow you to actually conceal it properly.”?

    Physical dimensions are objective facts. So is mass (and inertia). A given small pistol could be shaped awkwardly, have more protrusions, etc., but realistically small / light modern defensive handguns are made for the specific purpose of concealment with shaping as well as lightening in mind.

    Agree or disagree with their choices, I respect that they explained why they made them. OTOH, they completely ignored others. Do revolvers and single action semiautos not exist? Even if you hate / oppose them, explain why.

    Also (since they decided to focus on defense / CCW) climate, build, and clothing play a huge part and seem to have been overlooked.

  6. Umm, I agree with everything you said. The whole smaller, lighter thing being harder to conceal because they are flimsy? That made me scratch my head. I’ve seen flimsy holsters, but never a flimsy handgun. Not even a Hi-Point. 😆

    • Gadsden Flag,
      That means a lot coming from you. Your posts exemplify the point I made above about backing up opinions with facts and reasoning (despite your unnatural aversion to defensive shotguns 😉).

        • Understood (and my previous comment was meant in jest rather than a challenge to debate this tangential issue), but for the specific purpose of defending my home I cannot foresee a legally defensible situation that would exceed the limitations of a shotgun.

  7. Great point, and the reduced mass / inertia of “flimsy” pistols makes them much more tolerant of flimsy holsters and belts (or even no belts).

  8. The best gun for a new shooter is always the same gun.

    The one they shoot well, has the desired effect on the chosen target set, that they can and are willing to transport to the appropriate location to get the desired effect on said target, that can afford and can readily get food for.

    If those criteria are satisfied you’ve found “the” gun.

    Everything else is superfluous or trying to shoehorn them into a gun.

  9. Understood, and your comment was taken in the spirit in which it was intended. I just can’t help myself. Seriously, no matter which weapon you use; you better know you’re right.

  10. I always recommend a revolver for new shooters.
    I’ve seen a lot of accidents with new shooters and semi automatic pistols.

    • I was going to bring that up but I don’t have 12-1/2 minutes of my life to wastet watching the video to find out if they brought it up. One thing about revolvers, no matter how much a new shooter morphs into a full blown gun nut, they’ll never regret purchasing that revolver (and likely several more).

  11. I actually do own a C9 and it is a fine gun for a beginner on a budget. For those less hampered by finances I would say look a bit up the price scale but if you’re om a budget Hi-Point will see you a functional US made pistol for less than $200

  12. If you need a gun NOW. And you’ve never shot one before. You should be buying a revolver. A Heritage Rough Rider SA revolver is way under $200. And for the money a Hi point is not a bad choice. Either of them are a good low cost choice for self defense. I like my JHP 45.

  13. I’ve got a pretty nice accumulation of handguns of all types, from the ridiculous Calico to a Maverick that should be melted down. Also have military guns, S&W, Ruger, Colt, etc. I always recommend revolvers to new shooters, and I carry one myself daily. 100% reliable, 100% safe, simple to use, not picky about ammo and doesn’t leave the brass behind. Whats not to like?

      • That and the trigger pull.

        I want to meet this mythical grandma who can’t cock a slide against a 16lb recoil spring using the full grip / strength of both hands, arms, and shoulders – long before the fight begins, when it doesn’t matter how long it takes, how much her hands shake, what she needs to brace it against, etc. – and yet can squeeze 12lb with one fingertip while holding the sights steady on target, every single shot.

    • Revolvers 100% reliable?
      Spoken like someone who hasn’t actually put significant rounds through a revolver.

      With a handgun, when you get a malfunction, you can typically clear it rapidly.

      With a revolver, when you get a malfunction, you’re pretty much out of the fight.

      I compete in ICORE and believe me – I’ve seen plenty of revolver malfunctions.

      NOW – the double action trigger IS a good thing for a new shooter to learn and master. But a consistent striker pull is easier to learn. Single action is the easiest but you have to build in muscle memory to disengage the safety – which isn’t hard for a committed shooter but novices may not train enough to build it in.

    • On a reputation that is decades old and no longer applies.

      Also many people colloquially use “Glock” to mean “polymer framed handgun” and not specifically a Glock-brand Glock.

      AR’s are the best selling gun in America.

        • You may have noticed that the AR is in a constant state of evolution and improvement. Glock basically has done nothing. They had a shit trigger 20 years ago and still have a shit trigger today.

          And it ain’t broke refers to something you own that still works, not manufactures/companies. Manufacturers should always be looking to improve their designs. Glock hasn’t, and that is why you need to turn to the aftermarket to bring a Glock to the same level as other gun companies stock, out of the box gun.

          Or you can purchase one of the many non-glock Glocks (Shadow Systems, PSA Dagger, Lone Wolf, Polymer 80) that actually has vastly improved the glock design. Which glock won’t because they can overcharge for “a reputation that is decades old and no longer applies.”

        • H, Apparently, you haven’t noticed that GLOCK has made improvements. Apparently you have not followed GLOCK’s developments. They are up to Generation 5.
          That you claim these GLOCK clones are improvements is your OPINION. Which one do you work for?

        • No finger grooves, no finger grooves, finger grooves, finger grooves, no finger grooves.

          What improvements!!!

          Five generations and they still can’t “finger” it out.

          “Walter E Beverly III November 12, 2021 At 19:08 says “Additionally, the newest Glocks are strikingly similar to the older models.”

          REALLY Wally? You don’t say.

          But hey Wally, why improve when fan bois like you will pay “..$695” for a not at all overpriced gun (SARC) that hasn’t changed (except for those finger grooves!) in decades.

          Wally said “…$695 is hardly “overpriced””. Gaston must laugh his ass off everyday at bois like you.

        • H, ROFLMAOBT! Finger groves? Really? Does the 1911 have finger groves? Not any that I have seen.
          I certainly do say that the newest GLOCKs are strikingly similar. If is one of the reasons that the GOCK holds it’s value. I’d pay $695 to get a gun which is designed to work each and ever time I compress the trigger. Gaston would laugh his ass off at you as he goes all the way to the bank with the money this “curtain rod designer” has made with his GLOCK design.
          Can you tell me? What is your expertise in gun design?

        • Wally serious question, are you retarded?

          Why don’t you stop reading now and think about it.
          *
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          No Wally keep thinking
          *
          *
          *

          You argument for the flawed design is to… just re say what I said?

          You paid $695(!) for a $350 – $375 dollar gun and think I am the one getting laughed at?

          Let me guess what your retort will be; Wally says ” NO I’m not stupid you are”. That about right?

        • H ROFLMAOBT! Here is a RED HOT NEWS FLASH for you.
          The lack of “finger grooves” is not a design flaw. Does the 1911 have “finger grooves”? NONE that I have ever seen unless you buy and after market part.
          You have yet to tell anyone here what these so called “design flaws” are? Speaking of retarded….
          I did not pay $695 for any of my GLOCKs. You are making that up. But then again, you are making up your “design flaws” nonsense.
          If you scroll above you will see, that I said that the $695 is the price at some gun dealers. But for your edification that depends on “supply and demand.” As to your nonsense about GLOCKs being $350-375″, that is pure unadulterated garbage manufactured in your mind.
          I don’t know whether you are stupid or not, but you sure are playing that part. Like Forest Gump said, “Stupid is hat stupid does”?

        • H ROFLMAOBT! I’m still waiting for you to tell us about those “design flaws” you claim GLOCKs have.

  14. It makes me laugh, and sometimes irritates me when people are looking for a carry gun, or a home defense gun, when they complain about the trigger pull. CCW guns are just that, they are for mostly short range self defense, not a range gun, or a competition type gun. Sure we all love a buttery, smooth, short pull and reset trigger, but Most CCW guns do not have 2lb triggers, and for a very good reason. If you shoot matches, sure you want the best feeling and shortest pull and shortest reset, but for a carry, self defense gun, no.

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