Hear me out: Your first pistol should be a Glock, but your first rifle should be an LMT or a Sig Virtus.

RampantFragmentation

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Hey guys this is a post about training, and being new to firearms.

If you are buying your first gun - you should just buy a damn Glock 19. You can substitute a few others here, but really a Glock 19 is the best way to go. Why? Let me enumerate some reasons why:

1. All the standard stuff you hear about reliability, parts, mags, etc.
2. You need to go the used route (future rant about round counts coming soon). These pistols are meant to be abused, absolutely smashed into the ground. My Glock 19 that I carried every day for ten years in the army (IDF just to be clear) must have had thousands of rounds on it - I never once replaced any parts save a couple of springs. That's all to say that it's not going to break because you bought a used one. Also, this gets to another issue which is 99% of used Glocks have upgraded sights on them, and they're usually $50 off the normal price (or more). You just saved yourself all that expense. Use that money to put a light on it and get the best holster you can find. I personally recommend Black Point Tactical, but there are many quality manufacturers.
3. DO NOT UPGRADE A WORK/CARRY PISTOL: first, there's the legal side of things (essentially, upgrades can be used by lawyers in a jury trial to say you were 'looking for trouble'). Also, you aren't that good at shooting - so the upgrades are totally lost on you. Looking back, it took me somewhere between 3-5 thousand rounds to really understand my pistol. Luckily I had a government giving me the ammo from the time I was a lowly private, and excellent training (at the time).
4. Train, train, train, but also save money. While your pistol should be a honda civic - your rifle should be a god damn Lambo with the doors that open out. So while you are messing around, learning your pistol - something that should take a year or so - you can save up for an excellent rifle. Burning through ammo should be your priority even above getting a rifle. Just get awesome at shooting a pistol, then worry about a rifle.
5. The trigger safety on a Glock will get you comfortable with carrying chambered (Israeli carry is not real) AND it will get you decent with an all-around shit trigger. It also DEMANDS to focus on trigger awareness and keeping your finger where it should be (not on the trigger).

Yes there are many, many, many pistols that fit this bill. However, the Glock 19 does it all pretty damn well. You CAN conceal it, and if you're a normal adult it will be much, much better to shoot. The micros are not ergonomic to shoot and cause all kinds of issues and bad habits for new shooters. Okay, that was all shit you've heard a million times before. Here's why you should go balls to the wall on your first rifle:

Today there's something that exists that 99% of shooters didn't have access to when they started: the ability to swap barrels effectively. This is such a ridiculous advantage. I mean, when I got my first M4 is was 14.5" with a 4x ACOG, bipod from harris, and a light. This was the top-of-the-line, the coolest rifle you could have at the time. When I went to my unit and got an IR designator I thought my head was going to explode at how cool & useful it was. Then I went to CT school and realized how much a pain in the ass all that length and weight was. I did an urban sniper course and was loving the guns we had, but they weren't what I was used to. The trigger (rem 700 essentially) was totally different, the optics were completely foreign and that's not to mention the action. I would've killed to have all of those experiences with the following setup:

A rifle that the barrel could be changed ( I prefer the LMT because it's so quick and easy, and there is a 100% return to zero) to fit my mission
An LPVO with an offset or top-mounted red dot with a non-BDC reticle (quality glass please, mils are the only thing you should be looking at)
A light to see at night (just buy the damn modlite)

Why? You can stretch this rifle to 800m with the 6.8 SPC conversion (just a barrel bolt and mag), maybe even farther with an eventual 6 ARC. Then drop all the way to a 10.5" 556 barrel. You stay with all the same controls, same trigger, same feel, and the same accessories. What do you need to do? Change the zero a bit. This is a matter of 3 rounds for an experienced shooter.

So it's this huge upfront cost, but I think having one rifle that truly can flex into every situation (mind your NFA laws) is simply an advantage that kills any other feature. I cannot stress this enough: train on your pistol, get very competent and save for a great rifle. Thank me later.

Feel free to tear my logic apart. I welcome all criticism!
 

IronsKeeper

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Aug 31, 2021
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On upgrades- if law enforcement is running dots, improved sights, etc., then I think those things are valid.

On the trigger for a Glock, specifically, I agree to an extent. Lots of people try to buy competition or unproven setups for carry and that's a bad recipe, whether from NDs, failures from "the latest greatest (untested) trigger release!" or other issues by uninformed consumers.
The 25 cent trigger job on a Glock is simple, safe, effective, and easy enough if you have common sense- I've never felt the need to even mess with connector weights and such for my Glocks. Some triggers are solid enough, but if you truly know enough about Glocks, you've been shooting long enough this post doesn't really apply. Keep the trigger simple.

All that said, I think you have great information to offer the community. This is definitely a good read to consider and even follow much of. Solid writeup, and great effort for our community!
 

LuckySam1776

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Registered user
Aug 31, 2021
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Hey guys this is a post about training, and being new to firearms.

If you are buying your first gun - you should just buy a damn Glock 19. You can substitute a few others here, but really a Glock 19 is the best way to go. Why? Let me enumerate some reasons why:

1. All the standard stuff you hear about reliability, parts, mags, etc.
2. You need to go the used route (future rant about round counts coming soon). These pistols are meant to be abused, absolutely smashed into the ground. My Glock 19 that I carried every day for ten years in the army (IDF just to be clear) must have had thousands of rounds on it - I never once replaced any parts save a couple of springs. That's all to say that it's not going to break because you bought a used one. Also, this gets to another issue which is 99% of used Glocks have upgraded sights on them, and they're usually $50 off the normal price (or more). You just saved yourself all that expense. Use that money to put a light on it and get the best holster you can find. I personally recommend Black Point Tactical, but there are many quality manufacturers.
3. DO NOT UPGRADE A WORK/CARRY PISTOL: first, there's the legal side of things (essentially, upgrades can be used by lawyers in a jury trial to say you were 'looking for trouble'). Also, you aren't that good at shooting - so the upgrades are totally lost on you. Looking back, it took me somewhere between 3-5 thousand rounds to really understand my pistol. Luckily I had a government giving me the ammo from the time I was a lowly private, and excellent training (at the time).
4. Train, train, train, but also save money. While your pistol should be a honda civic - your rifle should be a god damn Lambo with the doors that open out. So while you are messing around, learning your pistol - something that should take a year or so - you can save up for an excellent rifle. Burning through ammo should be your priority even above getting a rifle. Just get awesome at shooting a pistol, then worry about a rifle.
5. The trigger safety on a Glock will get you comfortable with carrying chambered (Israeli carry is not real) AND it will get you decent with an all-around shit trigger. It also DEMANDS to focus on trigger awareness and keeping your finger where it should be (not on the trigger).

Yes there are many, many, many pistols that fit this bill. However, the Glock 19 does it all pretty damn well. You CAN conceal it, and if you're a normal adult it will be much, much better to shoot. The micros are not ergonomic to shoot and cause all kinds of issues and bad habits for new shooters. Okay, that was all shit you've heard a million times before. Here's why you should go balls to the wall on your first rifle:

Today there's something that exists that 99% of shooters didn't have access to when they started: the ability to swap barrels effectively. This is such a ridiculous advantage. I mean, when I got my first M4 is was 14.5" with a 4x ACOG, bipod from harris, and a light. This was the top-of-the-line, the coolest rifle you could have at the time. When I went to my unit and got an IR designator I thought my head was going to explode at how cool & useful it was. Then I went to CT school and realized how much a pain in the ass all that length and weight was. I did an urban sniper course and was loving the guns we had, but they weren't what I was used to. The trigger (rem 700 essentially) was totally different, the optics were completely foreign and that's not to mention the action. I would've killed to have all of those experiences with the following setup:

A rifle that the barrel could be changed ( I prefer the LMT because it's so quick and easy, and there is a 100% return to zero) to fit my mission
An LPVO with an offset or top-mounted red dot with a non-BDC reticle (quality glass please, mils are the only thing you should be looking at)
A light to see at night (just buy the damn modlite)

Why? You can stretch this rifle to 800m with the 6.8 SPC conversion (just a barrel bolt and mag), maybe even farther with an eventual 6 ARC. Then drop all the way to a 10.5" 556 barrel. You stay with all the same controls, same trigger, same feel, and the same accessories. What do you need to do? Change the zero a bit. This is a matter of 3 rounds for an experienced shooter.

So it's this huge upfront cost, but I think having one rifle that truly can flex into every situation (mind your NFA laws) is simply an advantage that kills any other feature. I cannot stress this enough: train on your pistol, get very competent and save for a great rifle. Thank me later.

Feel free to tear my logic apart. I welcome all criticism!
I agree with the glock 19 for all the reasons you stated for the gun, but I believe having a red dot on your pistol will significantly improve your performance, and I haven't seen anything to believe that having a red dot will hurt you in court, at least not like carrying 'RIP' ammo or having 'you're fucked' engraved on your dust cover. But with the MCX or the LMT, like you said, super expensive, but my train of thought is getting a cheaper reliable gun in their hands first before going all fancy. I think its a little ambitious to have a first time AR owner to go get the new hotness with the premise of being able to change barrels and such before they even learn basic takedown and maintenance of your standard AR. You mentioning only needing 3 rounds to re-zero for an experienced shooter is probably true, but in this instance, talking about a new shooter, it is not really matching up with your reasoning of someones first rifle. But back to cost, 2000-2500 for the LMT and 3000-4000 for the MCX in current market is a lot for a first time rifle owner, it would be amazing for everyone to go out there and have it for their first, but I think going a little more budget and fine tuning their skills and maintenance with a traditional AR first will do them much more good than going straight to the gucci, especially when they will more likely need help and consult a buddy/youtube. A lot more people out there have basic AR setups than have LMT and MCXs. I truly do understand and believe in what you are saying for a one gun go all, but I think its too many for a first rifle as most probably don't exactly have the full skillset to take advantage of such a weapon platform.
 

CalorieCavalier

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Sep 1, 2021
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This isn't to dog your logic any, you've got what Ian McCollum calls a "European Mindset". Its the idea of buy once and cry once, to get what fits your needs and wants best, or to buy what provides the most capability in a society that typically limits your collection to little more than a dozen firearms in the best of cases, but...

"So it's this huge upfront cost"

Whether its the right idea or not (I'm inclined to believe that dropping stacks on what you want and settling for nothing less is the only approach that's acceptable, even in a society that rightly so doesn't put a cap on how much youncan buy) it is the very fact that its a high up front cost on a rifle that someone has had 0 previous experience with, whose only familiarity is a fairly meh pistol who doesn't have any applicable manual of arms transfer besides inserting a mag into a well, that will keep your suggestion from ever being a first choice.

To put it into analogies, remember that cars only became widespread when the model T made something affordable. If you've got no direction, have no familiarity, and want a taste of what rifles have to offer, id suggest a pistol caliber target rifle or something in .22. The Remington Model 12(iirc) is a great example and super affordable, with something like 850k made, with a decidedly yesteryear appearance. If you want to try something more contemporary, we're still in the era of the sub 500 AR, as evidenced by the sole post in the gun deals section.

A 450 dollar Anderson is a perfectly fine buy if you've got no direction, or if you want something maybe more specific, I've seen A2 clones in the $800 range, which I feel is fairly reasonable.

But again, I think you make great points, none that id disagree with, but I think for new shooters, cheap is probably the biggest metric.

After all, I love tools and love using them, but I'd never recommend a Mac or Strap-On to a new mechanic.

Obligatory fuck Philip Brailsford and his chief.
 
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RampantFragmentation

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Well it seems that there's two issues to address here in the comments:

Firstly, let me apologize to anyone if I wasn't clear enough. What I was trying, not well enough to say, was be cheap. Basically, I was saying that you can buy a cheap, used, beat to crap Glock 19 and just focus on getting amazing on that. You can take advantage of a worn-in trigger and upgraded sights. It is true you may get some things you don't want (like finger grooves), but you'll have a pistol that will save your life that you can take anywhere. With a light and a quality holster, this is a VERY capable package.

AND

Since you don't have a continuous, everyday, training regimen you can take your time getting very good with that pistol. This pistol can be shot at any range. Using the combination of dry fire, movement on a dry pistol, and range time at a 'bay' style shooting range you could get proficient. If you focus. I'm not saying that you should attempt a hostage rescue operation - but I do think that there's a good chance that you could adequately defend yourself and your family. All while having a great time learning.

ALSO

In terms of money, you can take your time. You can move slowly, dry fire a ton, try to focus on low round count drills for accuracy first while you save money for ammunition and your eventual rifle purchase.

Okay - hopefully I explained myself a little bit better. Maybe not. I think the core of my arguement is really CONSISTENCY is king. Meaning for a new shooter the idea of having one thing I use all the time and ONLY that thing for all types of shooting is why I appreciate the platform where you can change out its heart (the barrel) for a new mission, but everything else stays the same. Another arguement can logically be, cahnging uppers. I think that you might run into additional costs getting new optics/lights etc. Anyway, there's my .02

Direct response to other's comments:

First of all: thank you so much for the feedback and careful consideration.

Whether its the right idea or not (I'm inclined to believe that dropping stacks on what you want and settling for nothing less is the only approach that's acceptable, even in a society that rightly so doesn't put a cap on how much youncan buy) it is the very fact that its a high up front cost on a rifle that someone has had 0 previous experience with, whose only familiarity is a fairly meh pistol who doesn't have any applicable manual of arms transfer besides inserting a mag into a well, that will keep your suggestion from ever being a first choice.

In regards to the European mindset, you are absolutely correct about my thinking. I think the one that works is better. Top-quality, that I know like the back of my hand. I even had a Grandfather that famously liked to repeat, "I'm too poor to buy cheap". This kind of mentality came from another world that is foreign to America. This should be a point of introspection now that I live in America and can access anything. Maybe I should change some of my thinking, and this is a critical component of evolution. Thank you for your well-thought-out idea.

I agree with the glock 19 for all the reasons you stated for the gun, but I believe having a red dot on your pistol will significantly improve your performance, and I haven't seen anything to believe that having a red dot will hurt you in court, at least not like carrying 'RIP' ammo or having 'you're fucked' engraved on your dust cover.

I am an absolute advocate for red dots on pistols. This is a fundamentally good technology. I also think you're correct about the idea of courts not caring. So I accept your criticism and agree I should've included this addition. It can be hard to find and does add to the expense. So with that, I will just agree, and say if they can afford it - go for it. It's not necessary, in my personal opinion, to be a quality shooter with a pistol. There's also an argument in my mind that is similar to the MAP & Compass v GPS land nav argument: know how to do the prior really well, then get the advantage of the latter. What do you think? Red dots are so reliable, is this even issue? I don't know.

On the trigger for a Glock, specifically, I agree to an extent. Lots of people try to buy competition or unproven setups for carry and that's a bad recipe, whether from NDs, failures from "the latest greatest (untested) trigger release!" or other issues by uninformed consumers.
The 25 cent trigger job on a Glock is simple, safe, effective, and easy enough if you have common sense- I've never felt the need to even mess with connector weights and such for my Glocks. Some triggers are solid enough, but if you truly know enough about Glocks, you've been shooting long enough this post doesn't really apply. Keep the trigger simple.

I honestly think Glock triggers are fine. Like at the end of the day, this company makes a quality product. I just know people hear all the time - have you tried such and such a trigger? Oh, Glock triggers are terrible. So I was kind of trying to head off that argument. However, yes a person familiar with their pistol should work to make it better for them inside a certain envelope governed by their mission and laws. I think your comment is very astute, I don't want to take away from some modifications.

With that said, I had fun with this post. I was thinking to write (with pictures) a new one on a basic warm-up pistol rifle drill. Or I could focus on the benefits of training for gunfighting and their inevitable benefit for mental and physical health. What sounds more interetsing?
 
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LuckySam1776

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I am an absolute advocate for red dots on pistols. This is a fundamentally good technology. I also think you're correct about the idea of courts not caring. So I accept your criticism and agree I should've included this addition. It can be hard to find and does add to the expense. So with that, I will just agree, and say if they can afford it - go for it. It's not necessary, in my personal opinion, to be a quality shooter with a pistol. There's also an argument in my mind that is similar to the MAP & Compass v GPS land nav argument: know how to do the prior really well, then get the advantage of the latter. What do you think? Red dots are so reliable, is this even issue? I don't know.
I think this goes back to what I said about rifles, which I guess is sort of hypocritical now that I think about it. But, I believe red dots on handguns are complete game changers, I was always effective with iron sights out to 25m, but with a red dot my accuracy and consistency at distance has improved greatly. That being said, I have lots of rounds down range with just iron sights and I do believe its important to start on irons for newer shooters. While I agree with you that red dots have become more reliable, but it would be ideal to know how to shoot a handgun with irons since there are a lot of them out there. I visualize everything in a manual of arms way. Just like I would not recommend going to a MRP system before a basic AR. But I think having a red dot is a lot simpler to grasp for new shooters compared to being their own field armorer.

I feel like its easy to speak on both sides of this topic, but red dots on pistols seem more entry level for ease of use in my opinion.
 

Karquis

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I'll weigh in briefly: I think the "MAP & Compass v GPS land nav argument: know how to do the prior really well, then get the advantage of the latter" is really important for a new shooter, and that they should learn to shoot with irons before moving on to the red dot. I could say its because "what if the optic breaks/falls off/ goes dead" but I personally think its necessary for the proper development of the new shooter.
 
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BabyMonkeyOnPig

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When I went to first purchase my handgun I went directly for a Glock 19.. When walking into the shop that had one in stock the guy asked me questions and we went back and forth regarding why I wanted the G19. Well shortly after we discussed a CZ P07.. He showed me his which was the one we discussed and I honestly feel in love. I know that Glocks are very diverse and have so much accessories and aftermarket tools. But this CZ was really good to learn about the single/double action...

That ladies and gentlemen was a year and half ago and now I lose count on how many I've purchase. I swear I don't have a problem.
 

RampantFragmentation

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When I went to first purchase my handgun I went directly for a Glock 19.. When walking into the shop that had one in stock the guy asked me questions and we went back and forth regarding why I wanted the G19. Well shortly after we discussed a CZ P07.. He showed me his which was the one we discussed and I honestly feel in love. I know that Glocks are very diverse and have so much accessories and aftermarket tools. But this CZ was really good to learn about the single/double action...

That ladies and gentlemen was a year and half ago and now I lose count on how many I've purchase. I swear I don't have a problem.
Dude, CZs are some of the best pistols made out there. I even think they're a bit underrated. I probably should've substituted G19 for 9mm compact of your choice. At the end of the day, I personally think the DA/SA feature set is counter to the "same thing every time" ethos I was attempting to get across here. At the end of the day, a pistol you love is a pistol you shoot - so you do you boo boo.
 

okie

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Sep 8, 2021
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Gotta disagree with you there. Colt AR15 with proper marks should be everyone's first AR, unless they're just stupid rich and don't mind shelling out the 3k for an SR15. Even then though, you lose that parts compatibility, which could come in handy if we end up in some post socialist economy where we're scrounging gun parts at back alley pawn shops because the man has so effectively regulated manufacturers that we can't get parts even if it's legal in our jurisdiction.
 

RampantFragmentation

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Gotta disagree with you there. Colt AR15 with proper marks should be everyone's first AR, unless they're just stupid rich and don't mind shelling out the 3k for an SR15. Even then though, you lose that parts compatibility, which could come in handy if we end up in some post socialist economy where we're scrounging gun parts at back alley pawn shops because the man has so effectively regulated manufacturers that we can't get parts even if it's legal in our jurisdiction.
I hear you on parts compatibility... that's why i think the LMT is a good option. The only parts that really break or need to be replaced on ARs in my experience are bcg related - and that's compatible on the LMT. If you really felt the need to buy a new gas tube - i mean you can get pretty affordable gas tubes (even from them)... then you have barrels which are so easy to replace anyone can do it. I get the money arguement, and i kinda addressed it in some of the earlier comments. I think if you have a few different barrels on you LMT, some extra trigger springs, a gas tube, and a couple extra BCGs you could keep that thing going for an extremely long time. I imagine estonia and NZ are probably expecting at least 10 years of service out of each of their rifles. that has to be enough for anyone. Just my .02. All that being said you make a great point. Also sorry for typos, I'm on my phone.
 

jeep600grand

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Sep 9, 2021
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You're all wrong about the first rifle purchase. The answer is your first rifle should be a machine gun, and the reasoning is simple: Regulation.

Every single politician-introduced gun control bill has been aimed at semi-auto firearms and not a single one for full-auto. Why? Because they think the NFA works and it's good enough. Say whatever you want about the current administration, or the next, or the next. Fact is, another gun control ban for SEMI-auto rifles is imminent.

Once it goes into effect, you can take your machine gun and shove it up their behinds because nothing can stop you.

Bonus points for belt-fed that will circumvent any magazine laws.
 
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Karquis

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You're all wrong about the first rifle purchase. The answer is your first rifle should be a machine gun, and the reasoning is simple: Regulation.

Every single politician-introduced gun control bill has been aimed at semi-auto firearms and not a single one for full-auto. Why? Because they think the NFA works and it's good enough. Say whatever you want about the current administration, or the next, or the next. Fact is, another gun control ban for SEMI-auto rifles is imminent.

Once it goes into effect, you can take your machine gun and shove it up their behinds because nothing can stop you.

Bonus points for belt-fed that will circumvent any magazine laws.
If illegal semi auto holds the same penalty as full auto, then any semi auto rifle is going to serve the same purpose after a few minutes with a drill press.
 
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Senator_Mendoza

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Sep 9, 2021
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The P320 has superseded the G19 in every way.

If this post was made in 2011, I would have agreed. But, times have changed, the only good my Glocks have now is for one to be bone stock and the rest becoming Gucci project guns.
 
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GasTube

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Sep 9, 2021
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Illinois
Guess I fucked up then. My first gun was bought this year, in Jan. I went and rented a bunch, Glock included, and didn't like the trigger at all. "Just change it!" Man, I WAS (and am still) NEW, I'm not fucking around with a trigger! I got a Sig P365XL since I wanted a carry gun and I liked it a lot and didn't feel the need to change anything.

I do want a Glock though, I'll probably get one before he end of the year. Now that I messed around with other guns and learned a lot I'm comfortable with something I need to adjust a bit.

First rifle was a ZPAP M70 and I'm a dirty AK guy now and have a bunch and love them. I almost never shoot my AR, which is bad, I should, but just love those god damned AK's too much.

I'm not going to tell anyone else what to get first though. Glock is fine. Sig is fine. Just make sure you can get MAGS! Don't buy something where mags are impossible or way too expensive to find.
 
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автомат

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Oct 5, 2021
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NH
I ended up assembling what is essentially a "CQBMLK16-MARS" from parts before the marketing department changed the names of the rifles. But I built mine using the L7Y1A 13.25" upper. It is now my favorite AR-pattern rifle. It's light and easy to handle. That has been sitting in the safe while I use my ZPAP M70 and M90 almost exclusively.
 

Coachwn

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Jun 22, 2022
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Alabama
In regards to the European mindset, you are absolutely correct about my thinking. I think the one that works is better. Top-quality, that I know like the back of my hand. I even had a Grandfather that famously liked to repeat, "I'm too poor to buy cheap". This kind of mentality came from another world that is foreign to America. This should be a point of introspection now that I live in America and can access anything. Maybe I should change some of my thinking, and this is a critical component of evolution. Thank you for your well-thought-out idea.
While I don't disagree with what you mention here and in fact my grandfathers both had the same mindset. They grew up in the Depression years and learned to save for what they wanted but they knew what quality was and what junk was. That statement that you have is a blanket statement and while I agree that the majority of American shooters don't fall into your same thoughts there are some of us that were taught by the older generation; most of whom were in the military during WW2; that we need quality weapons not because they are expensive but because they are tools and you want tools to last a long time and have a minimum amount of upkeep. However that leads me to the following short story.

I remember a few years before my dad passed away that he bought several AR's from a store he worked at. He gave me one and went to give one to his dad (my grandfather) who turned around and told him it was junk and he could keep it. This is the same man that was part of the invasion of Luzon in the Philippines and carried a Garand and a Colt 1911 first; and then traded the Garand for an M1 Carbine during the last half of his time in Luzon. He'd be just fine with his Remington 7400 (.30-06) and his dad's 10 gauge double barrel shotgun.

I took the AR that my dad gave me and turned it into a decent medium range shooter before selling it and building my own rifle to my specs with quality parts. I also now own my grandfathers Remington 7400 and my great grandfathers bouble barrel.
 
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EubeenHadd

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Jun 23, 2022
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Indianapolis
Hey guys this is a post about training, and being new to firearms.

If you are buying your first gun - you should just buy a damn Glock 19. You can substitute a few others here, but really a Glock 19 is the best way to go. Why? Let me enumerate some reasons why:

1. All the standard stuff you hear about reliability, parts, mags, etc.
2. You need to go the used route (future rant about round counts coming soon). These pistols are meant to be abused, absolutely smashed into the ground. My Glock 19 that I carried every day for ten years in the army (IDF just to be clear) must have had thousands of rounds on it - I never once replaced any parts save a couple of springs. That's all to say that it's not going to break because you bought a used one. Also, this gets to another issue which is 99% of used Glocks have upgraded sights on them, and they're usually $50 off the normal price (or more). You just saved yourself all that expense. Use that money to put a light on it and get the best holster you can find. I personally recommend Black Point Tactical, but there are many quality manufacturers.
3. DO NOT UPGRADE A WORK/CARRY PISTOL: first, there's the legal side of things (essentially, upgrades can be used by lawyers in a jury trial to say you were 'looking for trouble'). Also, you aren't that good at shooting - so the upgrades are totally lost on you. Looking back, it took me somewhere between 3-5 thousand rounds to really understand my pistol. Luckily I had a government giving me the ammo from the time I was a lowly private, and excellent training (at the time).
4. Train, train, train, but also save money. While your pistol should be a honda civic - your rifle should be a god damn Lambo with the doors that open out. So while you are messing around, learning your pistol - something that should take a year or so - you can save up for an excellent rifle. Burning through ammo should be your priority even above getting a rifle. Just get awesome at shooting a pistol, then worry about a rifle.
5. The trigger safety on a Glock will get you comfortable with carrying chambered (Israeli carry is not real) AND it will get you decent with an all-around shit trigger. It also DEMANDS to focus on trigger awareness and keeping your finger where it should be (not on the trigger).

Yes there are many, many, many pistols that fit this bill. However, the Glock 19 does it all pretty damn well. You CAN conceal it, and if you're a normal adult it will be much, much better to shoot. The micros are not ergonomic to shoot and cause all kinds of issues and bad habits for new shooters. Okay, that was all shit you've heard a million times before. Here's why you should go balls to the wall on your first rifle:

Today there's something that exists that 99% of shooters didn't have access to when they started: the ability to swap barrels effectively. This is such a ridiculous advantage. I mean, when I got my first M4 is was 14.5" with a 4x ACOG, bipod from harris, and a light. This was the top-of-the-line, the coolest rifle you could have at the time. When I went to my unit and got an IR designator I thought my head was going to explode at how cool & useful it was. Then I went to CT school and realized how much a pain in the ass all that length and weight was. I did an urban sniper course and was loving the guns we had, but they weren't what I was used to. The trigger (rem 700 essentially) was totally different, the optics were completely foreign and that's not to mention the action. I would've killed to have all of those experiences with the following setup:

A rifle that the barrel could be changed ( I prefer the LMT because it's so quick and easy, and there is a 100% return to zero) to fit my mission
An LPVO with an offset or top-mounted red dot with a non-BDC reticle (quality glass please, mils are the only thing you should be looking at)
A light to see at night (just buy the damn modlite)

Why? You can stretch this rifle to 800m with the 6.8 SPC conversion (just a barrel bolt and mag), maybe even farther with an eventual 6 ARC. Then drop all the way to a 10.5" 556 barrel. You stay with all the same controls, same trigger, same feel, and the same accessories. What do you need to do? Change the zero a bit. This is a matter of 3 rounds for an experienced shooter.

So it's this huge upfront cost, but I think having one rifle that truly can flex into every situation (mind your NFA laws) is simply an advantage that kills any other feature. I cannot stress this enough: train on your pistol, get very competent and save for a great rifle. Thank me later.

Feel free to tear my logic apart. I welcome all criticism!


I'd substitute "modern service pistol" for Glock 19. Modern service pistols include the Glock 19, 17, and 45, P320(C), and M&P2.0(C). Any of these pistols (especially in compact form) can (and should) be had in optic ready form, have a very wide array of holsters available in almost any form factor (active vs passive retention, hip/appendix holsters off the shelf or short lead) magazines that are readily available, and proven service records of reliability. Otherwise I agree on all handgun parts.

I don't agree on the barrel swap functionality being a prerequisite for a good rifle. Because optic needs vary so heavily between CQB, GP/field, and precision marksmanship roles, you end up swapping both the barrel and optic to achieve all of the above successfully. Even if you use one set of optics permanently mounted to the receiver, you must rezero between barrel swaps to achieve good zero, and you'll always be compromising weight, size, or functionality to achieve necessary performance. While you could mount a 5-25x50 optic with a micro red dot piggybacked on top to an 10.5 and therefore be able to swap in 14.5/16/18/20" barrels as necessary for mission, this is plainly a waste of weight and bulk. A good LPVO with a piggybacked dot is similarly way heavier than necessary, while giving up the precision of a MPVO/HPVO. You could feasibly mount a red dot with BDC and magnifier with ranging to both 10.5/11.5 and 14.5/16" carbines and achieve good effect to 300/600 yards respectively, you'll still need to rezero between swaps, removing a good deal of the "plug and play" capability.

I do think a high quality, 14.5-16" general purpose carbine with a good LPVO with a matched BDC (or I suppose a Christmas tree rifle if you want to needlessly make life harder) is the least bad approach to the first rifle somebody owns, but after that upper receiver swaps to traditional receivers with mounted optics and correct barrels are a more sensical approach. Because the URG in standard form doesn't need to incorporate features for barrel swaps it can be cheaper and potentially lighter, your optics mounts don't need to be QD so they can be less expensive and still sturdy, and you'll never have to compromise optic features to achieve acceptable results or rezero between setup swaps. It's also very nearly the same cost between all 3, though you could save a bit of money on the field carbine setup and make it carry more over to the CQB setup if you're willing to accept a BDC red dot and a ranging magnifier.