Author Topic: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!  (Read 20664 times)

Offline silver_back

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New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« on: November 30, 2009, 07:41:05 PM »
Hey everyone

Question for any and all willing to answer

(Before proceeding I should state that I am Canadian...so some of the terms used may be different than those used in the USA or other countries)

I am new to firearms.  I did not grow up around guns (some family members did hunt, but it was before my time) so I am new to all aspects related to firearms.  I recently got my non-restricted licence (basically allows me to purchase long barrelled guns/rifles typically used for hunting and/or range shooting).  I will be getting my restricted license in the next month (which allows me to purchase handguns).

I should mention that I posted a similar topic in the “Modern Rifles, Shotguns, and Carbines” forum (requesting suggestions related to purchasing my 1st long barrelled gun/rifle/shotgun).  So in addition to researching my 1st long barrelled gun/rifle/shotgun, i am also doing research prior to purchasing my 1st handgun. 

Unlike the topic i started in the “Modern Rifles, Shotguns, and Carbines” forum (stating that i am interested in purchasing an entry level firearm) for my 1st handgun i am looking at acquiring a more intermediate level firearm.  Seeing as i am new to firearms/shooting, I plan to shoot at the range as much as possible in order to “get my chops up”.  With that in mind I wanted to purchase a firearm that is a intermediate level firearm (not entry level, but not top of the line) that will be relatively cheap to shoot (read as: I can shoot a couple times a week without breaking the bank!).

So my question to you is...

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding a good intermediate level handgun?  My budget for this firearm is approximately $1500.

I went down to the local outdoor sports/hunting store, and gave the salesmen a story similar to that posted above, and he recommended the following firearms:

http://www.wholesalesports.com/storefront/hunting/firearms/centerfire-handguns/glock-m17/prod177852.html

The salesman stated that i could not go wrong with the GLOCK.  He said it is a great + reliable gun at a great price

http://www.wholesalesports.com/storefront/hunting/firearms/centerfire-handguns/srs-series-sr9-9mm/prod254935.html

The salesman stated that this was a great entry level/intermediate gun that would be a great buy for my 1st handgun.

http://www.wholesalesports.com/storefront/hunting/firearms/centerfire-handguns/p220-elite-combat/prod258794.html

+

http://www.wholesalesports.com/storefront/hunting/firearms/centerfire-handguns/p220-elite-platinum/prod259276.html

The salesmen stated that if i wanted to spend a little more money and get a more intermediate/advanced level firearm, either of these guns would be it.  He highly recommended both of these firearms.

Any comments on the above firearms?   

Thanks in advance for the help/advise!




Offline Pathfinder

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 08:01:43 PM »
First and foremost, do NOT consider anything that does not feel right in your hand. I have shot Glocks, but they just do not sit right in my hands. My hands are also on the small side, so that is an issue. I love 1911s and Sigs, they fit well and aimpoint is very natural

Then go shoot a bunch of different handguns, see if there is a store that will rent you one, or use friends or a trainer. Do NOT take the sales guy's word for anything.

Then of course there is the whole revolver vs. auto-loader discussion.

Caliber is important, and that is determined - as are all of the other factors - based on what you're going to use it for. Plinking vs carry (can you carry in Canada?) vs. IPSC/IDPDA vs. hunting vs. something else.

As I mentioned in the rifle thread, look for help from a well-informed and trusted friend in everything.

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 08:04:07 PM »
I'm not sure how things are up there in Canada and I would sure agree that Glock makes a fine handgun.
That said, here in the US there are lots of classes you can take where they have different handguns available to use as part of the course.
I think if I were new to the whole process I would want to get the feel of a few pistols before I committed to one. By taking a few classes where several handguns are available you can find something you can comfortably invest the right amount of money for a handgun that fits you and your need.

I wish you well.
HoC

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 08:10:59 PM »
First off, good on you.  Glad to hear you are taking these steps.  And welcome to the world of firearms.

Next, the Glock 17 is the benchmark for handgun reliability.  It is accurate, reliable, and caveman simple.  I'd take it over a Ruger SR9 any and every day of the week.

That said, the SIG P220 is a hell of a handgun.  SIG handguns are known to have "to hell and back reliability" as a brand trait.  This is no accident.  They are some of the best handguns available.  And it is also in my pet caliber, .45ACP.  While it is a handgun, and a good 9mm will work almost as well, I do like the increased thump and larger hole of the .45.  9mms have better recoil and higher capacity though, so it's a trade off you have to decide on yourself.

Now, if you have the money to blow, a SIG is an excellent choice.  I'd prefer a P220 to all other handguns you listed.  But you need to figure magazines, holsters, and ammo into the cost.  The Glock will allow you to pick up more of that off the bat and still be a quality piece, with high availability of parts in most foreseeable situations.

Offline kiteflyer

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 08:20:03 PM »
     Buy this cheap well made used hand gun for 220 bucks ,shoot it with the hottest ammo for it, which is 20% hotter than standard Russian ammo .Then after getting use to an quality automatic high capacity round hand gun go buy yourself something better and throw this one in the boat or camper or just give it the significant other!  ;) See web links below The ammo is available from most gun shops from surplus to high quality hot rounds.Also it's a collectors military/police weapon with the civilian model still in production! ;D

            kiteflyer

      http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Czech_CZ-82_9x18_Pistol.html

       http://www.czub.cz/en/download.aspx

      

      
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 08:25:07 PM by kiteflyer »

Offline Who...me?

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 08:36:43 PM »
Try out as many pistols as you can lay your hands on.  Find the one that feels the most natural and points the best.  Close your eyes and bring the gun up to firing position...which one has the sights lined up the best for you.   The specific weapon and caliber is secondary to what feels the best.

Now having said that my personal preference is a 1911 in .45.

Offline Peacekeeper1029

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 08:53:27 PM »
IMHO a Glock 19 is the perfect first gun (it was mine).  It's prefect size for concealed carry and with 15 round mags you have plenty of firepower.  Best part about them is there are a ton of aftermarket toys for the Glock and you can get Korean magazines for dirt cheap (save those for range, use Factory for carry).   Good luck and Happy Shooting.

Offline MD3C

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 12:19:56 AM »
For starting out with no preconceived attractions, the Glock 19 would be a dandy option.
Good luck.
M

Offline mxitman

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 06:07:22 AM »
Just a thought to keep in mind resale value of whatever you buy. Even though you plan on keeping it, you might end up selling it or trading up. Some guns lose their value faster than others, it will never be worth nothing but just a thought. When I got one of my first handguns I picked up one that was an odd caliber. I paid around $700 for everything once I was done with mags and holsters. I practically had to give it away at $300 when I sold it. I also picked up a brand new in box Colt 1911 plane jane model for $500 and now its worth about $800... Sigs and glocks do hold their values... just get standard calibers... 9,40,45

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2009, 06:37:10 AM »
If you don't like the way the Glock feels in your hands, try a Springfield Armory XD or XDM.  I carry an XD 4" in .45ACP.  I also picked the XD over the Glock because the XD has a grip safety so the gun wont go off if the trigger gets caught on something.  The grip must be...gripped.

Offline Shiv

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 07:12:48 AM »
Honestly, if I were in your shoes with what I know now about guns, I would get a Ruger MK III or 22/45.  Becoming good with a pistol takes quite a bit of practice and having a pistol in the same caliber as your rifle will be more convenient and much cheaper.  When you can go to the range and shoot 500 .22 rounds for less money than 100 rounds of another caliber, the economic advantages are obvious.  Now, if this pistol MUST be for self defense, then a .22 would not be my first choice, but in a pinch its better than a pointy stick and bad breath!

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 07:23:27 AM »
Try different pistols out.  Don't be afraid to buy a used piece as long as it checks out.  Remember that it's better to spend $500 on the gun $500 on training and $500 on ammo then it is to spend $1000 on a gun and $500 on ammo.

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2009, 07:55:22 AM »
First and foremost, do NOT consider anything that does not feel right in your hand. I have shot Glocks, but they just do not sit right in my hands. My hands are also on the small side, so that is an issue. I love 1911s and Sigs, they fit well and aimpoint is very natural

Then go shoot a bunch of different handguns, see if there is a store that will rent you one, or use friends or a trainer. Do NOT take the sales guy's word for anything.

Then of course there is the whole revolver vs. auto-loader discussion.

Caliber is important, and that is determined - as are all of the other factors - based on what you're going to use it for. Plinking vs carry (can you carry in Canada?) vs. IPSC/IDPDA vs. hunting vs. something else.

As I mentioned in the rifle thread, look for help from a well-informed and trusted friend in everything.
Pathfinder,

Thanks again for the info!

As per your comments in the rifle thread, i will def take a friend along with me.  Actually i ended up walking out of a few hunting/sporting goods stores because of the salesman attempting to sell me something that i did not want.  After being recommended the Ruger 10/22 rifle, i had mentioned this fire-arm to him.  And he gave me the “oh those things are crap...you are a man aren’t you!?  You want a rifle suited for a man!”  He then proceeds to pull a $1500 bolt action sniper rifle (or at least what looked like a sniper rifle!  Haha) off the rack and hands it to me (and this is after i tell him about my $600 buget for the rifle.  I did not even bother talking to this chucklehead about handguns).

Good insight into the importance of finding a handgun that fits well in the shooter’s hand.  Again, being new to firearms i would not have thought of this (seems like common sense, but i am sure that i would not have considered it).

I will also look into renting various handguns at the range.  Sounds like a great want to become familiar with a handgun and determine if it is right for me.

As i mentioned in my original post, this gun will be used for shooting at the range.  Regarding carrying in Canada...i will have to look that one up...but i am pretty sure that you CANNOT carry in Canada (unless you are law enforcement or out hunting).  I will have to look this up as well...but i am pretty sure the only way you can own a handgun is if you have your restricted license and you are a member of a gun/handgun club.  If you have your restricted license and are not a member of a gun/handgun club you cannot purchase handguns (not sure what things are like in the USA).  I am under the impression that the gun laws are much more strict up here

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2009, 07:59:44 AM »
I'm not sure how things are up there in Canada and I would sure agree that Glock makes a fine handgun.
That said, here in the US there are lots of classes you can take where they have different handguns available to use as part of the course.
I think if I were new to the whole process I would want to get the feel of a few pistols before I committed to one. By taking a few classes where several handguns are available you can find something you can comfortably invest the right amount of money for a handgun that fits you and your need.

I wish you well.
HoC

HoC

Thanks for the info.

I still have to get my restricted license (which allows me to purchase handguns), but i am told at this course they have a variety of different “de-activated” handguns for you to handle.  We do not  get the opportunity to fire the handguns, but at least i will get the opportunity to handle the weapon. 

As per your suggestion i will look into any courses that are available that will allow me to handle a wide variety of handguns in order to get a feel for which is best for me.

Again, thanks for the input.

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2009, 08:05:01 AM »
First off, good on you.  Glad to hear you are taking these steps.  And welcome to the world of firearms.

Next, the Glock 17 is the benchmark for handgun reliability.  It is accurate, reliable, and caveman simple.  I'd take it over a Ruger SR9 any and every day of the week.

That said, the SIG P220 is a hell of a handgun.  SIG handguns are known to have "to hell and back reliability" as a brand trait.  This is no accident.  They are some of the best handguns available.  And it is also in my pet caliber, .45ACP.  While it is a handgun, and a good 9mm will work almost as well, I do like the increased thump and larger hole of the .45.  9mms have better recoil and higher capacity though, so it's a trade off you have to decide on yourself.

Now, if you have the money to blow, a SIG is an excellent choice.  I'd prefer a P220 to all other handguns you listed.  But you need to figure magazines, holsters, and ammo into the cost.  The Glock will allow you to pick up more of that off the bat and still be a quality piece, with high availability of parts in most foreseeable situations.

Pistol Whipped
Thanks for the input. 
I have read great reviews for the SIG P220, but as you mentioned i am beginning to understand that there are several other items that should be purchased in addition to the firearm (extra mags, holster, ammo, etc).  With this in mind purchasing the SIG P220 may be a little expensive at this point, but i will def keep it in mind down the road.

The GLOCK is sounding like a great purchase.  I know that not everyone is personal fan of them, but i consistently hear great things about them...

So it looks like the GLOCK is def a front runner.

Is the GLOCK 17 relatively cheap to shoot?

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2009, 08:08:11 AM »
    Buy this cheap well made used hand gun for 220 bucks ,shoot it with the hottest ammo for it, which is 20% hotter than standard Russian ammo .Then after getting use to an quality automatic high capacity round hand gun go buy yourself something better and throw this one in the boat or camper or just give it the significant other!  ;) See web links below The ammo is available from most gun shops from surplus to high quality hot rounds.Also it's a collectors military/police weapon with the civilian model still in production! ;D

            kiteflyer

      http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Czech_CZ-82_9x18_Pistol.html

       http://www.czub.cz/en/download.aspx

      

      


cool, thanks for the info.  I will def look into that.  I will have to determine whether or not they shop to Canada before making any sort of order though.

Anyone else have any input on this option

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2009, 08:09:55 AM »
Try out as many pistols as you can lay your hands on.  Find the one that feels the most natural and points the best.  Close your eyes and bring the gun up to firing position...which one has the sights lined up the best for you.   The specific weapon and caliber is secondary to what feels the best.

Now having said that my personal preference is a 1911 in .45.

Who...Me?

thanks for the info.  i will def keep your suggestions in mind when while i continue to look for my 1st handgun. 

thanks for the heads up on the 1911 (in .45).  Is it relatively cheap to shoot?

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2009, 08:11:13 AM »


So it looks like the GLOCK is def a front runner.

Is the GLOCK 17 relatively cheap to shoot?


9mm is about as inexpensive as you will find for a legitimate defensive round.  Remember that you don't have to practice with hollow points.

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2009, 08:12:11 AM »
IMHO a Glock 19 is the perfect first gun (it was mine).  It's prefect size for concealed carry and with 15 round mags you have plenty of firepower.  Best part about them is there are a ton of aftermarket toys for the Glock and you can get Korean magazines for dirt cheap (save those for range, use Factory for carry).   Good luck and Happy Shooting.

PeaceKeeper

thanks for the info.  I will have to look into it, but i do not think we can carry or conceal carry up here in Canada.  Do not quote me on that one, but i do not think we can.

In your opinion, any benefit of the Glock 19 over the 17?

Love the idea of lots of after-markets toys for the Glock.  Have of the fun of getting a new item is decking it out with as many extras as possible!  haha

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2009, 08:13:12 AM »
Just a thought to keep in mind resale value of whatever you buy. Even though you plan on keeping it, you might end up selling it or trading up. Some guns lose their value faster than others, it will never be worth nothing but just a thought. When I got one of my first handguns I picked up one that was an odd caliber. I paid around $700 for everything once I was done with mags and holsters. I practically had to give it away at $300 when I sold it. I also picked up a brand new in box Colt 1911 plane jane model for $500 and now its worth about $800... Sigs and glocks do hold their values... just get standard calibers... 9,40,45

hmm...

again, being new to firearms...i never would have thought of that!  thanks for your input!

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2009, 08:14:40 AM »
If you don't like the way the Glock feels in your hands, try a Springfield Armory XD or XDM.  I carry an XD 4" in .45ACP.  I also picked the XD over the Glock because the XD has a grip safety so the gun wont go off if the trigger gets caught on something.  The grip must be...gripped.

thanks for the info.

I do not recall that name from the stores i went to...
But it is possible that i am simply forgetting (or that that make was not shown to me)...

i will def look into that make.  Thanks

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2009, 08:16:56 AM »
Honestly, if I were in your shoes with what I know now about guns, I would get a Ruger MK III or 22/45.  Becoming good with a pistol takes quite a bit of practice and having a pistol in the same caliber as your rifle will be more convenient and much cheaper.  When you can go to the range and shoot 500 .22 rounds for less money than 100 rounds of another caliber, the economic advantages are obvious.  Now, if this pistol MUST be for self defense, then a .22 would not be my first choice, but in a pinch its better than a pointy stick and bad breath!

Shiv,

thanks for the info.  I will def look into that option.  I will see what handguns are available for a .22 (as i will most lilkely be purchasing a .22 as my 1st long barrelled firearm)

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2009, 08:17:32 AM »
Try different pistols out.  Don't be afraid to buy a used piece as long as it checks out.  Remember that it's better to spend $500 on the gun $500 on training and $500 on ammo then it is to spend $1000 on a gun and $500 on ammo.

Great point! 

thanks for your insight!

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2009, 08:18:17 AM »
9mm is about as inexpensive as you will find for a legitimate defensive round.  Remember that you don't have to practice with hollow points.

Good to know! 

Thanks for the info

Offline CR Williams

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2009, 08:55:57 AM »
What are the prices of the guns you're thinking of?

If you have enough, I would definitely consider a .22 along with the larger-caliber handgun. OR, if you go with the Glock, you can get a .22 conversion kit, a simple slide replacement, that allows you to shoot the exact same weapon with the .22 rounds. I have one, it works fine, and lowers my shooting costs.

Offline kiteflyer

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2009, 09:28:59 AM »
Good to know! 

Thanks for the info

  9mm is about as inexpensive as you will find for a legitimate defensive round.


        I would think that aiming and hitting with a 1000 fps 75 grain projectile would be legitimate enough regardless of the make or model of the firearm. Just my opinion for all the experts out there!I would not want to be down range on .223 rifle any day.

                  kiteflyer

                         

Offline Stein

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2009, 09:59:50 AM »
I would suggest that you try to find a range that has a good selection of rental guns.  My home range has most of those listed and I could shoot them all for a $15 rental fee plus ammo.

You want a gun that fits your hand and feels good to shoot.  The guns have different configurations that impact the way they shoot quite a bit.  I love Sigs and bought one last night, but they do tend to ride higher above your wrist which leads to muzzle flip more than something like the M&P.

What's your budget for just the pistol?  That will likely lead you to the answer.  Remember you will also need to buy extra mags and a holster at a minimum.

Offline OC Celtic Lass

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2009, 10:18:05 AM »
I sure enjoyed your input on guns! Thanks you guys! Right now I carry most of the time for mountain lion, defense, target practice and hunting. The guns I use have to fit all of these bills, safe, comfortable, accurate and purposeful. I like to protect and eat. I love to hear of everyone's preferences! Good stuff! Thanks!

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2009, 11:56:59 AM »

So it looks like the GLOCK is def a front runner.

Is the GLOCK 17 relatively cheap to shoot?


9mm is the least expensive and most available of the standard defensive calibers.  That said, You can get Glocks in various other calibers if you feel the need.  the Glock 21 is in .45 ACP.  The 22 is .40S&W.  the 20 is 10mm Auto.  The 31 is .357 SIG.  There are numerous calibers and models to choose from, not just the 17.  There are also larger models, like the 34, which is a 17 with a longer slide.  Offers improved velocity and ballistics and a longer sighting radius to the 17, and uses the same ammo and magazines.

That said, I'm not sure if they are available in Canada, but Glock makes factory 33 round happy sticks for the 9mms.  In a place that allows those to be had legally, I LIKE the option.  Not as a carry magazine, but possibly as a reload.

Offline silver_back

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Re: New to Firearms...Looking for Suggestions for my 1st Handgun!
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2009, 01:23:42 PM »
What are the prices of the guns you're thinking of?

If you have enough, I would definitely consider a .22 along with the larger-caliber handgun. OR, if you go with the Glock, you can get a .22 conversion kit, a simple slide replacement, that allows you to shoot the exact same weapon with the .22 rounds. I have one, it works fine, and lowers my shooting costs.

re: what price of guns i am thinking of
-no offense intended, but i thought i addressed this in my original post
-for a handgun i am looking to spend between $1500-$1600 out the door

re: the rest of your post
-great information!  thanks for that info.  I was not aware that the Glock had a .22 conversion kit.  That will def good to keep in mind when i decide on which handgun to purchase. 
again, thanks for your input