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Despite the predictions of many "experts" 2017 was indeed a very good year for some of us in the firearms business.  Manufacturers promotions and rebates created a buying environment that was very favorable to the consumer.  Many people took advantage of this and were able to buy the guns they wanted at never before seen prices.  Now here is some even better news, the market is going to be even more favorable to the gun buyer during the first half of 2018. The time to buy is definitely now, but that time is limited as there are clouds in the future that will soon end this era of unlimited availability and massive discounts.  Here at Commonwealth Arms we are obviously here to sell you firearms, but we want you to get as much for your money as is possible.  Here are some tips to make your dollar go as far possible.


Manufacturer promotions have seen the prices of new guns fall anywhere from $30 to $120 below the normal everyday price of many firearms.  While not everybody is offering these incentives, the "Big Two" (Ruger & S&W) are.  In fact, these two makers account for nearly 50% of the firearms sold in the USA each year.  The M&P Shield that cost $379.99 in 2016 dropped to $349.99 last year.  In 2018 it sells for only $319.99.  Folks this is as low as they are going to go.  When the manufacturers drop the incentives the price is going right back to $379.99, and that is going to happen later this year.  Why?  Simple, the manufacturers are not losing money, we know that.  But they are not MAKING any money.  They are paying their operating costs and expenses, but that is it.  They NEED to turn a profit in order to develop new products.  Did everyone notice how few new products debuted in 2018?  This is why.  In addition the political climate is very unstable.  Here in Virginia we just elected the most anti gun Governor in our history.  In Washington the mid term elections are looming closer this November and a balance of power shift in Congress is very possible.  Either of these things will make any current incentives vanish overnight.  Folks, the deals are out there and they are not going to get any better.  If you wait around for them to "get cheaper" you are going to lose out.


With all the incentives that are available to dealers right now prices are very low.  That is great if you want a new Ruger SR22 or S&W SD9VE, but not good at all if you are trading.  The used market is totally stagnant right now.  As long as quality new firearms are available at discount prices there is no incentive to buy a used firearm.  Unfortunately a lot of folks didn't get the memo on this one.  We still see used Ruger LCP's on the floor at gun shows with people asking $225 when the NEW one is only $199.99.    A fair price for the use one is more like $125.  Folks that is why buying what you want the first time is so important.  Don't let your buddy talk you into a gun you do not want, buy what you want.  Do not listen to the 15 minute "expert" on you tube that tells you the "Super Weird Special" is better than the Glock.  Buy quality, buy form a manufacturer that you know is going to be here in five years, and buy at the right price.  Here at Commonwealth Arms we only stock quality from reputable manufacturers and always at the best price.  Trading can still be effective, but right now the used market is only strong with older, more collectable guns.


At our last gun show we had a guy looking at the new Ruger EC9S.  He looked at our lowest in show price of $239.99 and asked if we could do any better.  Amused, as we had not had a problem getting that price all day, I pointed out that the gun was a brand new model, was not easy to get, and that our price was the best in the show already and that Commonwealth Arms really didn't mark our firearms much anyway.  He then produced his smart phone and said "Well, Tricky Dicks Cheapy Guns (real name of the business not posted to protect their guilt) has it online for $228.15 can you match that?'  I looked at the ad and said no, because I would have to raise my price to match it.  He looked at me with a bewildered look so I explained to him that after he paid shipping and our $25.00 transfer fee he would be spending more money by ordering it online.  He didn't realize there was a transfer fee.  Come to find out the online vendor was going to charge him an extra 2% for using his credit card too.  He would have had way more than our $239.99 price in the gun had he ordered it online.  Folks, people fall for this everyday.  We have researched  numerous online retailers and have yet to find one that undersells us once you consider shipping and transfer costs.  Many are higher than us BEFORE you even do the add on charges.  Lastly, when you walk into a shop or a gun show you can PHYSICALLY LOOK at the gun and handle it.  If you buy one online and it doesn't suit you it is YOUR responsibility to return it, pay any incurred fees, etc.  NOT THE TRANSFER DEALERS, YOURS.   Fortunately we don't deal with much of this nonsense, but I have encountered my fair share of people who do not understand that the online retailers will not save you money.  Online selling is best left to old and collectable firearms found on legitimate sites such as and

Folks we hope this information is helpful.  Again, we want to see you get the most for your money.


Commonwealth Arms has established itself as the leading firearms retailer in the Alleghany Highlands.  We have always made every effort to stay current and to only stock quality firearms.  Many of you may wonder, how do we select the firearms that we stock?  The answer is actually very simple, our inventory is made up of the most popular and desirable firearms on the modern market, and only made up of those of good quality.

When it comes to handguns we make an effort to stock a greater variety than any dealer in our area, our stocking lines include Glock, Ruger, S&W, Springfield Armory, Walther, SCCY, NAA, and a few select models from other manufacturers.  The before mentioned brands are by far the most popular.  There are other great brands that we do not typically stock, notably SIG Sauer and HK.  Why?  We have tried them both and we have not had success selling them in volume.  When shopping for a handgun, the manufacturer who built it is a very important consideration.  Glock, S&W, Ruger, etc are long established brands that have a solid reputation for building quality products.  Some brands like SCCY, are fairly new, but have established themselves by building quality, affordable products that have been well received by the public.  In todays world the internet offers shooters access to an incredible amount of information, some good, some bad.  Not a week goes by that we don't have someone asking about the latest super weird special from an unknown company.  Sometimes these guns are so obscure that none of our distributors even carry them.  Folks, that should be a red flag, if there is a market for a firearm like this, one of the national firearms distributors will pick up the line.  We have seen so many handguns that were going to be the "next big thing" fade into memory over the last 19 years.  How many of you remember Vektor Arms, Arcus, Daewoo (yes the same one that makes electronics), Sentenel, Firestorm, and countless others?  These lines have long since faded away, leaving the unfortunate buyers of these firearms with no warranty support,  no source for spare parts, and a firearm with no trade in value.  I see names pop up now such as Sphinx, Grand Power, and Double Tap that I see suffering the same fate.  When you look at the offerings that the established manufacturers offer there is no reason to venture into the great unknown.  No reason to gamble your hard earned money on a firearm that you may or may not be able to get parts for two years from now.  At Commonwealth Arms we express no loyalty to any one manufacturer, but we do however encourage you to stick with well known, reputable makers of quality firearms.  We make every effort to cover all of the bases with our stocking inventory.  In fact, the top 20 selling handguns in the country are all in stock at our shop.  In the event that you cannot find what you need in our stocking inventory we will be more than glad to order it for you, but we encourage you to stick with a reputable manufacturer.  You will be money ahead if you do.


As many of you know we at Commonwealth Arms LOVE to trade, it just seems we can't do it much anymore.  We get a lot of folks asking about used guns, and we wish we were getting more of them in for them to buy, but frankly folks keep bringing in the wrong stuff, and usually at the wrong price.  Lets take a moment to look at what is hot and what is not when you are thinking about trading a firearm


These are the guns we are REALLY hot after.  ANY Smith & Wesson revolver made before 1987 in 90% or better condition, preferably with the original box..  Any Remington 700BDL in a short action caliber that is in 90% or better condition.  Any 9mm or .45ACP caliber Smith & Wesson STEEL FRAME semi automatic pistol in 90$ or better condition, again, having at least two mags and the box helps..  Any Remington 1100 shotgun in something other than a 12 Gauge. Colt revolvers from the 1970's on back, provided that they have real world trade values.   Any 20th Centruy US military firearms, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, etc provided that they are intact and have not been hacked up.  These are the items that will get you the most money


These are more common guns that still yield a good trade due to age and desirability.  No big money stuff here, but you can always get a fair trade on these guns.  Any Glock, SIG Sauer, S&W, Walther, HK, or Ruger handgun.  Provided that they are at least 90% and have everything that came with them still present.  These guns sell for 75% to 80% of the price of a new gun so you can expect getting no less than 10% under that on a trade.  Marlin 336 rifles in .30-30 or .35 Remington.  These are not big money guns, but they are desirable, so you can expect to get a good trade here.  Remington 1100 shotguns in 12 gauge.  Remington and Winchester bolt action .22 rifles made prior to 1970 (except for the Remington 514).  These are again, typically not big dollar guns, but are desirable so we will go deeper into them than the offerings from companies like Savage and Marlin.  Late model S&W revolvers, they do not bring the money the older guns will, but they will still get you a fair trade.  Any surplus military Mauser or Enfield rifle that is intact and not hacked up, these are desirable and you will likely get much more out of it on a trade than you paid for it 20 years ago, just don't confuse a common gun with a rare one you saw bringing big money on Gun Broker.


These are the most common offerings on a trade, and we turn down a lot of these because of price.  These are average guns with no real value other than as a working gun.  They are never going to be collectors items, but they will provide years of useful service as a working gun.  Bolt action rifles from Ruger, and Savage (except the AXIS) fall into this group.  They are solid hunting guns, but not something you bought (we hope) as an investment.  Remington 870 shotguns.  The Wingmaster will do a little better here, but eh 870 Express has killed it in the face of a lot of our customers, it may be prettier, but it will do the same thing.  Great guns, but they typically have a lower resale value.  Handguns from Springfield Armory, Taurus, and Kel Tec.  The Springfield's are kind of an enigma here, they are great firearms, but our experience has been that used ones sell slowly, so they have to be priced accordingly.  The other makers listed above have very low resale value.  Any rimfire rifle from Marlin, Savage, Stevens, etc.  These were inexpensive guns when they were new, there are hundreds of thousands of them out there, so they resale as very, very cheap used guns.  Ruger MKIII's and MKII's, unless you have a rare one, now that the MKIV is out, nobody cares, these guns took a 20% drop in value the minute the MKIV's hit the shelves.  Ruger LCP's, folks, they are so cheap new there is no way you can get much out of one, but we will trade it if the price is right.


These are the guns we seem like we see on the floor at gun shows a lot.  Any Mossberg shotgun, these are very well built guns, but they do not hold there value well at all.  Savage AXIS rifles, they are so cheap new they have to be ultra cheap used.  AR type rifles.  What?  You may seem surprised to see this here, well, with what you can buy a new one for there is no way you can get a good trade on a used one, the new ones are just too cheap, besides, our experience has been that people don't get rid of AR's, they like them too much, unless they screwed up and bought a junker (ie Double Star, Jimmy built it in his basement, Super Weird Noname Arms, you know that kind of stuff)  Off brand and not so well known handguns from people like Star, Astra, Iver Johnson.  These folks built some good guns, but a lot of these companies have been out of business since before a lot of our customers were born, so they have to be priced like a no name gun in order to be sold.


This is the stuff that you cannot give away in the modern world.  If you acquire one of these understand that you are married to it, and if you already have one keep it, some of these are good guns, they just do not sell.  Any Mossberg, Charles Daily, Stevens 200, or other no name hunting rifle.  These guns simply do not resale.  Bottom of the line handguns from Hi Point, Jennings, Lorcin, Cobra, etc.  It was junk when it was built, it sold for very little, and we can't do anything with it.  Sportereized military firearms.  These guns may have value as working guns, but have no value when it comes to resale.  Muzzle loaders, again, they have no resale value at all.

Folks we obviously didn't mention every make and model of gun, but we hope this gives everyone an idea on what we are looking for in a trade.  You should always be looking to trade up, not sideways and never down.  Understand that we want to get you into a good gun, but if you are trading, we want to get into a good gun too, one that will turn over quickly.  We hope this helps and happy trading!


The art of trading guns is as old as guns themselves.  Although today we are not talking about trading for whiskey or animal furs, we are talking about trading guns for guns in a retail gun shop.  Here are some pointers on how to get the best possible deal when trading at Commonwealth Arms.


The first thing you need to consider when you are trading a gun is this.  How easy is this gun going to be for the dealer to sell?  A quality firearm in clean condition will always yield a higher trade value.  If you come into my shop with a gun you wish to trade on something that I have in stock the first thing I do as a dealer is asses if the gun is at least as easy, or easier to sell than the gun that you are wanting to trade for.  For example, recently we took in a Smith & Wesson 1911 that was an honest 95% gun on trade towards a Glock 22 and a Taurus PT709.  The owner told me what he was looking to get out of his gun on trade, and assessing that the gun would be an easy sell for a fair profit I agreed immediately.  He priced the gun fairly, because he knew we had to make a profit. The gun he traded only lasted a couple days before it was sold outright.  We also recently were offered a Savage AXIS rifle on trade on a Glock 23.  The Savage as you know is a deer rifle, and this was January, about as far as you can get from hunting season.  We typically sell about two or three Glock 23's a month, but the Savage would likely sit down here for months.  Amazingly, we were able to work out a deal, but the trade value was far less than the owner had wanted.  Inventory can be an asset or a liability.  It is an asset when it turns quickly and yields a profit.  it is a liability when it sits on the rack keeping valuable shop money tied up that could have been used for a faster selling gun.  As a general rule of thumb quality handguns are desirable year round.  Most quality rimfire rifles are desirable year round.  Hunting rifles are best traded from mid summer to mid fall.   Quality shotguns are most desirable from early fall to early spring.  Some guns will never yield a good trade, such as off brand guns, abused guns, and muzzle loaders.   In fact, we do not trade for muzzle loaders at all.


We see this all the time.  We run into folks wanting to trade clean used Glocks, Smith & Wessons, Remingtons, etc, for MORE than we sell them for NEW.  When we point that out this is what we get "You sell that new for $489.99, but I paid $650 for it at Ole Buddy Guns!"  I am truly sorry, I hate to see anyone take a beating, but Commonwealth Arms has been here for 17 years, so we're still not real sure why this happens.  The Deer Gun stores might be a great place to hang out at the counter and shoot the breeze, pick up a box of reloading bullets, or a bottle of doe pee, but they are one lousy place to buy a new gun.  We have to price our new guns relative to our new guns, or they will never sell.  Typically if a new Ruger SR9 sells for $429.99, then a really clean use one can bring no better than $329.99.  Again, we have to make a profit, we don't have to get rich, but we can't tie up $300 to make a ten dollar bill either, not and stay in business very long anyway.  Folks, you do not have to pay too much for new guns, don't!


I have a customer that has over the past made it a habit of bring guns in to trade that looked like they had been drug behind a truck.  His argument was "it gives them character"  Sorry, we are not buying that, and neither are most of our customers.  The fact is, people are not interested in crappy looking guns at all, unless they are bona fid antiques.  And if they are crappy looking antiques they still have to be prices like 30% antiques.  When a hunting rifle comes in with a few dings, maybe some thinning bluing, and a scratch or two, we are fine with that, that is normal hunting wear from use.  But when the same gun comes in with rust pitting, gouges in the stock, a bore that looks like a sewer pipe, and the name "Jim Bob" carved on the floorplate with a pocket knife we are not interested.   As a general rule of thumb we try to avoid anything that is less than 80%  Folks, you pay a decent amount of money for a new gun, shouldn't you try to take care of it?  When trade time comes, you will be much happier if you did.


Ah yes, the online auction sites.  We make use of them ourselves, in particular.  We have had an account there for 15 years, so we can tell you all about the myths of online auction sites.  The biggest myth is that all used guns bring big money on the internet.  Well, a lot of folks ASK big money on the internet, especially on the Facebook gun trader pages, but in the end few of them get it.  Desirable, collectable, and hard to find guns most definitely do bring premium money, and we will always trade with you accordingly.  But just because you saw a pre 1964 Winchester Model 94 in 95% condition bring a big price on GunBroker, do not make the false assumption that the 94 Ranger you bought at Wal Mart 10 years ago is going to have the same yield.  lets make sure we compare apples to apples, and if you really want to see what they "bring", check out the closed auctions.  At Commonwealth Arms we set our pricing based on one thing, can we make a fair profit on this gun and turn it over in less than 90 days.


When we are looking at a gun someone wishes to trade we are looking at the gun.  We are not really interested in what kind of holsters you have with it, what kind of sights you put on it, what kind of springs you put in it, what kind of grips it has, what gunsmith did what to "make it better", or how many other needless accessories you have with it.  Sure we all buy this stuff, but everything I mentioned above does nothing for the value of a trade except maybe make it a little easier to sell to someone that is in love with gizmos.  Extra mags and FULL BOXES of ammo do help, unless you have too much ammo in a weird caliber.  The worst offenders are AR-15 owners that buy $1000 worth of accessories for a $750 rifle, because at the end of the day what they still have is $600 worth of trading material.  Bring the guns in to trade, and sell the parts and pieces in a yard sale.

Understand that we love to trade, but we have to make a profit.  These guidelines may seem kind of blunt, but at Commonwealth Arms we WANT our customers to get the most for their money.  Therefore we WANT you to get the most for your trade.  But you have to trade smart folks, you have to trade smart.


You know we have a lot of busy days here at Commonwealth Arms, and others that are not so busy.  These not so busy days often turn into BS sessions around the table in the shop.  During these sessions shooters and hunters often share knowledge, and um, well, sometimes lack of knowledge.  This was the case not long ago.  The conversation went kind of like this, the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
"The thing that really blows my mind,  is all these people buying these AR-15 rifles.  They ain't good for nothing, you can't deer hunt with 'em." :Blurted Bubba.
"Well you can't deer hunt with them, but they are popular as target guns, varmint guns, and predator guns.  Besides, in normal states like West Virginia and Kentucky they ARE deer legal."  Said Me.
"I agree, they need to be deer legal, I mean you can hunt with a .30 Carbine for crying out loud, a .223 is a lot more powerful than that.:  added Doomus
"Oh no, you need some knock down for deer, the .243 is too puny, much less a little .223, thats just a souped up .22." :argued Bubba.
"Hardly, a .223 is effective on a man sized target out past 300 yards, surely it can kill a 100 pound animal." Added Doomus
"Yeah with the bullet technology that exists today the .223 is a different cartridge than it was even 10 years ago.  A lot of .223's have fast twist rates and are capable of handling heavy bullets effectively."  :added I.
"Oh that twist rate don't mean nothin' (pauses to let a fart)  You need a big gun like a .30-30 to bring a deer down right, hit it with that weenie gun and it will run and run.." :howled Bubba
"Bubba, how many deer have you killed with a .22 Magnum?" :added I.
We all had a good laugh at that point, but the sad reality is that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have a mentality along the lines of Babba.  A flawed and dated attitude towards small caliber centerfire rifles.  The reality is that the .222, .223, and the .22-250 have been used effectively on deer for years in many other states.  The ammunition companies have been loading purpose built game cartridges for these calibers for years, and the number of effective hunting bullets to reloaders is tremendous.  Yet here in Virginia we still have an obsolete caliber restriction for deer hunting.
What would legalizing .22 caliber centerfire rifles for deer hunting do for sportsman in Virginia?  A lot.  First of all with the number of females getting into hunting it would give them a rifle with plenty of power, and no recoil.  It would also dramatically reduce the cost of hunting ammunition for those who choose the .223 for deer hunting.  The .222 and .223 when utilized properly kill cleanly, reducing the damage to the meat.  Lastly, it would open up one of the most versatle and popular rifles in the world to deer hunters, the AR-15.  The AR-15 is a great all weather rifle, it is lightweight, accurate, and readily adaptive to any kind of optics imaginable.  In conclusion I thnk it is time for sportsmen to start getting vocal.  We need to push for the legalization of .22 calber centerfire rifles for deer hunting.  The current attitude that they are "not powerful enough" simply has no factual basis.  You pay a premium to hunt in Virginia, you should be able to hunt with any rifle that is suitable.  I think the .223 falls into that catergory.


It is impossible to imagine a firearms collection that is missing any of the following firearms.  In no particular order.
 1.  Remington 700 Bolt Action Rifle
Since 1962 the Remington 700 has been the quentessential bolt action rifle.  In terms of out of box accuracy it still has no equal.  It is an elegant, yet simple design.  It has excellent handling characteristics, light weight (except for the varminters of course), a terriffic trigger, and of course, superb accuracy.  It is hard to imagine looking into any gun cabinet or safe and not seeing at least one of these rifles.  If you look in mine you will see several.
 2.  1911A1 .45ACP Semi Auto Pistol
It is almost unAmerican not to own one.  The 1911A1 was John Browning's masterpiece.  A 101 year old design that served us in four major wars and countless other conflicts.  In many forms of competetive shooting the 1911 still remains dominant.  But forget all that.  They are accurate, fun to shoot, and there is just something cool about watching a can go flying when a 200 grain lead bullet slams into it.  The 1911A1 is a part of American history, and having one in your safe is as American as having a Chevy in your driveway.
 3.  Remington 870 Pump Shotgun
This is THE pump shotgun.  Rugged, sleek, good handling, and just plain good looking.  When Remington released the 870 way back in 1950 the pump shotgun market changed forever.  Even today, they are still the best handling pump shotgun in the world.  And best of all, they are still a bargain.  Can't imagine not having one of these around.
 4. Smith & Wesson .38 Special or .357 Magnum Revolver
Smith & Wesson did not invent the revolver.  They just perfected it.  All of the S&W revolvers in production today (except the Bodyguard 38) can trace their lineage back to the Model of 1899 Hand Ejector.  The S&W may not always be the strongest revovlver.  But it is the most accurate, best handling, and the most elegant.  You may not have one in your safe, but I bet you have one in your drawer, or truck, or purse, or.....well, you get the idea.
 5. Marlin, Ruger, or Remington .22 Long Rifle Semi Auto Rifle
Sure most of us have some really nice bolt action .22 rifles.  But we all at some point acquired a fun little .22 semi auto rifle.  It may have been one of your first guns, and your dad may have had to get after you because when you missed it was so easy to just take another shot.  But everybody has one.  I gurantee you that more small game has fallen to a .22 semi auto rifle than anything else.  And those cans and bottles at the range that are full of holes, you can bet that is where a lot of them came from.  So grab that 10/22 and a $14.00 brick of Wal Mart Special .22 ammo and rejoice and have fun.  Your gun is on the top ten list.
 6. AR-15 Style .223 Rifle
Ten years ago this rifle would have never made this list, but today I cannot imagine not owning an AR.  These are without a doubt the most versatile rifles in the world.  They are accurate, reliable, well made, and can be accesorized to the limit of the imagination to create a truly personal rifle.  The AR is also just plain fun to shoot, and will out shoot many bolt guns.  Whether it is varminting, predator hunting, deer hunting (in states smarter than Virginia), competition shooting, or just plain plinking.  The AR can do it all.
 7.  Ruger Standard/MKII/MKIII .22 Long Rifle Semi Auto Pistol
Ruger .22 pistol + 500 rounds of cheap ammo = one hell of a fun day at the range.  Ruger can't make these fast enough to keep up with the demand.  The basic design goes back to 1949 and it is the gun that put Ruger on the map.  In terms of reliability and accuacy this gun sets the standard.  Just do not, repeat DO NOT take it apart unless you absolutely have too.
 8.  Glock Semi Pistol
Why wouldn't someone want a Glock?  It is only the most reliable semi auto pistol in the world.  And on top of that they are accurate.  These guns are so simple to maintain that a monkey could do it.  And they never, ever, ever, ever, break.  And best of all they are the same price new that they were ten years ago.  So if you don't have one, get one in a 9mm, or a .40 S&W, or maybe a .45 ACP.  Oh, just get one of each.
 9.  .30-06 Rifle
I mentinoed the Remington 700 before, and if yours happens to be a .30-06 you have two guns on this list covered in one.  The .30-06 is THE American big game cartridge.  It has been around in it's present for since 1906.  It has served us in two world wars and Korea, and has taken more game than any other cartridge in the world.  And did I mention it was accurate.  While not as popular today as it once was, I cannot imagine a gun collection that does not include a .30-06 rifle.
10.  That Wierd Gun
Yeah we all have one.  We don't like to admit it, but we all have one.  I can't imagine a gun collection without at least one oddball.  Maybe you won it on a tip board, maybe you got it as part of a trade, or maybe you saw it there and it was cheap so you had to have it.  Sometimes, under the cover of darkness you slip up to the range early in the morning to shoot it, when no one else will see you with it.  Yeah, we all have that wierd gun.  My partner Mike has a collectiion of them.


No I am not going to give it.  I have never liked the term "expert".  When used by a person to describe themself it is often out of arrogance.  And when use to describe others it is often based on opinion, not fact.
Expert advice is what a lot of new handgun buyers seem to receive from often well meaning but misleading friends.  I have customers come into the shop sometimes looking for a first handgun for self defense and the conversation goes something like this..
     "How are you doing buddy?  Anything I can help you with?"
     "Yeah I am looking for a pistol for protection."
     "Are you looking for something to carry? A house gun? Or something suitable for both?"
     "Well, something to carry.  I have never owned a pistol before.  But a buddy of mine said I should look at a Glock."
     "Glock is a good choice, of course there are others.  What caliber?"
     "Well, my buddy says a 9mm is a weenie gun so I was thinking .45."
You can see where this is going.  After about an hour of handling several guns and allowing me to answer several questions this gentleman bought a Taurus 709 9mm.  You see his buddy was basing his reccomendation on what "he" liked, not what the customer needed.  First of all there was an assumption that he "needed" a Glock.  The customer handled the Glock and did not like the way it felt.  How a handgun feels is everything.  It has to be comfortable, you have to be able to easily work the controls, you have to like the trigger pull, and you have to like the sight picture.  If you do not like any of the above, then it is the wrong gun for you.  The individual making the reccomendation because he like Glocks.  I have also heard the same person say that "XD's don't shoot good"  Folks that would throw up a red flag to anyone who has ever picked up a gun magazine.  What he really meant was "XD's don't shoot the load I want to shoot in them good."  Another piece of "advice" that my customer was given was to avoid the 9mm because it was a "weenie caliber"  Well those of you that still believe that I have a news flash.  No the 9mm will not stop someone with a thundering 200+ hunk of lead wallering through the air making a .450" hole.  But what it wil do is sling a 115g rapid expanding jacketed hollowpoint at someone at high speed.  I wouldn't fancy the idea of being hit by either.  Truth is a lot of us, me included, love our .45's.  But to dismiss a 9mm because you don't like it?  Pure ignorance my friends.  Someone who has never owned a handgun, and does not reload is going to have a much more pleasent shooting and financial experience with the 9mm.  And yeah he still has plenty of power for protection.
I reccomend that anyone looking for a pistol come down to the shop and inspect, handle, and ask questions about any of the 100+ handguns we have in stock.  That way you can compare the different manufacturers, and the different sizes available.  A lot of folks have friends that shoot, and mean well with their advice.  But only you the customer ultimately will know which handgun is right for you.