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Sorry if my search skills aren't very good, if there is already a post out there just point me in the right direction. Now that that is out of the way...

I'm curious what 9mm pistol options there are for pre ban mags. I still have QUITE a bit of time until I get a permit, heck I'm not scheduled to even drop off my paperwork at the sheriffs's office till June 18th. That being said I plan to take some trips to a range somewhat close in PA to rent stuff to shoot. I'd like to be at least a bit familiar with whatever firearm I plan to purchase once I hopefully get my permit. I don't want to run out and buy something that I end up hating after I get it.

So being that I'd like the flexibility of being able to use pre ban mags my options?

Glock 19
Beretta 92

Ok, that is about all I got. Thanks for any help.
 

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You have picked two pistols that are fairly easy to find pre-ban magazines for. However, shooting them is a different experience. Because you can get pre-ban magazines for both, I'd recommend you try shooting each (if you can) to see which you like better. I have a Beretta M9A1 (a 92 series variant) and a Glock 23 (not a 9mm, but the same trigger as a 19), so I'll tell you what I know.

The Beretta is a DA/SA pistol, with an exposed hammer and a safety on the slide. I find it to be a pretty accurate pistol, it fits my hand well (I have large hands), and with a few thousand rounds through it I think it is quite reliable. Pre-ban factory magazines are fairly easy to find, but hard to identify. Since new magazines are no longer stamped for LE only, they look just like the preban magazines - although some of the finishes may be different, it is still possible to buy new pre-ban magazines for about $30 each. There is no definitive guide that I know of which clearly identifies pre-ban vs. post-ban Beretta 92 magazines - lots of theories out there, but nothing definitive esp for factory magazines. I won't venture into all of the other manufacturers that make Beretta 92 magazines and how to detect their pre-ban magazines: too many variables. If looking for a pre-ban 92 magazine, I'd stick with factory made. Beretta's magazine design has changed very little over the last 25+ years.

Glocks are striker fired, and don't have the DA/SA trigger, so shooting it is a different experience vs. the Beretta because the trigger pull is the same every time. I like the consistency of the Glock trigger, but like the SA on the Beretta more, you just have to get past that first (and most important) DA shot. Glocks do not have any kind of external safety to disengage prior to firing. Pre-ban magazines are fairly easy to identify for the G19, or for any Glock pistol for that matter, because they keep on 'upgrading' their pistol magazines, and are in their fourth generation now. I believe the gen 1 and 2 magazines are all pre-ban, and the ban occurred part way into the gen 3 magazine lifespan. The quick and easy way to identify (factory only) preban magazines has to do with where the caliber stamp is on the magazine near the feed lips. If the caliber designation is centered between the notch and the first witness holes, it is likely a pre-ban. If the caliber designation is closer to the notch than the witness holes, it is a post-ban magazine. Obviously if it is marked LE only, it is post-ban. The caliber designation was moved closer to the notch to include space for LE only text on the magazine. Once the AWB ended, the LE only text was removed, but the caliber designation was not re-centered.

This is what I've learned from my own research online, YMMV. Both magazines are fairly easy to find, and if you consider a Sig Sauer, pre-ban Sig 229 and 226 magazines are fairly easy to find as well in 9mm. Good luck, keep up the research since you have time to kill until your permit arrives.
 

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Other options in 9mm with pre-ban mags available

Ruger P85 / P89 / P93 / P94
Various Smith and Wesson semi-autos , all the way from First to Third gen
Browning Hi Power
CZ-75 and variants
Taurus 92/99

Various others, but probably not what you'd be looking for in a pistol as a first one.. Like , Tec-9 , IMI mini-uzi ..

I'm sure there are others that don't come immediately to mind.
 

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You have picked two pistols that are fairly easy to find pre-ban magazines for. However, shooting them is a different experience. Because you can get pre-ban magazines for both, I'd recommend you try shooting each (if you can) to see which you like better. I have a Beretta M9A1 (a 92 series variant) and a Glock 23 (not a 9mm, but the same trigger as a 19), so I'll tell you what I know.

The Beretta is a DA/SA pistol, with an exposed hammer and a safety on the slide. I find it to be a pretty accurate pistol, it fits my hand well (I have large hands), and with a few thousand rounds through it I think it is quite reliable. Pre-ban factory magazines are fairly easy to find, but hard to identify. Since new magazines are no longer stamped for LE only, they look just like the preban magazines - although some of the finishes may be different, it is still possible to buy new pre-ban magazines for about $30 each. There is no definitive guide that I know of which clearly identifies pre-ban vs. post-ban Beretta 92 magazines - lots of theories out there, but nothing definitive esp for factory magazines. I won't venture into all of the other manufacturers that make Beretta 92 magazines and how to detect their pre-ban magazines: too many variables. If looking for a pre-ban 92 magazine, I'd stick with factory made. Beretta's magazine design has changed very little over the last 25+ years.

Glocks are striker fired, and don't have the DA/SA trigger, so shooting it is a different experience vs. the Beretta because the trigger pull is the same every time. I like the consistency of the Glock trigger, but like the SA on the Beretta more, you just have to get past that first (and most important) DA shot. Glocks do not have any kind of external safety to disengage prior to firing. Pre-ban magazines are fairly easy to identify for the G19, or for any Glock pistol for that matter, because they keep on 'upgrading' their pistol magazines, and are in their fourth generation now. I believe the gen 1 and 2 magazines are all pre-ban, and the ban occurred part way into the gen 3 magazine lifespan. The quick and easy way to identify (factory only) preban magazines has to do with where the caliber stamp is on the magazine near the feed lips. If the caliber designation is centered between the notch and the first witness holes, it is likely a pre-ban. If the caliber designation is closer to the notch than the witness holes, it is a post-ban magazine. Obviously if it is marked LE only, it is post-ban. The caliber designation was moved closer to the notch to include space for LE only text on the magazine. Once the AWB ended, the LE only text was removed, but the caliber designation was not re-centered.

This is what I've learned from my own research online, YMMV. Both magazines are fairly easy to find, and if you consider a Sig Sauer, pre-ban Sig 229 and 226 magazines are fairly easy to find as well in 9mm. Good luck, keep up the research since you have time to kill until your permit arrives.
Hamis, if you ever want to sell the A1, look me up!!
 
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