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Women's First Handgun Purchase

Chapter Seven - Semi-Automatic Choices

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Women's Guide to Buying Your First Handgun

Ch 1 - Introduction

Ch 2 - Why Handguns

Ch 3 - Why Many Handguns Aren't Right

Ch 4 - What to Look for in Handguns

Ch 5 - Revolver vs Semi-Automatic Pistol

Ch 6 - Revolver Choices

Ch 7 - Semi-Automatic Choices

Ch 8 - Used or New

Ch 9 - Internet or Local

Ch 10 - Why Practice is Important

 
Women's First Handgun

Book Title:  Women's Guide to Buying Your First Handgun

Series:  Firearm/Pistol For Life Series

Author:  Ruperto Elpusan Jr.

Be sure to look for ISBN #0-9772088-3-4 at Amazon, Powells and other fine online retail bookstores.

Chapter Seven:  Semi-Automatic Choices

There is a plethora of choices available in the marketplace for semi-automatic pistols, and so there are many prospects for a lady beginner to select from.

As with revolvers, we do impose a certain number of constraints to narrow that pool.  We limit ourselves to the following criteria:

·       Costs less than $700

·       Established makes only

·       9mm or .38 special only

·       Either small or not excessively bulky grip

·       Small and in some cases medium frame

These limitations apply to the average women.  Of course, large, strong women with large hands are free to go beyond our caliber constraint and small grip limitation.

Only established makes are considered.  Marginal companies with questionable track records are not included.   

Here, then are the possible choices in the marketplace.

 

Glock 17

Glock is an Austrian company that produces some of the must reliable and durable handguns in the world.  And they do this and still offer products at affordable prices.

This company’s handguns have developed a following throughout the world because of the durability of the guns.  In fact, there are enthusiasts who are known for putting these guns through various torture tests such as dropping the guns from airplanes, getting them run over by trucks and submerging them in mud, then testing to see if the guns still operate.  Needless to say, the Glocks fare extremely well in these tests.

The guns are not only reliable and durable, but they are fairly accurate also.  This make of gun is one of the more prevalent handguns used in international action pistol competitions, going side by side with the much more expensive 1911’s.

Safety in Glocks is implemented in internal safety devices with no external safeties.  The combination of trigger safety, firing pin safety and drop safety is designed to prevent the gun from firing other than via pressure on the trigger.  Therefore, safety is reliant on training to inculcate the basic safety rule of not putting your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

One noteworthy aspect of these handguns is the use of very strong polymer in the stock and frame, and as a result makes for very lightweight guns.  These are basically plastic guns.  But they are extremely tough.

Apparently, Glocks are sufficiently reliable and durable to where many law enforcement agencies and militaries of the world have standardized on Glocks.  It is to the point that many other manufacturers have replicated the Glock design to create their own versions for the marketplace. 

All Glocks model look basically the same except vary by caliber and compactness.  The Glock 17 is the standard 9mm caliber gun.

Price (MSRP):

$599

Action:

Double Action (Safe Action System)

Stock:

Polymer Grip Angle

Caliber:

9mm

Capacity:

10+1, 17+1

Sights:

Fixed

Barrel Length:

4.49"

Weight:

22.04 oz

To find out more about this model, check the company website at http://www.glock.com.

  

Glock 19

Glocks all basically look the same and vary by caliber and compactness.  The Glock 19 is the compact 9mm gun.

Price (MSRP):

$599

Action:

Double Action (Safe Action System)

Stock:

Polymer Grip Angle with Finger Grooves

Caliber:

9mm

Capacity:

10+1, 15+1

Sights:

Fixed

Barrel Length:

4.02"

Weight:

20.99 oz

To find out more about this model, check the company website at http://www.glock.com.

 

Glock 26

The Glock 26 is the subcompact 9mm gun and is often referred to as the “Baby Glock”.

Price (MSRP):

$599

Action:

Double Action (Safe Action System)

Stock:

Polymer Grip Angle

Caliber:

9mm

Capacity:

10+1

Sights:

Fixed

Barrel Length:

3.46"

Weight:

19.75 oz

To find out more about this model, check the company website at http://www.glock.com

Glock 34

The Glock 34 is a higher end 9mm.  It has a longer barrel and thus a longer sight radius for more accurate shooting with metallic sights, and it is used successfully in action pistol competitions.

Price (MSRP):

$679

Action:

Double Action (Safe Action System)

Caliber:

9mm

Capacity:

10+1

Sights:

Adjustable

Barrel Length:

5.32"

Weight:

22.92 oz

To find out more about this model, check the company website at http://www.glock.com

 

Beretta 9000S

Beretta is the maker of the M9 model that is used by the US Army, and of the full sized model 92.  This model is a compact version and most of the features of the 92 model are present here: the open top slide, single or double action, automatic safety and manual safety on both sides with decocking lever. The magazine release lever is reversible for left handed shooters.

Price (MSRP):

$485

Action:

Double Action

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Plastic

Capacity:

10+1

Sights:

Fixed 3 Dot Sights - Dovetail Front

Barrel Length:

3.5"

Weight:

26.8 – 27.5oz

To find out more about this model, check the company website at http://www.berettausa.com. 

 

Beretta PX4 Storm

The PX4 Storm is the least expensive of Beretta’s full sized handguns. 

Price (MSRP):

$598

Action:

Double Action/Single Action

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Black Plastic Grips

Capacity:

17+1

Sights:

Fixed 3 Dot Sights

Barrel Length:

4"

Weight:

27.52 oz

To find out more about this model, check the company website at http://www.berettausa.com. 

 

Beretta 92FS

This is the main full sized handgun available to the civilian marketplace.  There are several submodels more expensive than our $700 constraint, but some do fall within this price constraint.  (Although with inflation, it’s possible the price is higher by the time you read this book.) 

Price (MSRP):

$650

Action:

Double Action

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Black Plastic Grips

Capacity:

15+1

Sights:

3-Dot Dovetailed

Barrel Length:

4.9"

Weight:

34.4 oz

To find out more about this model, check the company website at http://www.berettausa.com. 

 

CZ 83

Ceska Zbrojovka (CZ for short) is a company from the Czech Republic that is world renowned for producing some of the most reliable and accurate firearms out of the box.  Their full sized handgun CZ 75B model is prevalent in militaries around the world.

Make no mistake:  CZ makes world class guns that are durable, reliable and accurate.  Their products can match with the best in the world for quality.

The CZ 83 is a compact all-steel semi-automatic handgun, designed on the blowback breech principle. The trigger mechanism is of a Double Action/Single Action type. It features an ambidextrous manual safety, magazine catch and slide stop on one side.

We have chosen not to list the famous CZ 75 family of handguns because the grips are designed for a hand larger than the average woman.  However, if you can grip it sufficiently well (please get the assistance of a firearms instructor), please by all means consider the 75, which fits comfortably within our $700 price constraint.

Price (MSRP):

$420

Action:

Double Action

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Black Plastic Grips

Capacity:

16+1

Sights:

Fixed 3 Dot Sight

Barrel Length:

3.8"

Weight:

28.8 oz

For more information, please check out the company website at http://www.cz-usa.com.

 

CZ 100

This polymer frame handgun with internal firing pin safeties gives a reminder of the Glock design that has become popular in the marketplace.  This is CZ’s offering in this category.

Price (MSRP):

$449

Action:

Double Action

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Black Polymer

Capacity:

10+1

Sights:

Adjustable

Barrel Length:

3.9"

Weight:

24 oz

For more information, please check out the company website at http://www.cz-usa.com.

 

Ruger P95

Sturm, Ruger and Company is a renowned American company that produces quality firearms that are durable and reliable at an affordable price.  The chapter on revolvers has recommended various models to investigate in your search for purchasing a gun.  Ruger produces a number of models that are top in their class, however, the selections of major caliber semi-automatic pistols that fit women’s hands are limited.

The main product line of full sized semi-automatics within Ruger is the P89; however, those tend to be somewhat large for women.

The P95 is somewhat smaller and is therefore a candidate for consideration.  As with the P89, the P95 comes in variations including:  Double-action only, manual safety and Decocker versions.

 

Smith & Wesson 908

Smith & Wesson is long-established American company that is renowned for its high-quality revolvers.  It has created semi-automatic pistol products as well, but it doesn’t have the same prowess in this market as it does with revolvers.  There are other companies that produce semi-automatic pistols of higher quality at better prices.

In fact, Smith & Wesson as a large number of semi-automatics in its product line, which however do not fall within our $700 price constraint.

Price (MSRP):

$617, $642, $656

Action:

Double Action

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Straight Backstrap

Capacity:

8+1

Sights:

Front: White Dot Rear: Fixed 2 Dot

Barrel Length:

3 1/2"

Weight:

24 oz

For more information, please check out the company website at http://www.smith-wesson.com.    

  

Smith & Wesson 910

These represent the more affordable semi-automatic offerings from Smith & Wesson, which have lightweight alloy frame and a manual safety.

Price (MSRP):

$617, $632

Action:

Double Action

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Straight Backstrap

Capacity:

10+1

Sights:

Front: White Dot Rear: Fixed 2 Dot

Barrel Length:

4"

Weight:

28 oz

For more information, please check out the company website at http://www.smith-wesson.com.

 

Smith & Wesson Sigma Series SW9

This product line represents Smith & Wesson’s most affordable semi-automatic pistols.  It comes in either 9mm or .40 caliber.

Price (MSRP):

$409

Action:

Double Action Only

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Black Polymer

Capacity:

10+1

Sights:

Front: White Dot Rear: Fixed 2 Dot

Barrel Length:

4"

Overall Length:

7.25"

Weight:

24.7 oz

For more information, please check out the company website at http://www.smith-wesson.com


Springfield Armory XD

Springfield Armory is a long-established American firearms company with a history of providing fine handguns and rifles in the marketplace.

The XD product line is an extensive family of affordable handguns with an assortment of calibers including 9mm, .40 S&W caliber, .357 and .45 ACP.

Price (MSRP):

$536, $566

Action:

Double Action Only (USA Action Trigger System)

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Ltwt Ultra Hi-impact Polymer Frm, w/ Light Rail

Capacity:

10+1, 12+1, 16+1

Sights:

Fixed Dovetail Front and Rear

Barrel Length:

3.1" to 5”

Weight:

20.5 oz to 31 oz

For more information, please check out the company website at http://www.springfield-armory.com.

 

Taurus PT111

Taurus is a Brazilian company with a wide array of firearms available in the marketplace, offering handguns and rifles with a wide assortment of options in their products.

 

Blue steel finish, stainless steel and “bling-bling” gold trim is available.  Taurus varies the appearance by adding different visual features to make the gun appealing.

Price (MSRP):

$395, $410, $499, $547, $563, $609

Action:

Double Action

Caliber:

9mm

Stock:

Rubber Grips-Checkered, others

Capacity:

10+1, 15+1

Sights:

Fixed 3 Dot Sights

Barrel Length:

4"

Weight:

28.2 oz

For more information, please check out the company website at http://www.taurususa.com.

 

Taurus PT24/7

This gun from Taurus has been reported by some reviewers to shoot fairly accurately for the price.  It has existed for a couple years in its design, as Taurus is fairly active trying out different designs, and it has had some success with its innovation.  This activity has helped its originally shoddy image although some old-timers still might view the company negatively.

Price (MSRP):

$485, $499

Action:

Double Action Only

Stock:

Polymer with Ribber Grip

Caliber:

9mm

Capacity:

10+1, 17+1

Sights:

Fixed 3 Dot Sights

Barrel Length:

4"

Overall Length:

7 1/8"

Weight:

27.2 oz

 

For more information, please check out the company website at http://www.taurususa.com

Ch 1 - Introduction | Ch 2 - Why Handguns | Ch 3 - Why Many Handguns Aren't Right | Ch 4 - What to Look for in Handguns | Ch 5 - Revolver vs Semi-Automatic Pistol | Ch 6 - Revolver Choices | Ch 7 - Semi-Automatic Choices | Ch 8 - Used or New | Ch 9 - Internet or Local | Ch 10 - Why Practice is Important

 
     
 

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