Top 5 Complaints of gun newbies

Were were all noobs once. We’ve all made terrible decisions about what guns to carry, thought we couldn’t carry a gun because it was too big, and bought cheap guns because we wanted something more expensive that we couldn’t afford.

1. The grip angle on this Glock doesn’t feel good in my hand!
This is a lot like a virgin complaining that he doesn’t like how boobs feel in his hand. Shut up, you don’t even know what it’s supposed to feel like. You hear this one a lot, and especially about Glocks. “It doesn’t feel good” is a silly complaint, because frequently your feelings are wrong and incorrect. There’s nothing wrong with the grip angle of a Glock, you should just HTFU, hold the gun correctly, and then go get good hits.

Gen 3 Glock 19

2. Should I carry my Taurus in a SERPA or an Uncle Mike’s holster today?
I’m personally guilty of this one. One of the first guns I bought was a Taurus PT92, because, and I quote my idiot self here “It’s just like a Beretta, but cheaper!” I didn’t know why cheap holster were cheap, so I bought a 10 dollar nylon sausage sack and a SERPA and used them in my “carry rotation.” It was terrible and stupid, because those holster suck for actual concealed carry. I wish I could go back in time and get rid of every shitty holster I ever bought, and then whenever I bought a gun just go buy a Galco, a Blade-Tech, or a Comp-Tac for it. I’d have saved THOUSANDS of dollars.

competition and carry gear

3. 9mm doesn’t have enough stopping power, that’s why I carry a .40
This one comes from reading too many forums where the clue-factor is pretty low. You hear it in gunshops: “I don’t want a 9mm, I read (where?) that it’ll just go through a badguy. The .40 has more knockdown power.” It makes blood shoot out of my eyes whenever I hear this, because it’s just nonsense. It’s nonsense that keeps on living thanks to people on the internet who don’t understand that pistol ballistics are all garbage. If you’re using FMJ rounds, you’re going to make a tiny hole that penetrates a lot, regardless of caliber. If you’re using modern JHP rounds, you’re going to make a slightly less tiny hole that doesn’t penetrate as much, regardless of caliber. They all suck. If you want actual stopping power, get a 12 gauge shotgun.


4. A Colt or a Springfield 1911 is too expensive! This Turkish 1911 is only 300 dollars and it’s just as good!
Oh the cheap gun that’s a stand-in for the gun we really want. You want a Colt 6920? That’s like a thousand dollars, and you’re a poor 20-something. I’m sure a Moore’s Machine Co. AR is just as nice. Except the truth is we all know it’s not. I bought a Taurus PT92 because I wanted a Beretta. It wasn’t as good as the real thing. People want a 1911, but they can’t afford a quality 1911 from Colt, S&W, or Springfield (and those are just the entry level guns) for $1,000 so they compromise and buy slag-metal $350 guns. Don’t do that. Save your money.

Colt CCG Final 005

5. I can’t carry a full size gun, it prints too much!
Did this one too! When I first got my carry permit, I thought I couldn’t carry a gun the size of a Glock 19 because it prints too much. Turns out it was printing because I was trying to carry in a garbage holster on a garbage belt in a t-shirt that I probably bought from baby Gap back when I had abdominal muscles that were nice to look at. The truth is you can carry a proper gun, you just need to understand how to conceal it. Get a good belt, a proper holster, and clothes designed to dress around the gun, and you’re in good shape. Or just do what I do, and carry a smaller gun so you can still wear those sweet, extra smedium t-shirts.

My abs are just okay now.
My abs are just okay now.


  1. How about the AR is unreliable and most be kept white glove clean to work, and that 5.56 can’t put people down.

    1. That’s a good one, the problem is that I could have seriously made this list as “Complaints of ignorant gun owners” and just kept writing until I died of old age!

  2. Regarding #1, there’s actually a good reason why a lot of people express discomfort with the grip angle of Glocks. From

    “John Browning designed the 1911 with an angle between the barrel and the grip that happens to be the angle that most people’s fist is at when they throw a punch.

    The Glock, on the other hand, has a grip angle that’s just a few degrees more. This happens to be approximately the angle that martial artists punch with if they’ve learned to concentrate the impact of their strikes on the knuckle of their index finger and middle finger rather than across all 4 fingers.”

    An inexperienced person trying to point a gun will tend to do it much like they point a fist, with the result being that a Glock is not as comfortable without a significant amount of retraining. That doesn’t mean that Glocks are inherently good or bad, only that they are a better fit for some people than for others because of their training and background.

    Both a Glock and a 1911 can be an excellent choice for a firearm. I’ve owned both and prefer to shoot and carry the 1911. I have friends who have owned both and prefer the Glock. We’ve each chosen what works best for each of us.

    Regarding #4, my current carry gun is a Rock Island Compact Tactical in 45 ACP. I’ve found that it’s just as accurate and reliable as my Colt-built 1911, but cost me less than half as much. (Admittedly, it weighs just as much, despite the 1.5-inch shorter barrel length, but a good holster setup negates that issue.) On both ends, cost can be a factor, but does not necessarily determine the ultimately quality of the firearm. You need to evaluate any specific firearm that you intend to carry on an individual basis. Whether you find a Turkish 1911 for $300 or a $3000 Wilson Combat, you still need to work your specific gun enough to make sure it is reliable and accurate enough for your use.

    1. I just read that entire article you linked to. That was one of the worst articles I’ve ever read, and was so full of self-defense myths and nonsense that I’m considerably dumber as a result.

      Oh man, I just googled David Morris, and he’s one of the guys behind those “dry fire training cards” and Instant Accuracy. Good lord.

      1. Regarding the Glock grip angle: it is my understanding that it was based on the old P08 Luger pistol. Now back in the day when Glock was just making shovels, the old conventional wisdom was that the Luger was the accuracy standard for service guns, while the 1911 was the innaccurate gun with knockdown power.
        And part of the reason the Luger was seen as so very accurate was because of the grip angle, one that allowed the shooter to just point the gun at the target, and hit it, even with eyes closed.

        1. Funny, I was thinking about the P.08, too. Specifically, ’cause I remember an essay by Col. Cooper in which he explained that people who prefer the Luger pistol are deluded; they only choose it because they consider its grip angle to be more “comfortable” than the grip angle of a properly designed fighting pistol in an appropriate caliber. The problem, apparently, was that the cockeyed grip on the P.08 was designed to be comfortable when holding the pistol casually in the hand, as the officers who carried it were wont to do, but was not designed to create an accurate, powerful grip while actually firing the gun (since it was not designed by a warrior.) The Colonel’s advice, then, was to forget about how pistols feel in the hand when not shooting (very good advice) and get some rounds downrange (very good advice) or just save yourself some time and get a properly designed fighting pistol in an appropriate caliber.
          It was too long ago to be about Glocks, I think, so I figure he was probably talking about a Beretta. He was in the Marines, so he might have had something of a bias toward the M9.

          1. Col. Cooper’s time in the Marines FAR predated the M9, and he was a huge proponent of both the Colt 1911 and the .45 ACP cartridge. In fact, the only semi-auto pistol cartridge he liked better than the .45 was the 10 mm, in which he actually had a hand in the design. I suspect he may have been discussing either the original Luger, or another foreign-designed pistol (perhaps the H&K VP70 or P7) in the essay you refer to.

      2. Just because I cited one part of an article doesn’t mean that I agree with the entire thing. I’ve even cited things you’ve written before without endorsing all of your comments or actions.

        The part I quoted is the part that I was citing. I gave the link so that people could read the quote in context.

        I will note that you didn’t actually respond to any of the actual points I made, but instead made ad hominem attacks on the author of the article I cited. None of what you said refutes the specific statements I quoted, nor any of the other points that I made.

        1. The problem is that the points you reference from the article are in the best case scenario just the author guessing, and the worst case scenario utter fabrication. There is no evidence that supports the state that JMB designed the grip angle of the the 1911 to mimic a hand punching. The Glock’s grip angle was derived by measuring various hand sizes of members of the Austrian military and police and taking an average. The first point also demonstrates a total lack of understanding regarding human kinetics and how people actually punch.

          1. More probably, the issue a lot of more experienced shooters have with the Glock is that it’s grip angle is merely different that that to which they have become accustomed. The 1911 and most of the American-made pistols on the market share the same John Browning-pioneered grip angle. The Glock does not. This can mean the Glock feels “wrong” or “unnatural” in the hand of someone used to shooting other makes. I share this problem. I just cannot get the Glock pistols to point well for me. Too many years of shooting 1911s and High Powers. No negative indication on the design of the Glock… those I know who shoot it exclusively LOVE it. But I choose not to shoot it at all, and to instead stick with firearms which feel comfortable to me and with which I am therefore more accurate and more confident.

  3. Gota agree glocks dont feel as good I carry one due to its other capabilities but wish it pointed nicer. Traditional angles are much better for instinctive shooting. But its such a minor annoyance that it shouldnt affect buying decision too much.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with them from a training standpoint. But if you visit their website, it’s just vile and spammy that I refuse to recommend them. It’s as bad as the US Concealed Carry stuff used to be.

      1. Hmm, okay. I actually just looked it up and one of the videos was Tim from the USCCA talking about it. He said his friend came up with them.

  4. I like your writing. I don’t always agree with everything you say and surely have no intention of praying to you but do like your writing. Good stuff.

    1. You should see how much photoshop it took to remove the 70 pound beer gut. Normally I look like I’m smuggling a watermelon.

    1. I like pizza and beer too much to have awesome abs. That’s why extra-smedium shirts are the best! They’re perfect for guys like me in their 30s who still work out, but have gotten a little soggy around the midsection. Tight fighting through the delts, and nice and baggy around the pizza-holder.

  5. I shoot matches all year round and have my B card in prod, Limited, and LIm 10. I hate the grip angle on the glock. I can pick up dam near any other gun. Close my eyes, and bring it up to target, and sights are basically aligned when I open my eyes. With the glock, it’s always high. A s&w 625… points for me, 1911 points for me. M&P points for me. Tanfo/cz points for me, my old shitty makarov, points for me. Glock.. doesn’t point for me worth shit.. there is something about their grip angle, you either love it or hate it.

  6. I’m down to a pair of Colt 6920s in my AR collection. Got rid of my last none Colt AR last year during the big panic. In the interest of full disclosure I do have a 15-22.

    My one and only 1911 is a Kimber (one of the higher priced ones btw) that I’m seriously looking at swapping for a Colt or Springfield.

    Live and learn.

  7. I am an experience shooter and instructor, and I would only have a Glock if it was given to me, and I probably would never shoot it because, indeed it does not fit well in my hand, no matter which model or gen I have shot. However, I own 4 1911’s(Colt 1911 and Systemia 1927 and 2 personal custom builds) and they’ll do just fine.

  8. Other than the Glock fanboy portion at the beginning, great article. There are great guns for noobs who wish to get in on the cheap these days and still have quality defense and carry guns. The Shield comes to mind and CM/CW line from Kahr. There are others but I agree that going to the bargain basement section for price can often bite you long term with most. There are even some el cheapo holsters (very few) that fill their role as well as the pricier options out there. Alien Gear and Don Hume JIT slide are top notch at the price of the crap. It’s the rare exception in my experience that you get more than you pay for but it does happen. You can also pay top dollar and get junk but I’ll leave off the names of those as I’ll certainly hurt some brand loyal feelings here with that list.

  9. My favorite- brand fanboi-ing on cheap guns and gear. And more often than not, the cheaper and crappier the guns and gear, the more they see it as the ONLY way.

  10. now on the 1911 thing i have found rock islands to be great entry level 1911s are the top dollar like colt or kimber no but for a persons first 1911 i see no problem in getting one

  11. Never thought the Glock didn’t feel good, it just didn’t fit my hand, their grips are too large, can’t reach the mag eject without rotating the hand. Of course, I don’t like the way they look either, but he M&P series are just fine, no matter which caliber they are in. Have to agree with many others here, Rock Island 1911’s are a fine weapon for a good price. Have an Officer model that is reliable and very reasonably accurate. Sure I like my SA TRP more, but it cost over twice as much. Also don’t have any issues with Uncle Mike’s or Blackhawk softside holsters, IWB or Ankle style they work fine for CC.

  12. I decided that since the company I work for sells lots of Glock stuff, I needed to get over my hatred and “grip angle” prejudice. Turns out what I really didn’t like were the sights and the trigger. 3.5 lb. connector + some polishing and a black rear, F/O front and I can shoot just as well with the Glock as I did/do with a custom, double-stack 2011. I can also miss and do stupid things with the Glock trigger just as I did with the 1911/2011. Watch the sights, grip the gun, squeeze the trigger and you can hit with any pistol.

  13. Caleb –
    I’ve been shooting since I was 18 – which considering I lived in England at the time was quite an achievement – so I’m not a newb by any standards, but when I last fired a Glock .45 (on a scuba-diving vacation in Israel) I hated it…

    I don’t know if the backstrap profile has changed since then, but at the time it had quite square corners which felt like I was holding a 2×4 and using it as a hammer. The corners applied pressure to two specific points and brought on nausea. …I was very used to firing .45 autos, so caliber was not the problem.

    Glock’s feel fine in my hand at a gun store counter, but firing one was unpleasant at best – I understand why people go to geat lengths to reprofile the area under the beavertail of them.

    Have they gotten any better over the years or are they still as ergonomic as a brick?

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