Amateur plumber's dilemma

I am just starting a home-improvement job, replacing all my copper plumbing with plastic, and I can't proceed until I know one simple little thing. Hoping someone will see and answer my question.
Outside the house is a white one-inch pipe coming out of the ground from the well. I cut off the top below where the old brass and copper fittings and pipe were attached, and now I am going to attach a new plastic fitting with a shut-off valve in it, so I can shut off the water to the house if necessary without shutting off the spigots at the barn and the well house.
I know I am supposed to use the purple cleaner and some glue, but the problem is I have never done this before.... I wanted to first of all make sure the fitting will fit onto the one-inch pipe, so I pushed one end of it down onto to pipe. It fits, but it was extremely tight and very hard to move. I could not get it to go all the way on, to where the cut end of the pipe reaches all the way in. I removed the fitting from the pipe with great difficulty. It almost required a hammer to get it off of there.
What I need to know is this: Is it OK to hammer a plastic fitting onto a pipe? I suppose a block of wood between it and the hammer head would help. But what really bothers me is the fact that if the thing is this difficult to push onto the pipe without any glue, maybe it will be impossible *with* the glue? Or does the purple cleaner make it "slippery" and maybe easier to get one there?
I am afraid I will wreck the whole pipe and really have a mess if I do one small thing wrong. There's only a few inches of this pipe that could still be cut off for a 2nd try, and I don't want to wreck the fitting, it was not cheap and getting another one requires a trip to town and back, over 40 miles.
Thanks in advance for any answer.
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