Nothing wrong with buying a USP. If you can't afford that, Glock's are great simple hammers of a gun, and are cheaper. Cheaper than that and pretty damn awesome as well are the Springfield Armory XD series. I used to sell them, and have had ZERO complaints, other than new mags can be quite stiff.
If you can afford the USP, and want something different, have a look at SIG pistols.
All the major manufacturers provide excellent commercial products.
Any pistol from these manufacturers will be excellent (lemons aside) It will be a quality piece and reliable, as it comes from the factory.
So while I may have a personal perference, and everyone seems to have one, and a reason why their choice is the best, it only really matters to them. For example I have small hands and find the Beretta double action trigger hard to reach comfortably.
[Bear in mind a lot of the complaints against individual firearms are from issued firearms, rather than commercial firearms. Example. we all know the saga of the M9 magazines in US service]
So the best thing is to try a couple and deside what you like and don't like.
Find out what suits you and what you like. You will shoot a gun you like better than a gun you don't. If you have confidence in the firearm, you will also shoot better.
A gun is a gun, they all go bang. Like buying a TV, if you buy a name brand you normally have more confidence in the product, if you buy a strange brand, you pay your money and take your chances, sometimes good, sometimes bad.
First, figure out what you need the weapon for. Plinking? .22. A great gun to learn on, ammo is cheap and it is just plain fun to shoot, which as a novice you should do a lot of. Home/self-defense? I would recommend something .38 cal or larger. Again, don't count out a good medium framed wheel gun w/a 4" bbl.
Take a firearms safety course before you buy, you may learn a thing or two to sway your opinion one way or another.
You can't go wrong with a reputable name, even used. I've seen a bunch of folks buy too much gun and then hate shooting it and waste their money.
There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Originally Posted by ed316
Where do you live? USP compact around here Houston goes for around $650-800.
Right now I am doing the ex-pat thing in Rep. Panama. I used to be able to go into some US Army ranges here and shoot 150-200 shots on Sunday mornings.
Quality guns in Panama are hard to find (legally) since most major manufacturers wonīt sell them here, due to political reasons, I was told, but I think it is a BS excuse to drive prices up. Of course HK is expensive, but not so expensive.
The main use is to keep up the skills on firearm (never know when you might need it) and security
Young_Kiwi and Laconian both offer really good advice.
How the gun fits in your hand is way way more important than how it looks or the name brand. (I am an HK freak BTW) Better to the known as the guy with the so-so gun that drills it everytime than the guy with more money than aim.
If there is a gun store/range in Panama that rents different hand guns, go there and try some out. I'd do that *after* taking a basic handgun course.
If you don't know about safe gun handling, dominant eye or proper sight picture and trigger pull, learn those first before buying a gun.
As for the HK USPs, they never really floated my boat, 'cept for the ones with the threads on the barrel end. Now, the HKP7M8 or HKP7M13...drool.
Last edited by ArmchairLiberal; 12-05-2006 at 05:38 PM.
I am a big fan of Sig pistols (I have 6 of them). They have a model to fit any size hand, and even their double stack guns will fit fairly small hands. If you are on a budget try to get a factory refurbished Sig. They go for $400-500 in the states and have the full factory warranty. H&Ks are nice, but I'll take a Sig any day.
As others have said, Glocks and XDs are also excellent guns.
i have experience with both usp compact (my first issued broke at 8000 shoots.. great hk post sale service) and glock, which will replace my beloved p7 m13 (for me the gunīs rolls roice, but with no rails for lights and "helps")...
both of them are very good pistols, i prefer glock no-manual-safe because of my p7 just-pull-the- trigger experience, which is a mayor problem for other people... so i would try both of them before spending my money... not just in the range but as in the way you want to use it (self defense, just range shooting...) AFTER taking some classes and having at least enough experience not to blow your foot ..., how it adapts to your hand (i need a "condom" in usp compact handle), which one "jumps" more in your hands...