Well, as I mentioned previously, I purchased a gun this week.
I've been watching on gunbroker.com for a Glock 17L or Glock 34 for the past month or so. I finally found a reasonable deal on a Glock 17L and put in a bid (look for the chart about 3/5ths down the page).
As I mentioned before the 9mm and long barrel were the two features I was putting highest on my list. The 9mm for common and less expensive ammo for training, less recoil than a .40 or .45, and also a reasonably effective defense caliber. The barrel is 6.02" long, over 2" longer than many semi-auto pistols. The longer sight distance makes aiming more accurate as the "cone" is smaller.
From the boards I've read, a lot of folks dislike the Glock look. Personally I think they look fine, simple and utilitarian. They are not shiny or gaudy, but rather simple and unimaginative. Folks especially dislike the competition guns, like the 17L and 34 in 9mm, and 24 and 35 in .40. But for whatever reason it doesn't bother me. I guess I find function more attractive than glitter.
So, after winning my auction, I need to do a handful of things. First, I need to go back to the gun shop who will be doing the transfer for me to figure out all of the steps I need to take to take posession of the gun.
According to this, I will need to get a License to Purchase a Pistol. This will cause a NICS check to be run by the FFL (gun shop/transfer agent). The police will do a background check on me and I'll need to answer a Basic Pistol Safety Questionnaire with at least 70% correct. I'll also need to swear before a notary that I am legally allowed to own a pistol. I'm not sure how all of this works with the timing, but hopefully it all works pretty quickly and smoothly.
I've already read over the Basic Pistol Safety Questionnaire, which has a couple of what I would consider "trick" questions. One of them being along the lines of, "The owner must report a stolen pistol within 1 year (t|f)." Well, technically true, since it is actually 5 days, and 5 days being less than a year the discreet set of days by which the owner must report the gun stolen is within the set of 1 year. But I am pretty sure the answer they are looking for is false.
Anyways, while looking around the last couple months, reading about hand guns, safety, and anything else remotely pertaining to handguns I found a number of sites that I really enjoyed.
Most recently is Cornered Cat, a site by a mother of 5 who writes or has written for a couple gun publications. It is very much oriented towards women and self defense, but she also encourages safe gun handling and usage more than any other site I've read. This is a really good site for those with a family and how to be considerate with your spouse.
Christian Gun Owner was on of the early sites I found, mostly because it had a page or two dedicated to Glocks (reloading specifically if I recall). This site really struck a cord with me, as it was shooting with other men from church that really started me on looking into purchasing a handgun. I have wanted to pick up something for a long time, but it was shooting with the guys from church that put me over the edge (that and the timely election of Obama).
The Civilian Gun Defense Blog is pretty interesting. For all of those folks who think guns are bad and only exist to harm folks, this is a pretty interesting list of real situations where a gun owner either protected their life or property against someone. These are folks who did not wait for a policeman to stop a Bad Guy(tm), but stepped up for themselves or others.
I am really looking forward to getting my gun. Once the ground thaws I will start digging out a berm for a homemade range. The layout of our property will work really well for a pistol/rifle range, as we have a gentle slope to shoot at, and after I dig out the berm it will be a pretty level area to shoot into. It will probably take me a few weekends to finish digging, but it will be pretty cool to have a range right behind the house.