Ammo For Sale

« « In CT | Home | Fact Free Zones » »

I’ve been asked this a lot in the last several weeks

Several of my non-gunny friends in the real world say to me “hey, Uncle, I need a handgun before they’re banned. What do you suggest?” I note that they don’t currently own guns yet have a fear they will be banned so they want one. Which is weird because the press tells me they only want to ban those evil assault rifles, whatever those are.

My answer is always the same. Either a Glock 26, Glock 19, Glock 17, S&W M&P 9, or S&W M&P 9C. All the guns are 9mm. 9mm is a perfectly adequate cartridge. It’s also easier to find and less expensive, in general . . . but not this week. Guns that shoot 9mm hold more rounds and the quickest way to double the effectiveness of your carry ammo is a follow up shot, which they have lots of, compared to 45s. And I just don’t dig the .40, especially for new shooters. The second issue is that of size. This combination runs the gamut from borderline pocket pistol up to full size duty gun. That’s just preference based on attire and method of carry and so forth. Or if they’re going to carry at all. For a nightstand gun, there’s no reason not to have full sized pistol, other than small hands. And, lastly, grip angle. Some people just don’t dig the Glock’s grip angle and some people love it.

Then, I tell them to go try them out and see which one works best.


Flame on.

Update: Also, all these pistols are striker fired. That’s merely for consistency of trigger pull. When you’re a newbie, consistency is likely a good thing. And no manual safeties. Is gun, is not safe. And better to let them learn good habits instead of relying on a a false sense of security.

111 Responses to “I’ve been asked this a lot in the last several weeks”

  1. Fiftycal Says:

    God, you’re smart. That is exactly what I would tell people. I would add to get a few hundred rounds of cheap(?) FMJ to practice with and make sure the gun feeds their carry ammo. Golden Saber, Critical defense or Ranger.

  2. TigerStripe Says:

    I own both Glock and S&W M&P, so that’s pretty much my advice as well. I would add Gold Dots and Federal HST as carry ammo.


  3. Cargosquid Says:

    But…but….Taurus Judge!

  4. Mike V Says:

    +1 for the M&P9 pistols. I own the compact and my next pistol purchase will be a full size.

  5. D2k Says:

    Within that same range are Walther P99 (and the S&W variant), PPS, PPX (potentially in a few months I think), and PPQ; Steyr L, M, C, and S; the various Springfield XDs (though personally I’ve never really liked the XD); and I’m sure I’m missing something decent.

  6. Drake Says:

    Finding ammo to practice with will be tough for a while.

  7. HardCorp Says:

    Most people are n00bs and can’t handle .45s anyway.

  8. Who Says:

    Get a 12ga pump shotty. EVERYONE knows you just got to pump it and the criminal will run away.

  9. DocMerlin Says:

    My first gun was a XDs in 45. Yes, it only holds 5+1, but much easier for me to conceal. In Texas, if you pattern through clothes, you just committed a crime.

  10. Ron Larimer Says:

    Depending on the size they are interested in I go with… LCP, M&P Shield, Glock 19, M&P9, M&P Pro. But any of the Glocks or M&P’s (in 9mm) are good. If the person wants a 40 it is M&P only.

  11. Guav Says:

    All they need is a double barreled shotgun.

  12. crastinator Says:

    Anybody who doesn’t own a gun by now, unless they just turned 21, doesn’t deserve a long, thoughtful, custom tailored recommendation.

    The guns you recommend are fine for anyone, pretty much. Assuming ten fingers, normal strength, etc.

    The other recommendation is a 357 or 38 cal revolver, just because it is so simple to operate – almost intuitive. Because with people like these, you know that the first time that they forget to take the safety off, they are going to be calling you, expecting you to fix everything over the phone.

    The last recommendation is “whatever you can find, at whatever price you have to pay, because you waited too long”. followed by “ha ha ha ha ha ha …..”

    I just don’t have the patience for idiots anymore.

  13. Jake Says:

    I have to disagree with “Anybody who doesnt own a gun by now, unless they just turned 21, doesnt deserve a long, thoughtful, custom tailored recommendation.”

    that’s what anyone who doesn’t own a gun deserves! We’re trying to boost our numbers and draw people to our cause, not that you were being totally serious crastinator. it’s sort of like taking delight in being the first to discover a cool band; i just think it doesn’t play here. we’re in a fight for our rights here…
    I try to get everyone I know into firearms, because i enjoy the sport and hobby and I feel many others would if they had the exposures I’ve been lucky enough to have. All I’ll give are long thoughtful recommendations… at least I like to think they’re thoughtful.
    I would actually like to lend my ideas to first time handguns. I agree LCP should be mentioned (for those wanting to carry..pretty reliable and quite reasonably compact. i generally think reliability is king, everything else (within reason) is just gravy. there’s a polish radom p64 which I can’t make fail if I try, which is more than I can say for some guns three or even five times the cost (i’m looking at you Kimber!). i generally think revolvers (especially in purses, or stuffed in the car) are fundementally more dangerous due to lack of a safety and lack of need for chambering, but as a home defense gun, they’ve got a lot of potential power. there are workarounds and positives to a revolver (am I getting off track), and good gun safety probably negates much of this, but I just don’t think it’s the best option.
    great pistols in order of what I’d recommend: sig sauer (probably any of their contemporary 9mm’s really, but I’ve only had experience with 250 and 226, both of which are totally awesome) > springfield XDM or HK > ruger SR9 or glock or S&W M&P.

  14. Ron Says:

    Nice picks. I would customize the recommendation based on the users’ size (it’s hard for someone with small hands to use a full size Glock comfortably.) If available I think the Walther PPQ is an excellent 9mm choice for people with smaller hands. For everyone, I would add either a conversion kit for .22LR (if available) or a dedicated .22 pistol for practice and versatility.

  15. Mike Says:

    Excellent suggestions.

  16. Jim Scrummy Says:

    All great ideas. Since ammo in the 9mm variety is hard to come by these days, I would add in the Walther P22 (or other 22lr plinkers), for general plinking practice(as some others previously suggested). I’ve been able to find 22lr ammo, whereas with other flavors, much is back ordered.

  17. Roger Says:

    Great picks Unk, I’da added a full or medium sized .38 / .357 revo to the list just to cover all bases. No snubbies, no compacts or ultra compacts, no big gore magnums. Well done sir.

  18. Sid Says:

    My response to that is always:
    12 gauge autoloader
    45 caliber long slide with laser sight
    phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range
    Uzi 9 milimeter

    I want to tell them to get a M40A1 Pulse Rifle if they can find it, but I am fairly certain that finding a good supply of 10 millimeter explosive tip caseless standard light armor piercing rounds is going to be a challenge.

  19. Marlin Says:

    I tell them G19, for the few simple reasons:
    1. Small enough to conceal.
    2. Big enough that it’s comfortable to shoot.
    3. Reliability
    4. Aftermarket

  20. Ohio shawn Says:

    While personally I don’t carry any of the mentioned guns, they are superb recommendations for the first time buyer and gun noob. I would avoid the XD only b/c the grip safeties can go tits up and then you have a noob with a broken gun.
    Hope no minds if I stick with my Sig 22x’s, I like a metal frame for when I’m empty and have to resort to throwing it. 🙂

  21. KCSteve Says:

    I sell guns for a living and that’s just about my recommendation. I include the Springfield XD along with the Glocks and the M&Ps. I explain that I personally carry the XD, my wife carries a Glock and one of my brothers likes the M&P. I put sample of each in their hands and help them figure out which one feels best to them.

    Depending on budget we may drop down to the mid-level guns and if we absolutely have to I’ll show them entry level guns – but explain their limitations.

    Of course, right now I just try to find them any gun that will work for them, what with the extremely limited supply and high demand.

  22. SteveA Says:

    @docmerlin, you are incorrect on the patterning law. please go here for a very good discussion and the relavent laws,
    Granted, not all officer know the law, so try not to pattern too much.

  23. Mike Says:


    Anything more than a trigger and a slide release is too much. The more a defensive handgun approximates a Windex bottle, the better it is for the non gun-enthusiast.

  24. Gerry Says:

    I end up taking the Bag O Guns to the local range and after the basic safety brief letting them shoot them all.

    We discuss the positives and negatives of each then short list for a second go around.

    M&P9, Glock 19 and Commander length 1911 get the most votes.

  25. Uncle Kevvie Says:

    For a first timer, Buy a .38 or.357 revolver.
    **Vast variety of ammo types.
    **5/6 shots makes you more accurate.
    **One dead primer and your semi-auto-thingy is just a cute club.
    With a revolver you just pull the trigger again.

    **When you point a revolver at a baddie, ‘Him’ sees instantly you’re loaded for bear, or ‘Him’………

  26. aerodawg Says:

    I always recommend a 9mm. It’s an adequate round that gives you a fairly high capacity, which to me is important for out in public when you don’t have a rifle to retreat to.

  27. Bill Says:

    Anybody know of any 9mm ammo for sale? Anyone know of any .22LR for sale? I can’t find any of either in at least a 100 mile radius in Washington State, so recommending a 9mm is just not a reasonable option, just like recommending a .22 for practice isn’t reasonable either. Neither one has been available anywhere for at least the last month.

    A buddy made a trip to the nearest large city, just to check as many stores as possible.

    He found:

    All had .40 in multiple loadings and varying amounts.

    All had .380 (!) also in varying loads and amounts.

    All had 10mm in varying loads and ammounts.

    All had .41 magnum.

    All had big revolver calibers, .44 mag, .454 Casull, .460, and .500 S&W.

    Interestingly all of them also had .357, and .38 Special, although .38 Special was more limited.

    So…in todays market, 9mm, the good and old standby, isn’t so good!

    For a first time buyer, I would say to look at revolvers, and revolver cartridges, because all the rest seems a little crazy.

    A pistol with no ammo is as useless as no pistol.

  28. Ohio Shawn Says:

    Bill, the ammo shortage will end shortly, previous runs have shown this to be true. The pistol a noob purchases will be with them for years. A revolver requires a lot of training to avoid pulling off target due to the heavy trigger pull, I don’t think they make good guns for the first time gun user. I can find 9mm, its just mostly high cost self defense ammo. Luckygunner posts 9mm ammo to there site multiple times a week, just keep checking. FMJ is nowhere to be found in stores and 22LR only shows up as CCI 22lr Shotshells, which I will continue to ignore. Fortunately, I buy ammo year round when I’m grocery shopping and such, so this latest panic shelf clearing hasn’t kept me from going to the range every two weeks per my usual. Plus, if you are a gunny you should have a few boxes of 9mm or 22lr you could loan out to a friend who is a first time shooter without bankrupting your supply. Ammo will be back in stores as soon as everyone calms down.

  29. Bubblehead Les Says:

    Good Choices, Unc. But for the Elderly who might have some Rheumatism, I’d go with a .38 Revolver. Trying to jack a slide back can be hard for some of the old people. But if you’re young and healthy, your list is very nice.

  30. Bill Says:

    Ohio Shawn,

    I’ll agree that the run SHOULD end sometime soon, but all the people I’ve talked to in the industry tell me that it will be midsummer before we see significant easing of ammo supplies.

    That still doesn’t solve the problem of what to buy NOW, and having someone rely on maybe getting ammo from an online supplier is a crap shoot at best. Even reloading supplies are back ordered, or the suppliers are so far behind shipping that it will take months to catch up. I’ve got bullets ordered from 2 big suppliers, ordered 4 weeks ago, with best guess delivery in mid February, and thats with projectiles, that are IN STOCK! They simply can’t ship faster than they are.

    Most gunnies have some reserve, but most of us can’t afford to help too many people learn to shoot using our ammo unless we have some idea of restocking times.

    Even my local Steel Challenge director is starting to wonder how fast shooters will drop off if they can’t guarantee a new ammo supply.

    We should see easing in 9mm and .223 with the capacity created by ‘Stan and Iraq, and that should also help with AR mags, but so far no such luck.

    And as far as revolvers go, teaching good technique with a revolver isn’t THAT tough!

    No different than a double action semi-auto!

  31. schizuki Says:

    Autoloaders? Nope. Medium-frame .357. Shoot everything from mild .38s to full-house .357s. No magazine to be banned. Dead simple.

  32. Mike V Says:


    My experience in teaching firearms has shown me if someone has grip issues that preclude a certain semi auto, it doesn’t necessarily preclude a different semi. Also if they have issues manipulating a slide, they tend to have issues with a double action trigger press.

  33. David Kahn Says:

    Curious why you wouldn’t recommend a Sig? My first pistol was a P229 in 9mm, and I think it’s a reliable, accurate, and easy to shoot handgun.

  34. lester Says:

    What is wrong with a Taurus Judge? Seems very simple to use and one does not have to be a crack shot.


  35. Andy Frechtling Says:

    Agree with schizuki. Medium frame .357, and I like the Ruger GP100. As I recall, the late Dean Grennell once tested one off a Ransom rest and said it was the most accurate handgun he’d ever seen.

  36. jim Says:

    I’m a gun newbie much like those asking the original question. I guess I lean toward a 357 or 38 revolver because I intuitively understand how a revolver works vs the complexities of an automatic… if you see what I mean. Much better for a zombie apocalypse scenario that way.

  37. DH Says:

    So many options, but it comes down to what you’re comfortable shooting and how much time you can spend practicing.

    If you don’t have a lot of time to practice, a Smith & Wesson 686+ revolver is hard to beat. It holds 7 rounds of 38 special or 357 magnum and is a beautiful, easy-to-use gun.

    Glocks just don’t do it for me. For whatever reason, I’m just not very accurate with them. I prefer a 9mm or 45 Springfield XD.

    My wife prefers my 9mm carbine to a pistol. Such a long gun — which could instead be an AR-15, mini-14, or shotgun — is a fine home defense weapon if you plan to hunker down in your room while you wait for the cops after calling 911. (If you need to first go down the hall to retrieve the kids, a handgun is better. But you should NOT attempt to clear a house yourself unless you live in the middle of nowhere where no police are available.)

  38. richb Says:

    For a first gun for a male I would go with an H&K USP in any cartridge. The reasons are:
    1. Its a very high quality gun for a semi-auto. This breeds confidence in a new shooter as their only problem is likely to be limp wristing FTE.

    2. There are holster makers that make that big pistol disappear for conceal carriers. Raven Phantom is one of them. If you can wear the HK and it disappears for CCW, then what more pistol do you need?

    3. It shoots great with minimal flipping and can be shot very accurately.

    Basically my reasons boil down to the HK USP is practical, reliable, concealable and flexible to meet many requirements.

    I also strongly recommend Glocks, full size or sub-compact.

    For females, I say Ruger or S&W .38 +P special revolvers, especially the ones without the exposed hammer. Owning one of these means you also can fire the .357 magnum cartridge, giving a person essentially two guns in one. They can start with light load .38’s to learn the basics of shooting and ultimately graduate to the .357 with the stopping power of a .45, and of course a brutal recoil.

  39. Sigivald Says:

    David: Because it’s an extra $400+ for no real benefit to the new shooter? That would seem important.

    And secondarily, as Uncle said:

    Because hammer fired non-DAO adds a varying pull – though I think that one’s relatively minimal.

    And the ones he suggested have no separate, active safety mechanism to either over-rely on or forget about in a pinch.

    (There’s nothing wrong with a SIG P229, but those all make it less ideal for a brand-new shooter.)

  40. Hal Says:

    I’ve heard good things about the Taurus Judge as well. Of course I have a Ruger Security-Six, but I’m eyeing a Taurus for my 2nd.

  41. geekWithA.45 Says:

    I concur with the answers as it pertains to pistol, but really, first time buyers should be getting a military pattern auto loading rifle in either a pistol or medium rifle cartridge.

  42. Nessuno Says:

    The answer to this question might have to change drastically if Congress passes a “high capacity” magazine ban. If you can’t get a 9mm to hold over 10 rounds, the benefit of that round over a .40 or .45 basically goes out the window.

    Here in CA, that’s basically where we’re at since we have a 10 round maximum. People still buy 9s, but they probably shouldn’t. They’d be better of learning to handle a .40.

    BTW, most of the bad reputation of the .40 seems to come from people who learned to shoot before the .40 came to market. Newer shooters (myself included) who progressed from .22, then 9mm, then .40, then .45 seem to have a greater appreciation for .40 as a pretty natural compromise between the 9 and .45.

  43. David G Says:

    Perfect advice. All reliable standard guns. The second gun should be a Buckmark or Ruger 22LR pistol. The third gun should be shotgun or 22LR semiauto. Then they will be as opinionated as we are and won’t need or want anymore advice!

  44. Zhytamyr Says:

    The best gun is the one that you have! Pick a gun (any gun) learn it and it’s quirks, practice, practice, practice, and maintain it like a $500k sports car- it’s worth more because it will save your life.

  45. FredB Says:

    You can downsize from the 9mm to 380 Auto and get a nice selection of Sig P238 variants. These are clones of the old Colt Mustang and look well made. An interesting mod is that you can move the slide with the safety on, a break from 1911 pattern operation.

    Ammunition looks to be still available. A 100 count box of Winchester .380 is going for $35 in my neck of the woods.

  46. wg Says:

    IMHO, this is a panicked rush driven primarily by new buyers as well as speculators and they are buying semi-automatics because they think that they will be banned.

    Locally and online, I am finding 40 cal, 45 ACP, .357, and quite a bit of ammunition typically used by bolt action rifles. On the other hand, .223/5.56 NATO, 7.62×39, 9mm, .22 LR, and .308 supply seems to be very spotty online and in nonexistent in stores. .38 Special is mixed.

    At local gunshops, still seeing quite a few revolvers, some lever actions, and quite a bit of bolt actions and shotguns. Just bought a S&W pre Model 15 Combat Masterpiece with a rare 5 inch barrel for a little more than a used model S&W 10.

    Lever actions, revolvers, non tactical shotguns, and bolt actions, seem to be where you can still get a firearm at a fair price. Any of these would be suitable for beginners as well.

    I think your suggestions regarding modern semi’s such as Glocks or S&W is spot-on. I like classic Sigs and the DA/SA but it is harder for beginners to get the crunch n tick trigger action. I transitioned from revolvers to DA/SA so not that big a deal.

  47. PAUL F Says:

    Best bet for a new gun owner: .38/.357 revolver (hammerless, for preference). No magazine, no slide, no safety, no round in the chamber (or not). Basic, intuitive, easy to use under pressure. Keep loaded with semi-jacketed hollow points, practice with cheap reloads. They can always upgrade later. My usual carry gun is a 5 shot S&W 340PD and I’m perfectly comfortable with it, even though I have several autos around for other purposes.

  48. Mattsky Says:

    I’ve been considering purchasing my first firearm. With the limited research I’ve done I was considering buying a Springfield XD 9MM.

    I’ll look into the others mentioned in this post and would appreciate feed back on the Springfield.

  49. Woody Says:

    My wife and I shot a variety of guns before we settled on an M&P .45. Wouldn’t be good for carry though.

  50. SayUncle Says:

    You people inquiring about The Judge must be new to the internet.