9mm or .40 S&W for newbie? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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04-29-2012, 14:30
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?

Mas Ayoob
04-29-2012, 21:42
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,

04-30-2012, 13:06
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.