New to Guns - lack of ability to rent to shoot in Memphis

Wanting a gun for self defense, at home and to obtain a CCP. Wife and I went to a range and got to rent a Smith and Wesson Shield and the Sig P365. Sig was lighter but we each shot better with the Shield. She wanted it and we got the Ez version, 9MM. I then read up and tried to find guns locally but all the shops have very low inventory.

Looking at 4 guns and wonder if you have any experience with them and can compare them/contrast them to each other and the Shield. I hope to continue to see if I can shoot one.

Sig P365 Xl,

Walther CCP m2 - loved the grip on this. Did not shoot it. Grip shorter than the Shield but has those indentations on it. Will be about $430

Walther PPS m2, and it also has a LE. This I can get for about $400 for the LE

Springfield Hellcat - boxier than the Sig 365. Had not considered it.

Shot the 365 but not the xl. handle too short or regular. XL felt better. Held the CCP loved the grip and red dot chamber indicator. Have not shot Hellcat, was not considering but Shoot Point Blank put it in my hand. The PPS m2, the grip is longer than the CCP,

Given that it would be my first gun, I am leaning to the Walthers because of the price point. Once I shoot more, I can sell it, keep it, trade it in. I think I prefer the Sig over the Hellcat. I held a Glock 43 and 43x and they felt boxier, and I did not get to shoot one

Read that the Hellcat is newest, the CCP has the gas recoil and could be hotter if I shot like 100 rounds quickly, and the Sig had some issues but seems to be straight now and the XL being newer had even fewer.


Welcome to the community Sam

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I am an m&p man myself so asking me what to go with is like a no brainer. But all kidding aside all those pistols you have considered are decent guns and I do agree for the price you can’t lose out.I have shot the sig p365 and the xl and both I like.

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Of the ones you listed, I’ve shot (and own) a PPS M2. I love it and it is my carry firearm. Small, accurate, and dependable. I carry with the short mag (6rds) and when I carry a spare mag carry the longer one (8 rds).

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I have shot all of those you mentioned minus the Springfield. All of them come from top tier manufacturers and should perform very well for you. I think at the end of the day it comes down to what you shoot best, will continue to train with and carry everyday.

I am partial to the 365xl for the ones you’ve mentioned and I own one. I also feel like it is the more accurate, but that is subjective to my personal experience, everyone is different and they’re all capable of very good accuracy, particularly concerning self defense. It also just seems to be the ideal size for concealment and shoot ability in a complete package. In reality it’s not much smaller than a compact 4 inch duty pistol and still holds 12+1 but it carries so much easier.

You also seem pretty high on the walther pistols and personally I feel you can’t go wrong with a Walther. I’ve had fantastic experiences with them and the ergonomics are outstanding. If it were me I would go PPS over CCP but there’s nothing wrong with either.

S&W has a great reputation for good reasons and the shield line has been successful because it’s a fantastic choice for EDC. I’m not a huge fan of the EZ versions due to the grip safety, but that’s just me. I actually helped my sister shop for her first gun and the EX had just been released. She loved it and I fully supported her purchase because she enjoyed shooting it and she’s continued to train with it and that’s what’s important.

Don’t discount the slimline Glocks if you can get a chance to shoot one. I love the 42 in .380 and have shot the 43 in GSSF competition a great deal. They’re great little carry guns, just low capacity. But they’re Glocks and they’ll outlast all of us and perform for years and years.

The Hellcats the only gun on your list I don’t have any experience shooting. Haven’t seen anything but positive about them review wise. I love the capacity and almost bought one recently to give it a go. It seems like a great package at the price point and Springfield produces quality firearms.

Good luck, sorry for the long reply!

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Welcome, and have fun buying your 1st gun. There are quite a few regulars here who are very knowledgeable and will have some good input for your info, but in the end, what feels right in your hand, and what you shoot well, will be the most important deciding factors. Best…


Welcome @sam9! I have the CCP M2 and I like it. I too have to deal with poor selection & ability to rent various firearms that I may be interested in. I’ve purchased all I have by way of months of reviews & comparisons. You would think I was about to purchase a new vehicle :joy:. I’ve traded out of some & sold some but overall I have been satisfied with my purchases. My town/city has a Dunham Sporting Goods store & several pawn shops. I have to travel 30 minutes away to get the variety I seek.
Make the best decision you can. I hope you like whatever you take home! :v:t5:

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Thank you all. I have found the guys at the gun range, whether fellow shooters or the people that work there, so friendly. Wife loved the Shield and wanted it to rack easier so we got the EZ. We are in our 60s. A friend told me that if I did not like the Glock 43 or 43x consider the Glock 48 or the 19. He prefers the 48 since it is more of a subcompact than the 19.

DLVICK38, man, I feel ya. Given the circumstances of the corona and the unrest, our city is crazy. I was caught up a bit in two riots/demonstrations on different nights. So the guns are selling like hotcakes. Bass Pro has very few $400 and under guns to even show me.

I think I do prefer the Walthers, but the Glock 43 I held was a little boxy. I know that people say they are probably the most reliable.

Feel free to comment on these guns. I will probably wait a bit, because we are going to a gun safety class on the 27th and we are going on date nights on Fridays to shoot

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Welcome to the Community, @sam9!

I’ve shot them all except for the 365XL. I carry the 365 with the 12 round magazine which is similar in size. The M&P is also an awesome gun. You really cannot go wrong with any on your list.

What I personally didn’t like with the Hellcat was I could feel where the magazine fit into the magazine well with every shot. Wasn’t as comfortable in my hand as the 365 was when I shot. Both are a bit zippy on the recoil. (Similar sized Glocks are even more zippy in my opinion.)

What feels best in your hand? Even without shooting it, that will tell you something. Not as much as shooting it, but you get the point.

They are all good names in the gun world. I would NOT suggest planning on selling a gun to upgrade - unless you hate the gun. I sold my first gun to get a different one and I wish I would have kept it. :frowning: I didn’t think I “needed” to keep it at the time. Now I wish I would have because I did like it.

Let us know what you end up getting!

(BTW - you can always buy online and have it sent to a local FFL if your local guy can’t get the gun for you.)


I’m going to say something that most people do not. I have a weird philosophy with guns. I have never shot a gun at the range before buying it. I am a S&W fan, I liked the price, and I liked how the gun felt in my hand. Most people will not advise buying a gun this way. I’m not saying this is the best way to buy guns, it’s just how I do it (I’m in a similar situation where a lot of guns are not available to rent and renting can be really expensive). I view the guns like a tool at Home Depot. You usually don’t get to test them out, but you want to get a reliable brand. When you get home, you have to learn how to safely and efficiently work the tool.

You need to make sure you can rack the slide before buying the gun. Make sure it’s from a reliable manufacturer. If it’s your first gun, I would stick with 9mm or smaller.

I’m just sharing this because I’ve bought more than one gun this way.

Just an added note, I really like the Shield. The shield is ver shootable because the butt of the gun is fairly long for a gun it’s size. If you move to a smaller gun, it’s harder to shoot. You will lose a little bit of shoot-ability the smaller the gun is. This is a trade off. You get more concealment, but it’s a bit harder to shoot. With my shield, I first started carrying with the extended 8 rd mag that comes with the gun. I shot it better and I got more ammo. I later decided to run the flush 7 rd mag that was smaller. I was accurate enough with it and it was much easier to conceal. I now shoot the flush mags better than the extended mags :sweat_smile:.
Looking at those guns, I bet the Sig p365 xl will be a better experience than the smaller p365.

Welcome to the community. Sorry, im a rambler who doesn’t spell check and auto correct is my enemy! :sweat_smile:


Dawn, what feels best? The Walthers. The grip indentations have me on that. The Sig, it is the green sight dot. The Glock- it is the name. Hellcat, I only gripped it at Shoot Point Blank because the guy showed it to me, and it was one of the few guns left that compete with the Shield EZ 9mm - I guess they call that subcompact.

I could look at a PPQ or the Glock 19, both bigger guns. I do love the Shield but want something different than what the Wife has.

Six 365 XL will run me about $570 or so at grabagun. The Walthers around $430, and have not priced any Glocks

ScoutBob- what you say makes sense and yes, I may have to just go on feel and reviews. But I think I would be remiss if I did not check out Youtube videos and the experience of more seasoned gun owners. Then again, most reviews on Youtube say one gun is just about as good as the other. and some go into accuracy

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Absolutely. There’s tons of YouTube content out there as well. Just make sure to look at more than one channel. There are some channels that have never had a negative review.


I want to like Glocks, I really do. In fact when I purchased my last carry gun I was going to buy a Glock. But I just didn’t shoot it well.

Sig, Walthers, M&P all good names. It’s like saying I really want a Ford because of the name, but I like the way a Chevy or Toyota feel more. Go with what works for you.

Tim Schmidt (CEO of USCCA) used to carry a Glock 19. Kevin Michalowski carries (it is totally escaping me what he carries right now). They’re both more experienced than I am. But I wouldn’t carry either of those guns because they don’t feel good to me and I don’t shoot as well with them. Check YouTube to see if they’re reliable, but don’t let someone else tell you what you should get. (Including me!)

I’ve purchased the way @Scoutbob has as well… my first gun was a Sig 226. I had shot the 229 and LOVED it. So it wasn’t too much of a jump. But if you’ve shot the others or similar, you should be good to make a choice.


Until you shoot a lot of different calibers and types, deciding on the “one” is difficult. For a first firearm that you are not able to tryout first, I believe what others stated is good. See how well it fits in your hand. Can you manipulate the trigger well and keep a good grip? Can you easily rack the slide and remove the mag? Also, what is the purpose of the firearm? Deep-concealment, home defense, etc.? Small-frame firearms typically have more felt recoil and are “snappier”. I had trained someone that had an LCP9 in .380. I hated it because it was so small in my hand and the slide lock was very small and flush to the frame, making it difficult for me to manipulate. However, the small cartridge made the recoil easily managed, but I didn’t like anything else about it.

Another thing to think about is if it has an external safety how well can you manipulate it? I remember the first time I fired a 1911 at the range. Initially, I kept sweeping the safety up to disengage it, like a couple of other firearms I have. Obviously, that didn’t work. But I did like the smooth action.

One last thing I will comment on. I always look at is how easily is it broken down and cleaned. Those “cool-looking” firearms with all the fancy cuts, serrations, compensated barrels, etc., I just look at and see what a pain in the -ss they would be to clean. But others like the way they look and buy them.


Feel? Well that means Sig P365XL and the two Walthers. Eliminated the hellcat

Cleaning? New angle so I have not paid attention to that. Any comments on how the Sig and two Walthers are to clean that would help

At least I can go back and hold these three and concentrate on racking and the safety. I just figured that since I’m a new guy, anything I shoot with is going to be slow until I learn how to quickly unload the magazine or quickly engage or disengage the safety. Because of Cary concerns the wife light the backstrap safety and the thumb safety on the XL shield. I have not been paying attention to the safeties or how easy or hard it is to disengage the magazine, well, because I am a newbie and I am going slow even on shooting at the range instead of popping off 5 shots in a row

If anyone has a suggestion on who’s videos I should concentrate on that would help. I know that I’m probably posting too much and asking a lot but I tend to over analyze and read too much before I make a decision. Also in my profession I have seen that a lot of people post wrong information


Safeties are very much personal preference. Most people would recommend avoiding safeties as a new shooter because it’s another step that could go wrong when deploying the gun.
The shield EZ is actually very different from the original models. My first carry gun was a Performance Center Shield 9mm. There is also the shield 2.0 9mm. If you look at those Shields, they do not have a back strap safety. The back strap safety has to do with changes they’ve made to make the gun easier to rack. (I believe the blackstrap is necessary for this particular design to make the gun drop safe). The original shield (One made without the back strap) comes with or without a Manuel Safety (switch on the gun). You need to pay extra careful attention to safeties if you are left handed. (Don’t buy a gun with a righty safety). The original shield 9 has a trigger safety (it’s passive) on it to keep it drop safe instead of the back strap safety.

If you look at a glock. There is a trigger safety (it’s a passive safety that only engages when finger is on trigger) to keep the gun drop safe. You will not find a glock with a Manuel Safety. The glock is simple. Load the gun. When the trigger gets pulled, the gun goes boom. Don’t pull the trigger with your finger or any other object (shirt for example) it will never fire. (You need to buy good holsters, but that’s another topic).

This is one of the reasons to buy a big brand gun that have been out for a few years. There have been big brand guns that have had bad malfunctions soon after they were released, BUT they get fixed. All the guns you’ve mentioned should be safe as long as you are safe. All modern striker fired guns have passive safety mechanisms at work to keep the gun safe. Feel free to research these. Safety was a concern of mine when I bought my first gun.

I personally carry a gun with a safety. I choose a Safety because I personally feel like there is a higher chance of me shooting myself on accident when holstering while training. If you get a Safety you have to practice using it regularly until it becomes second nature. I have actually considered moving away from a Manuel Safety for simplicities sake. If you are not going to practice a lot I would not recommend a Manuel Safety. That seems funny to say, but it’s true. Trigger discipline is the most important form of safety. A Manuel Safety is not necessary, just a personal choice.


Scoutbob, thank you. My wife is going to read this thread tonight. The two safeties on the Sheild EZ, a 2.0 verson they show, was a major point on us getting it. Like if she has it in her purse, but then again, we have not talked about holsters or how she will carry. She wanted an easier rack system and she wanted to be able to carry it in the future, after sufficient training.

We are going on Friday nights to the range. Buying the gun got us a free hour. We signed up for a free safety class for the 27th. Also, i got range bag, ear muffs, eye protection and two one-hour passes for the range for $50. Bullets were so hard to get, but we got 4 boxes of Federal 115 grain 9mm for $12.00 each

So, I guess I will practice with the safety. Starting this way, I guess I can always go without a safety but having a gun with a safety, I guess it will get ingrained in me is what I am thinking

This is why I love this forum. No one else has told me about this, or even to consider how the cleaning aspect should be considered.

I had a rifle at age 12 and before I could go without my dad or someone he trusted, I had to go to the Sheriff’s rifle range and take a class. And my father harped on me about carrying it when I was with him. I would watch him clean his guns and wish he had kept his tools. He died and wanted me to have his guns but because he did not give them to me, my sister came in, bogarted them and said she disposed of them. I am sure she sold or pawned them. He had a Glock, a Berretta and a Ruger and they were at least 20 years old. He had two others


Well I got to hold the guns today at least the ones I was looking at.The Walther CCP, even with the grip, did not Feel as good. I think I like the 365 XL over the 365 even with an extended mag. I like the Glock 48 or the 43X interchangeably. I did like to feel this time around on the hellcat OSP and I loved the sight.

I don’t know if I could should be concerned about cleaning any of them and whether one would be harder than the other. I’m told that I would only want to change out the sites on the Glock’s and that’s a cost worth considering. I am told they are reliable and they shoot great.

Reading an earlier post someone mentioned that I should have a gun that’s been out on the market a few years in the hellcat has not. Someone also mentioned I have to worry about cleaning and the serrations and I am told that Glock is easier to clean. I think with the Glock 48 I get a longer barrel which means recoil is going to be a little bit less which would make my shooting better theoretically so maybe it’s down to three of them now, the sig. in the extra large, the hellcat or the clock 48. Is there a reviewer that you think I should look at on YouTube thatWould review it without being a fan boy of any particular model

So I am down to 3. Sig 365 xl or Glock 43x or 48. I


Hickock45 should have a review of all of those. He’s a Glock guy but seems to be very fair when he talks about different pistols. I enjoy him give his take on different firearms and he’s very knowledgeable.

Don’t overthink cleaning a pistol. It’s really not a big deal after you’ve done it a time or two. But if fieldstrip and cleaning is a consideration for you, both Glock and Sig are easily field stripped and cleaned. Mrgunsngear (I think that’s his handle) does some really good “how to clean a ____” videos.

You’ve narrowed it down to some fine choices and you’ll be good. Your biggest issue is actually gonna be “what am I getting next!” Which will happen soon if you enjoy shooting.

Good luck!


I own a P365 and love it. The XL is another fantastic pistol. Great grip, terrific sights, high capacity mags, and very easy to clean. I am a fan of the whole P365 series.
My best friend owns the Shield EZ in 9mm. He is retired Army. Despite the lower mag capacity, it has become his favorite carry pistol. Easy to rack, load, and shoot and clean.
I also agree that how a pistol feels in your hand is critical. If you need a tie-breaker, go with the one that feels the most natural in your hand. Hope this helps a little.