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9mm or .40 S&W for newbie?

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by atcs2152, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. atcs2152


    Apr 17, 2012
    Background: No experience with handguns yet. I have a beginner handgun safety class in two weeks. (I can hardly wait.) My primary goal at this point is home defense. Secondary goal is fun/hobby, I think I will enjoy shooting a lot. I may get to CC at some point when I have some experience. After reading lots of conflicting opinions here and other places concerning best caliber size for SD, I feel the best answer is "The largest caliber you can effectively use." Based on that, I'm currently thinking I'd like to get a Glock 22 with a .40 - 9mm conversion barrel. I'm thinking standard size Glock because of the HD - no CC emphasis and I love the idea of being able to shoot both .40 S&W (if I ever actually need it) and 9mm (since it's cheaper). Assuming I enjoy shooting as much as I think I will, I plan to get to the range two - three times a month. I want to get proficient, not just own a firearm to have a warm, fuzzy feeling.

    Question: Assuming I go with the Glock 22/conversion barrel, and keeping in mind my current experience level, would I be better off getting proficient/comfortable shooting .40 caliber first? If I did that I wouldn't have to spend the extra money for the conversion barrel up front and I assume when I did start shooting 9mm, it would be a cake walk. Or, would I be better off getting the conversion barrel immediately, get proficient with 9mm and at some point graduate to the .40?
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    Welcome to the handgun world! The .40 is a snappy level to start at. There's nothing unsound about going with a .40 and a 9mm conversion barrel, but you might do better to start with a Glock 17 9mm and get a .22 Long Rifle conversion unit such as the Advantage Arms instead. It will allow you a lot more cheap practice for learning trigger control, manipulation, and everything you need to get on the fast track to good handgun shooting as a beginner.

    For defensive purposes, load it with good ammo and you'll find "the nine is fine." I'd personally rather carry a 9mm with a top load such as 124 grain +P or 127 grain +P+, than a .40 with standard 180 grain subsonic ammo.

    Best of luck in your handgunning endeavors,

  3. atcs2152


    Apr 17, 2012
    Thanks, I'll go with the Glock 17. I didn't realize there was a .22 conversion available for it. Sounds like a great plan. BTW, I just finished "In The Gravest Extreme" last night. I'll try to always keep it's principles in mind.