Getting my first handgun

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by Guest, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm new to the gun scene and am about to make my first ever handgun purchase. I've fired a few - 10mm, .45 ACP, 9mm, .357, .38, and a .223. Of all, I think I'm coolest with a 9mm (or a .40 S&W).

    One caveat: My wife is absolutely terrified of having a gun in the house because of our 2 year old. However, I've assured her of gun safety. The handguns she feels even a bit comfortable considering are the ones that have an internal key-locking mechanisms like Steyr Ms and Walther P22. Are there any other semi-autos that lock (with a key)? I know some Taurus revolvers can be locked like that too.

    Any input is much appreciated!

    Cheers from California! (I have AZ residency too :wink: )

  2. WorldPax

    WorldPax Guest

    Don't quote me on it, but I think the Walther P99/ Smith and Wesson 99 have internal locks. Get the M9 unless you plan on Concealed carry then get an S.

  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Congrats my wife was the same way I also have a 2 year old in the house. I got the S40 not because of the inturnal lock but it just was the best feal over all of all the guns I looked at. What I did was go buy a cheap bed side gun safe that is fairly quick to open. even locked it is quicker then trying to fumble with a key to get the gun unlocked. If it is not on me it is in the safe locked up that lessoned my wifes fears she still thinks it is going to jump up and start shooting people.

    Good luck.
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Can't go wrong wit a Steyr as a first gun.
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The P99/SW99 do not have internal locks (I have a 2004 P99 9mm) (Sorry Pax -- I had to quote you!)

    I have 4 kids from 14 to access is an issue. Right now I have combination trigger locks on all of my guns. It's a MasterLock with a three digit combo. Yes, it would take a little time to get it open in an "emergency", but when I weighed that against the risk of my 4-yr old getting hold of it, I decided it was worth it.

    I'm buying two Sentry fire safes with digital locks. They should be a little quicker to open and access. (They are also rated for 2 hours of fire resistance...nearly impossible to find in a gun safe for under $1500!) Nothing will ever be as quick as having a gun readily available on the night table, but that's just not an option for us.

    Your wife is right to be concerned about your toddler and the 18-month old knows how to point his finger and go "Bang" -- and he spends most of his TV time watching Nickelodeon. But there are plenty of options to keep the gun secure but available.

    Hope this helps,
  6. FlaChef

    FlaChef Guest

    I believe the taurus system is also available on their semi-auto's too.
    H&K USP's have a disabling key, but it is inside the magwell and very akward.

    My two steyrs and wifes ruger revolver all fit comfortably in a gunsafe mounted on the bottom shelf of my nightstand. It was $80 and has a finger touchpad combo, as well as a key backup. It's a little taller and deeper than a shoe box but same width

    It was the only way she would accept keeping loaded guns in the house. We don't even have kids yet, but do have three young big dogs who don't often know what is not a chew toy.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    In addition to all these safety rules, it is vitally important to educate any children about firearm saftey as soon as they are read. As a matter of fact, I did just that this past month with my 6 year old. Got him the Eddie Eagle video and he learned Eddie's 4 rules in the first setting (song helps). Then I brought out my Buck Mark and went over the rules for handling firearms (keep muzzle pointed in safe direction, finger off the trigger, hand pistol over with open slide, don't tell anyone daddy has a gun, etc.). You'd be surprised at what kids can remember. He like my Buck Mark but LOVED my M9. Told him he can see/ fondle them anytime he wants to as long as he asks me and I can watch him. Its been over a month and he took me up on the offer just twice! 8O 8)
  8. hihoslva

    hihoslva Guest

    I'm noticing more and more gun manufacturers designing internal locks into their weapons.

    For example, my wife owns a Firestorm (same as a Bersa Thunder) chambered in .380 - it has an internal lock.

    I think you will find a wide variety of handguns with locks these days.

    However, I find them rather useless. If you NEED that gun, you don't want it locked, that's for sure.

    For safety of young children, I think 1911's and other pistols with grip safeties are a good choice. A 1911 can be left with one in the chamber, ready to fire, without the hammer cocked, and with the manual safety on.
    The manual safety will prevent firing altogether . Once that is off, the gun must be gripped to disengage the beavertail safety. And with the hammer down and UNcocked, the double-action pull to fire the first round will take more strength than a toddler should be able to muster. And, the beavertail must be pressed with the palm while firing, so it is nearly impossible for a small child to grip the gun and reach the trigger while still engaging the beavertail safety, especially with only one hand.

    While I think the Steyr is a very safe pistol, the 1911 may be a better choice because it can be ready to fire for an adult, yet relatively safe if a small child gets their hands on it.

    Another choice is to simply buy a safe. They make small safes with electronic keypad locks that can be opened in seconds. Any handgun should be safe when locked up like this.

    Perhaps a safe is in order no matter what type of gun you choose.

    The Steyr M & S are fantastic guns at a fantastic price, should you decide to go that route.

    Best of luck.
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    One thing to always remember is that your child needs to be safe not only in your home ... but also outside of your home. Only way to do so is through appropriate firearms education. This is why I like the Eddie Eagle concept PLUS supplemental education for children.
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    One of the big drivers for the internal locks is states like Maryland that require it...they've forced manufacturers to include features that most gun owners never asked for.

    1911 with a DA pull?? Which ones have that? Not my's SA only. That's why you carry them cocked and locked. Am I missing something?

  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well, there is the CZ-75B ... not a 1911 (but similar) but I believe they are double action but also include a manual safety that can be used to carry "cocked and locked". Perhaps, our resident CZ expert (12Volt) can confirm or deny this?? :?
  12. hihoslva

    hihoslva Guest

    Yes, I believe I spoke too soon - there are no true 1911's with double action pull.


    There are TONS of guns on the market that can have double action first shot. Berettas come quickly to mind.

    However, I will stick by my assertion that a 1911 is a very safe pistol when a young child is in the home. The double-action pull idea was wrong. However, if the gun is stored in the house, it can safely sit with a round in the pipe, uncocked, safety on. The only difference is that the hammer would have to be manually cocked to fire. In many respects, this is even safer for a child, as pulling the hammer back requires a decent amount of strength. An adult could do it in no time if the gun was needed. But it keeps the firearm fairly safe in the hands of small child who would not have the strength or dexterity to cock it.

    It could also be stored without a chambered round, which would then require manully racking the slide to put a round in the tube, then fired. Again, a very easy thing for an adult to accomplish. Not so much for a small kid.

    If the plan would be to keep the gun withOUT a round in the chamber, nearly any weapon is a very safe one in reach of toddler - even our beloved Steyrs!

    My apologies for the mistaken info earlier.
  13. Great Advice All Around

    There is little that I could add to this discussion that hasn't already been mentioned. However, I would also suggest that you look into a combination gun safe or even fingerprint identification gun-safe which are viable options. Added expense for sure, but I am of a firm belief that you can not put a price on peace of mind.

    The simple fact that you have taken an interest in Steyr pistols shows that you are an intelligent person and unlike the masses of "Joe Sixpacks" that purchase only Glocks or other guns of a lesser pedigree I'm sure you will be responsible and safe. The Steyr company put a great deal of effort into making their M series pistol safe for home defense. Steyr was one of the first manufacturers of pistols to include a built in safety lock. In addition, you find that the Steyr M series pistol has a round indicator at the rear end of the slide above the grip that alerts the user to the presence of a chambered round.

    I am confident that you will find the safety, performance, and peace of mind that you are seeking by selecting this fine Austrian product.
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Maybe hihoslva was referring to Para-Ordnance's LDA (Light Double Action) on some of their 1911's. This is a fantastic trigger for the shooter, but as a safety device for children I don't think it has any merit. It is very light, more like a long SA pull. He is correct that the safety can be on with or without a round in the chamber to prevent it from firing, but I certainly would not rely on that as the only safety measure in the presence of children.

    Great information here, good luck with your purchase!

  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I think this approach may be a good practice in conjunction with other safety measures mentioned here, especially with a compact Steyr S9. I don't have a Steyr M9 to compare it to, but most compact pistols have a stronger return spring than their full-size counterparts because of the short action and lower slide mass. I find the action on my S9 to be much stiffer than even my compact Sig Sauer 228 (also 9mm), which I believe would be very difficult for a toddler to work to get a round in the chamber.

  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Actually I kind of like the 1911 idea somebody mentioned even absent DA pull options.

    To a non shooter the several levers and knobs on a 1911 could be a bit confusing which is at least a delay, then the manual saftey obviously does prevent firing. Once that's disengaged you still have the grip safety to deal with - any child old enough to have hands that big and strong to reach around a full size 1911 grip while disengaging the beavertail should be old enough to know better.

    One thing I hadn't considered is leaving the hammer uncocked. While this may be a bit tricky to do comfortably - decocking a loaded 1911 is not for the faint of heart after all - it would add very little to the time required to bring it into use by an experienced shooter while remaining safe unless cocked.

    I'm not saying I'd like to do this personally and I suggest PLENTY of unloaded decocking practice first for anyone who wants to - but it's not a bad combination of safe and accessible.

    That said I'll stick to my digital safe - three buttons and you're done.
  17. ellipsis

    ellipsis Guest

    If you want to talk 1911 and still want a key lock, my Springfield has a built-in lock. I don't use it, don't know where the key is...but it's there in the mainspring housing.

    It bugs me a bit to hear people talking about how levers and safeties "should" be enough to defeat a child. There is no excuse for a child to get his/her hands on any gun, loaded or not, cocked, uncocked, safety on, hammer up, hammer down - whatever. Given the time, a curious child would be able to defeat each and every safety.

    I don't believe in built-in locks unless you don't use the gun for self-defense. I actually don't care for 3-digit combination trigger locks (I can usually crack the combination in under 5 minutes).

    If you have children in your home, I think it is your responsibility to either have a gun on your person or locked in a cabinet, safe, vault or whatever. Mine are all in a cheap Homak gun cabinet, but I'm the only one with the key, and the keys are either on me or at the head of the bed when I'm in bed asleep.

    Education for kids is INCREDIBLY important, but so is preventing access.

    My two cents...for what they're worth!